Feb 222012
 

A Closer Look at the CobraThere was some interesting banter earlier today on Twitter regarding Colby Lewis and his importance and value to this year’s rotation.  Lewis, barring injury, is more than likely going to be the Opening Day starter for the back-to-back defending American League champs, and the discussion was calling him out as possibly the most replaceable pitcher on the staff.  From time to time, the opening day honors don’t go to the most talented pitcher on the staff, but rather that honor can be granted to a pitcher with more tenure within the organization or one that has displayed some leadership.  Lewis is a perfect example of this. The fact that he was being brought up in the discussion has to do with the other options in the rotation than with Lewis himself, but it was enough to make me want to take closer look.

In 2011, Colby Lewis topped the 200 inning plateau for the second consecutive season, posting a 14-10 record with a 4.40 ERA.  For the most part, Colby’s numbers took a dip from 2010 across the board.

A Closer Look at the Cobra

Increased ERA and WHIP, with decreased strikeouts outweigh the benefits of decreased BB/9 and increased wins.  A helpful measurement to look at when comparing the two seasons is WAR (wins above replacement), which provides a measurement of value the player has to his team above a replacement level player (AAA).  In 2010, Lewis posted a 4.6 WAR, which dipped to 2.3 in 2011.  To put that into perspective, here is the 2011 WAR rating for a few of his peers:

  • C.J. Wilson – 5.9
  • Matt Harrison – 4.2
  • Derek Holland – 3.6
  • Colby Lewis – 2.3

While it’s always nice to see an increase in wins, the stat is too dependent upon the offense’s ability to provide run support.  When you take a closer look at Colby’s run support, it’s pretty clear he benefited greatly from the Rangers strong offensive performance.  In games started by Lewis where the Rangers scored 6 or more runs, Lewis had a 10-2 record with a 4.91 ERA.  In other words, he was still giving up too many runs in those games, but the Rangers bats had his back.

Another key stat to look at when reviewing Lewis’ performance in 2011 is FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) which measures what a player’s ERA should have looked like over a give time period, assuming that performance on balls in play and timing were league average.  FIP is a better way to assess a pitcher’s talent level, by looking at things a pitcher can control: strikeouts, walks, hit by pitches, and homeruns. In looking at 2011 stats, Lewis once again falls short of his peers:

  • C.J. Wilson – 3.24
  • Matt Harrison – 3.52
  • Derek Holland – 3.94
  • Colby Lewis – 4.54 (3.55 in 2010)

While I think we can expect the Rangers offense to provide ample run support again in 2012 and I don’t expect a big change in facets of the game that are outside of the pitcher’s control, Lewis needs to improve on the mound and return to some semblance of his 2010 form.

Given the fact that this is his final year under contract with the Rangers and the plethora of young talented pitchers he is competing with, Lewis needs to prove that he is not only the big-game, reliable, work-horse veteran (deserving of the 2012 Opening Day nod), but that he is also one of the best pitchers on this staff from a talent perspective.  If not, 2012 could very likely be the last season we see the Cobra in a Rangers uniform.

Baseball Do Prediction: Colby bounces back and improves upon his 2011 numbers, while not quite performing at his 2010 level.  We think Colby will maintain a spot in the rotation throughout 2012 and, barring injury, will once again be a dependable option down the stretch and in the postseason.

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Feb 212012
 

Baseball Do Podcast   Spring Training Special

We’re back…

Spring Training is upon and we answer some key questions facing the Rangers as they get to work in Surprise.

  • Center field – Gentry, Borbon, Martin, or….
  • Mitch Moreland
  • Pitching Rotation
  • Yu Darvish Distractions
  • Josh Hamilton Hangover (may be a better way to describe this…)

Be sure to listen carefully for an easy way to win a free “Nolan is my Homeboy” T-Shirt and for a way to participate and contribute to Baseball Do!

Smile folks…it’s time for Baseball!

