Oct 182012
 
James Shields 2

With the emergence of Jurickson Profar, the Rangers may be in a position to improve the line-up or pitching staff via trade of Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler or Nelson Cruz (would require Kins to move to RF).  Expect rumors to run rampant this off-season and potentially into next season, primarily related to Andrus and Kinsler.

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes:

“Rays pitcher James Shields has a $9MM option for this year and will likely be unaffordable for the club after that.  It seems likely that Tampa Bay will finally bite the bullet and trade pitching to get the offense that they need.  One National League GM suggested that the Rangers would be a good partner as they could offer Elvis Andrusand someone else for Shields.  Some baseball officials also haven’t ruled out the Rays moving David Price to fill a couple of positions.”

Would you deal Elvis for Shields?  Would you up the ante if we’re talking about Price?

A few things to note:

  • Thursday Sound Off   Elvis for Shields?Elvis, 24, is currently under contract through 2014, making $4.8M in 2013 and $6.5M in 2014.
  • Shields, age 30, is under contract through 2014- both 2013 and 2014 are team options at $9M and $12M respectively.
  • Price, age 27, will be arbitration eligible, but isn’t eligible for free agency until 2016.  Won’t be cheap, but could be under control and would more than likely prefer to just work out a long-term deal rather than deal with arbitration over the next 3 off-seasons.
  • Ken Rosenthal (FOX Sports) believes it that to fetch Price, the Rangers would have to include Cody Buckel and Martin Perez.

A quick look at the numbers:

Elvis Andrus

Year Age Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2009 20 TEX 145 480 72 128 17 8 6 40 33 6 40 77 .267 .329 .373 .702
2010 21 TEX 148 588 88 156 15 3 0 35 32 15 64 96 .265 .342 .301 .643
2011 22 TEX 150 587 96 164 27 3 5 60 37 12 56 74 .279 .347 .361 .708
2012 23 TEX 158 629 85 180 31 9 3 62 21 10 57 96 .286 .349 .378 .727
4 Yrs 601 2284 341 628 90 23 14 197 123 43 217 343 .275 .342 .353 .695
162 Game Avg. 162 616 92 169 24 6 4 53 33 12 58 92 .275 .342 .353 .695
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/18/2012.

James Shields

Year Age Tm W L ERA GS CG SHO IP ER HR SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2002 Did not play in major leagues (Injured)
2006 24 TBD 6 8 4.84 21 1 0 124.2 67 18 104 1.436 2.7 7.5 2.74
2007 25 TBD 12 8 3.85 31 1 0 215.0 92 28 184 1.107 1.5 7.7 5.11
2008 26 TBR 14 8 3.56 33 3 2 215.0 85 24 160 1.153 1.7 6.7 4.00
2009 27 TBR 11 12 4