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Feb 212012
 
  • Tuesday Morning SlidersSpring Training officially starts tomorrow!
  • Jasen and I wrapped up our Spring Training Special podcast last night and I’ll have it posted up here to the site later today and available on iTunes by tomorrow.
  • My little stroll down Rangers Boulevard yesterday means there is a lot to catch up on today, so I may be brief.
Mike Napoli
  • Mike Napoli was in Surprise over the weekend, starting to test the strength of his ankle, and said he’s coming into Spring Training prepared to compete for the starting role, “I’ve always come into Spring Training trying to win a job.  That’s why I pushed myself to get ready for this spring. I come in here not expecting anything to be given to me. Torrealba is a good catcher. He has been a starter in this league and can start for us.  Hopefully we go out there and make it a competition. I always go out and try to earn a job.”
  • While Napoli’s performance from last year probably guaranteed him the starting spot behind the plate, it’s refreshing to know he has this attitude, and it’ll be interesting to see how it playing time is split up between C, DH and possibly 1B from time to time – it’ll be Ron’s decision.
    Napoli had this to say regarding Ron’s decision, “You don’t know what Wash will do.  We have guys who can play different positions. I love catching. I love being back there working with pitchers. But if I have to play first base, I’m not going to be mad. I want to be in the lineup. If it’s at first base, I’ll grab my glove and get out there.”
  • Finally, Napoli spoke about his recent contract (1 year/$9.4M) from the Rangers saying, “Hopefully we’ll get back to talking again.   We’ll see. I’m not focused on that. If it comes up, my agent will talk about it with them. Right now, I’m focused on getting ready for the season and get[ting] my ankle healthy.  From the raises I got compared to other players, it was right for me.  I really didn’t want to go into a hearing room. Talking to people who have been through it, it’s not a fun situation. I’m glad we got a deal done and hopefully something else will get worked out.”

Matt Harrison

  • Matt Harrison is coming into camp with a similar outlook to Mike Napoli as he prepared to secure a spot in the starting rotation.  While Harrison’s numbers from 2011 (14-9 with a 3.39 ERA) would seem to more than secure him that spot, it speaks to the depth the Rangers have in their rotation heading into 2012.
  • Tuesday Morning SlidersHarrison said “It’s the same way as last year: I’m coming in to fight for a spot in the rotation.  Last year was last year. I can’t take anything for granted. I’ve got to show them I’m ready to go. This is an organization that has been to the World Series for the last two years. They are not going to fool around with somebody who is not ready to go.”
  • Jasen and I covered the starting rotation extensively in the podcast last night, and it’s known that the Rangers are going to stretch out Scott Feldman and Alexi Ogando.  Harrison will have to earn his spot, but seems to be the favorite headed into the competition.
  • Roy Oswalt still hasn’t signed anywhere…, to which Harrison says “Nobody has said anything to me about that.  I guess he is still waiting around. It keeps me guessing. It keeps me ready and prepared.”

Ian Kinsler

  • Kinsler, who spoke to reporters on Sunday at the Rangers Spring Training complex, spoke vaguely about Josh Hamilton’s recent relapse, “Josh is taking care of it.  He’s doing what he’s always done. He’s being open, up front and honest about it. It’s not my place to talk about it. I know I was there for a certain part of the night.”
    Kinsler added ”I’ve gotten over it.  I’m focused on this season and baseball. I support Josh and will continue to support him. All his teammates and coaches will be there for him. Josh took care of it and said what he needed to say. People can say what they want to say. That’s just outside influences driving something that’s really not there.”
  • Kinsler is in Surprise early to work out with the strength and conditioning coaches, which he is able to do pain free after after receiving a platelet-rich-plasma injection in his right ankle at the end of November.  This is the same right ankle that he injured two years ago in Spring Training.
    Kinsler had to this say regarding the relief he got from the shot and what it’s allowed him to do in his work outs, “Right away, after the soreness went away from the needle, I was 100 percent,” Kinsler said.  End of pain.  It helped everything. Working in the cage, I can take as many swings as I want. I have been able to do a lot more full-body exercises … a lot of jumping and agility. That’s when it hurt the most, but now I haven’t been feeling it at all.”
  • Kinsler, who is signed through 2012 and the Rangers have an option on for 2013 ($10M), spoke briefly about his contract and talks with the Rangers, saying ”I think I’ve been open with my feelings on that.  I want to stay here, but again, a lot of that is up to them. We’ll see how things progress. We’ll see if the conversations get fired up again this spring.  This season hasn’t even started yet.  They have some decisions to make as an organization.”
    Kinsler wrapped it up saying “There might be some things they want to talk about.  I haven’t thought about it. I’m focused on playing second base, winning a Gold Glove and helping this team win. That’s all open for discussion.”

Quick Hits

  • Tuesday Morning SlidersAlbert Pujols and Yu Darvish have already run into each other for the first time!  The meeting was unplanned and the Angels slugger said “He walked in and introduced himself — really nice guy, really humble.  He just said he’s looking forward to the battle. We’re going to be in the same division and it’s going to be fun.”
    Look at Yu already getting in his head…
  • Richard Justice (MLB.com) wrote a column on Nolan Ryan’s feelings about this years Rangers here.
  • The Rangers have signed left-handed reliever Neal Cotts to a Minor League contract.  T.R. Sullivan (MLB.com) provides a brief update here.
  • Evan Grant (SportsDay DFW) is projecting 13 wins and a sub 4 ERA for Yu Darvish this season.
  • MLB Analyst Jim Bowden joined Ben & Skin (103.3FM, ESPN) last week and had this to say about ranking the Rangers as the top MLB team for the next 5 years, “The bottom line was the Rangers’ farm system is far beyond what the Yankees’ is, and that to me was really the swing between the two. Texas’ management team is one of the best in the game, but when you look at the entire package, there is no reason why this Texas team can’t be a World Series contender over the next five years. You look at the health of the Rangers compared to every team in baseball, and right now, it’s No. 1 in the industry.”
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Feb 182012
 

This is the final round of our American League West Position Rankings.  To see how we got to our current standings/scores, be sure to check out the first three round.

Score at the end of Round 3:

    1. Rangers: 53
    2. Angels: 49
    3. Mariners: 26
    4. Athletics: 22

The primary reason for doing a full review of the American League West, rather than a Rangers vs. Angels review, was to provide a better reference point for how a player truly stacks up against his peers.  That said, the Rangers and the Angels have dominated the top two spot at most positions (exceptions being DH and CF).  The final round will consist of all facets of each team’s pitching, including 5 rotation spots, relief and the closer position.  Similar to the adjustments we made to the scoring for Manager and DH, we’re going to increase the weighting for the relief position since that is made up of a handful of pitchers and not just one.

Starting Pitching

We’re going to go through the starting 5 for each team’s rotation and stack them up against each other.  In order to avoid making assumptions around the rotation order, I’m going to be the using the depth charts for each team that they have posted on their team’s website.  They seem to be pretty accurate as to what most would think, with the exception of a few.

2012 American League West by Position (Part 4)   Final Scores

The Ace

  1. Jered Weaver, LAA
    1.  Felix Hernandez, SEA
  2. Colby Lewis, TEX
  3. Brandon McCarthy, OAK

Only real debate lies between the top two here, and I’ve gone back and forth on the order of these two guys quite a bit over the last few days.  It’s very close, but I give Weaver the slight edge, no I give it to Felix, no Weaver…you get the point.

2012 American League West by Position (Part 4)   Final ScoresYou could debate for days over who will have a better year in 2012, and in the end, I think they will both have dominating years where they finish in the top 8 in Cy Young voting.  With that said, I’m going to give them both the top spot from a points perspective, and I’m going to give them both the bonus point.  It’s not a knock on Colby Lewis, it’s just how good these two guys are.

The #2

  1. Dan Haren, LAA
  2. Yu Darvish, TEX
  3. Dallas Braden, OAK
  4. Jason Vargas, SEA
2012 American League West by Position (Part 4)   Final ScoresI’d love to give Yu the nod here, and this is one where I could dispute the order of the rotation, as I envision Darvish being the 3rd starter and Holland pitching 2nd, but it wouldn’t really matter, as Haren has an edge on both of them given the unknowns around Darvish and the need for continued development with Holland. While I think Darvish is capable of putting up similar numbers to what Haren delivered in 2011 (16 W’s, low 3 ERA, low WHIP), Haren has proven what he can do at the MLB level and takes the top spot here.Darvish takes the second spot in the rankings over a rehabbing Dallas Braden and a mediocre Jason Vargas.

You could make an argument for putting Vargas in the third spot, but I think Braden is the better pitcher if he can bounce back from injury successfully (and word is he is ahead of schedule).

The #3

  1. 2012 American League West by Position (Part 4)   Final ScoresC.J. Wilson, LAA
  2. Derek Holland, TEX
  3. Brett Anderson, OAK
  4. Hisashi Iwakuma, SEA

This is another close race between the top two, and I know my fellow Ranger fans are throwing their hands up in the air as they look at the ranking, but if I put my bias aside and look at the two  pitchers, I lean towards C.J. having a slightly better campaign in 2012.

Baseball Do followers probably don’t want to hear this, but I think C.J. is going to improve slightly in 2012, primarily due to his new ballpark and being closer to home – which you could argue that his pitching ability isn’t really improving, but rather his conditions are.

I also believe that Holland is going to take the next step in his progression towards being a front-line MLB starter.  He showed flashes of brilliance last year down the stretch and of course in showing us all that he could one day be an Ace with his performance in Game 4 of the World Series.  All that said, he needs to prove that he can put a full season together, avoiding a slow start and showing more consistency.

2012 American League West by Position (Part 4)   Final Scores

The #4

  1. Neftali Feliz, TEX
  2. Ervin Santana, LAA
  3. Blake Beavan, SEA
  4. Brad Peacock, OAK
Not going to spend a ton of time on these next two spots.  If you don’t already know how we feel about Feliz and what we expect from him production-wise in 2012, check out “The Other New Guy”.  Santana is a very good #4, but I think Feliz will have a better year.

2012 American League West by Position (Part 4)   Final Scores

The #5

  1. Matt Harrison, TEX
  2. Jarrod Parker, OAK
  3. Jerome Williams, LAA
  4. Charlie Furbush, SEA
We all know how good of a pitcher Matt Harrison is, primarily because his case has been stated so often as a reason for not signing Roy Oswalt.  For many teams, he is easily a mid-rotation guy, and far outpaces the other three pitchers on this list, and for that get’s the bonus point.
I give Parker the edge over Williams on speculation of what Parker could become vs. what we know of Jerome Williams.

2012 American League West by Position (Part 4)   Final Scores

Relief (not including Closer)

Given the importance of the bullpen and the fact the bullpen is generally made up of 6-8 pitchers, we are going to adjust the scoring for this position by multiplying it by two.

Keep in mind, that the names representing each team’s bullpen could change between now and Opening Day, and obviously by mid-season or season’s end.  That said, I’m going to try to avoid too much speculation with prospects and trades.

  1. Adams, Uehara (or maybe Mike Gonzalez…), Feldman, Ogando, Tateyama, Lowe – TEX
  2. Downs, Hawkins, Takahashi, Thompson, Cassevah, Bell, Mills, Jepsen – LAA
  3. Devine, Balfour, Fuentes, Wagner, Blevins, Carignan, Godfrey, De Los Santos – OAK
  4. Kelley, Wilhelmsen, Ruffin, Delabar, Sherrill, Jimenez – SEA
You could write an entire article breaking down the bullpens, but this is not the place.  The Rangers take the top spot primarily based on depth.  Downs and Adams are both top-notch set-up men, from there I think the depth of the Ranger bullpen gives them the edge.  They still need another left-handed specialist to replace Darren Oliver, which could be Mike Gonzalez, whom they are rumored to sign after they deal Koji Uehara.

2012 American League West by Position (Part 4)   Final ScoresCloser

  1. Brandon League, SEA
  2. Jordan Walden, LAA
  3. Joe Nathan, TEX
  4. Whoever, OAK
Three years ago, JoeNathan is the clear cut leader on this list and easily gets the bonus point.  That was then.  Now Nathan has something to prove, and while I’m fairly optimistic that Nathan will serve as a strong closer, I think Walden and League rank higher until Nathan proves it.I went back and forth between League and Walden for the top spot here.  League was better last year, and while I think Walden will get more saves than him in 2012, it’s going to be based on the fact that he will be presented with many more opportunities.  The better number to look at here is Save% (Saves/Opportunities), where League (88%) outshines Walden (76%) and I think he’ll continue to do so in 2012.

Final Score of the Baseball Do American League West Position Rankings

  1. Rangers: Score After 3 Rounds of 53 + 2 + 3 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 8 + 2 = 80
  2. Angels: Score After 3 Rounds of 49  + 5 + 4 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 6 + 3 = 76
  3. Mariners: Score After 3 Rounds of 26 + 5 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 4 = 42
  4. Athletics: Score After 3 Rounds of 22 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 3 + 4 + 1 = 36
There you have it.  On paper, according to Baseball Do, the Rangers should win the American League West in 2012.  And while I’m always on board with victory for the Rangers, the best part of all the time and work that went into these rankings and write-ups is that the games still have to be played on the field.

Keep in mind as well, that all four of these teams could look different by the trade deadline, with the Rangers and Angels both of some attractive pieces they could move in order improve, and the Mariners and Athletics have some attractive veterans they could deal in an effort to add youth.

My honest belief is that this is going to be one hell of a season for the Rangers and the Angels, which will come down to the final week, if the not the final 2-3 games.  The final series between the two is here in Arlington, September 28th through 30th, so get your tickets for those games now, as the entire season could hinge on those three games.  As fans, let’s just enjoy the ride.  A ride which will hopefully continue into the post-season for the Rangers and end with the ultimate reward…

‘case that’s the way baseball go…

2012 American League West by Position (Part 4)   Final Scores

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Feb 012012
 
  • Wednesday Morning CurvesThe Rangers are working to avoid salary arbitration with OF Nelson Cruz.  The hearing is scheduled for February 17th.
    Cruz had this to say regarding the process and his future in Texas, “I’m not afraid of the process.  If we need to go to arbitration, I’ll do it. But in an ideal world, it’s better to avoid it altogether.  I’d like to be a Ranger for life.  I like the city, the team and the fans.  But this is a business. If God wants me to keep on playing in Texas, it will happen. I have to be ready for anything.”
    Cruz will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2013 season.
  • One of the conversations we got into with Kevin Mench when we recently interviewed him (Jasen’s article here) was around the arbitration process.  The GM, the player, as well as others sit in front of an arbitrator and pitch their sides in order to get the arbitrator to settle on a salary closer to what they desire.    Doesn’t sound like a fun process and even those with thick skin can sometimes be turned off by the organizations tactics.  Let’s hope that Nellie doesn’t have to go through this.
  • Bryan Dolgin (ESPN.com) wrote a good piece on Mitch Moreland’s increased motivation driven from the Prince Fielder hooplah.
    Moreland says, “I think it was more of a motivation thing for me, you know. He’s a good player and all, but you know, I want to go out and prove that they didn’t need him.  I’m looking forward to this year and getting started.”
    Check out the rest of the article here.
  • John Machota (Special Contributor to DallasNews.com) wrote a column on Matt Harrison, who is believed to be the odd man out if the Rangers were to sign Roy Oswalt.  Harrison, on with Ben & Skin (103.3 ESPN), was asked about the potential of being traded if Oswalt was signed and said, “That could be an option.  I feel like I proved myself last year, that I could be a consistent starter in the big leagues. I’m not saying the bullpen is a bad thing but I think I’m better suited for the rotation because pretty much at the beginning of the game I’m a little bit of a slow starter and I kind of acclimate as the game goes on.”
  • Oswalt, Oswalt, Oswalt….I keep waiting for this to go away and for Oswalt to sign with another team, but the fact that Oswalt has yet to make a decision leads me to believe that the Rangers are at least still players for the veteran right-hander.  We have provided our opinion already regarding Oswalt (here) and the impact his signing would have on the current pitching staff.  If this is part of a bigger plan, as many of speculated, Harrison should have strong value on the trade market.  Signing Oswalt, and dealing Harrison could lead to a improvement in center-field, the bullpen, or even more young talent to stock the minors with.  All that said, I’d still prefer to see Matt Harrison in my rotation this year as opposed to Roy Oswalt.
  • Rangers announced a whole mess of personnel moves yesterday.  Richard Durrett (ESPN.com) covers them here.
  • Nolan Ryan turned 65 years-old yesterday.  If Nolan isn’t already your homeboy, make it happen.
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Jan 302012
 
  • Monday Morning FastballsThe Rangers are scheduled to meet with Roy Oswalt today.  Friday, there were reports that Oswalt was close to accepting a deal from St. Louis, but it looks like the veteran right-hander wants to meet with the Rangers prior to making a final decision.
    There are arguments for both sides when it comes to the Rangers signing Oswalt (read Jasen’s here), but if he signs, it’s the dominoes that fall from there that are stirring debate.  If he does indeed sign with the Rangers, the question becomes who is out of the rotation (most talk is of Matt Harrison) and are they destined for the bullpen or a trade.
    I love the way Jamey Newberg summed it up, by writing “I’m not sure yet whether I want this supposed competition to turn out differently from the World Series, but I do feel pretty sure that if the Rangers are hoping to land the righthander, it’s likely part of a bigger plan that’s laid out on a whiteboard that none of us can see and perhaps that none of us have fully visualized.”
  • Matt Harrison fielded a question concerning his future in the rotation by saying, “My goal is to come in there and be the best I can be and make sure no matter what I give it everything I have in spring training.  It’s out of my hands whether or not they want to put me in the bullpen if they sign Roy or whatever happens from there.”
  • Monday Morning FastballsThe Negro Leagues Baseball Museum honored Ron Washington on Saturday night in Kansas City with the C.I. Taylor Award as the AL’s top manager, part of the museum’s Legacy Awards.
    Washington had this to say at the event, ”It means a lot.  It means our team did a great job. I read some of the history of the awards, and there’s quite a few great people who have won the award. I am honored.   I never doubted myself or needed any vindication.  Even in my first year, I knew it was just a matter of getting my coaches to coach and my players to play the game of baseball the way it’s supposed to be played.  There’s always other people around you that help you become successful. I am just fortunate that (general manager) Jon Daniels didn’t panic the first couple of years because, if he did, I probably wouldn’t find myself with this opportunity.”
    Jeff Wilson (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram) wrote a piece on Washington and the award here.
  • Nothing new in regards to contact talks with those that the Rangers are focused on, but Ian Kinsler had this to say regarding his situation, “The longer they wait, the more difficult it’s going to be.  It takes a lot of conversation and thinking on both sides. It’s not just a couple of phone calls and strike a deal, especially the second contract when they’re investing a lot more money.”
  • According to Bovada.com (formerly Bodog.com), the Rangers have 9/1 odds of winning the 2012 World Series.  From an odd’s perspective, that puts them in the top 5, behind or equal to the Phillies (11/2), the Angels (13/2), the Yankees (13/2), and the Tigers (also 9/1).
  • The Rangers have agreed to a minor-league contract, with an invitation to spring training, with outfielder Kyle Hudson.  Hudson has been in the Baltimore farm system since 2008, most notably contributing 119 stolen bases during his time there.
  • Christina Kahrl (ESPN’s Sweet Spot) wrote a good piece highlighting production by position, specifically looking at the “up the middle” positions (C, 2B, SS, CF).
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Jan 252012
 

BREAKING: Roy Oswalts Evil Plan to Slow Development of Rangers PitchingI know, harsh. Let me start this off by saying I really love Roy Oswalt. He is a workhorse. Always near the top of the league in innings pitched. He throws 93 mph and has one of the coolest named pitches in baseball, the “Vulcan change-up”.  He works a pitcher’s mound like a mad-man, the polar opposite of Joaquin Benoit. He’s a two-time 20 game winner with a career 3.21 ERA, a great teammate, and an all around nice guy. All that being said, I don’t want him. According to ESPN.com’s Richard Durrett the Rangers have shown some interest in signing Oswalt and he has reciprocated the interest in the Rangers.

Durrett notes: The Rangers have taken some chances on injured pitchers before, with the idea that it can be a low-risk, high-reward option.

I know the saying “You can never have enough pitching”. I was a Ranger fan during the 90′s and those days Juan Gonzalez was hitting 400 foot bombs to left field I would have killed for a Roy Oswalt on that team. These aren’t those Rangers.

This organization has built a perennial championship contender by drafting high ceiling talent and nurturing that with great coaching at all levels. They have built a stable of good young arms that are just now on the verge of making a leap into the big show. They also have three young guys that last year made up 3/5 of an AL Championship rotation. The addition of Neftali Feliz into the rotation ensures one of those guys will be moved back into a bullpen role. The addition of Roy Oswalt to this team would force another of those young, talented, and still developing starters back into the bullpen. Losing a year of development for a starter could be devastating both physically and mentally.  I know what you’re thinking. Oswalt is WAY better than Matt Harrison. Wrong.

Harrison – 30 GS 14-9 with a 3.39 ERA. 57 walks and 126 SOs.

Roy Oswalt – 23 GS 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA. 33 walks and 93 SOs.

I love Roy Oswalt. I love Matt Harrison and Derek Holland more. This isn’t the time to set those guys back in the spirit of signing a guy with a more recognizable name and more experience. This is the time to push those guys to be better than they ever have. Sorry Roy, we aren’t going to let you set back our boys.

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Jan 182012
 
  • Wednesday Morning Curves   Darvish Deadline DayIt’s Yu Deadline Day!  We’ll know by 4pm today if the Rangers and Darvish were able to reach an agreement.  Richard Durrett & David Schoenfield face off on ESPN’s Hot Button explaining why they feel the Rangers should sign (Durrett) or pass (Schoenfield).  That link also displays a Jim Bowden video that provides nothing new, but if you’re wanting to drown yourself in Yu Darvish today, give it a watch.
  • Tim Kirkjian feels that “one way or another, Yu Darvish is going to sign with the Rangers”, and that seems to be the general sentiment of much of the MLB Media.
  • David Murphy, Matt Harrison, Mark Lowe and Mike Adams reach deals with the Rangers to avoid arbitration yesterday.  This leaves Mike Napoli, Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus as the three remaining players that could go to arbitration if a deal is not reached.  T. R. Sullivan provides some more details on this matter here.
  • Would you want the Rangers to sign Prince Fielder, if it meant that they would not be able to resign Josh Hamilton after the 2012 season?  Jasen posted a good article last night examining the scenario, and Jean-Jacques Taylor sided with Hamilton in an article posted on ESPN Dallas this morning.  Decide for yourself, and leave a comment below.
  • Greg Maddux kicked-off his career as a Ranger yesterday getting up to speed with some of the minor-league pitching talent within the organization.  According to Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram, “While Greg Maddux will familiarize himself with the pitching prospects this week, one area that he will surely be involved with throughout spring training is the pitchers’ fielding technique.  The Rangers’ pitching staff combined for 16 errors last season, including four each by Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis and three by Derek Holland. Greg Maddux, on the other hand, won 18 Gold Gloves during his career, committing 53 errors over 23 seasons.”
  • Former Ranger Curtis Wilkerson is coming back to DFW.  This time as a manager, as he’ll oversee the Ft. Worth Cats in the 2012 season.
  • The Tigers took a serious shot to their line-up yesterday as news broke that Victor Martinez would likely be out for the 2012 season after tearing his ACL during off-season winter workouts.  Doesn’t seem likely the Tigers would jump in the Prince Fielder sweepstakes as Prince said he has no interest in being a full-time DH.
  • Cole Hamels and the Phillies reached a 1 year agreement yesterday ($15M) to avoid arbitration.  The Phillies are said to still be working on a long-term deal with the lefty.  If a deal is not reached, Hamels would surely be one of the top free agents next off-season.
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Dec 212011
 

Baseball Do Podcast Episode 43rd Base is up for discussion in our weekly off-season position roundup…yo Adrian (greatest pic from last year)!

Jasen and I spend some time talking about the Yu Darvish bid and the potential impact Darvish has on the Ranger’s rotation and bullpen.

And finally, Jasen and I rehash our traumatizing experiences with having to put beloved pets to sleep…forever.

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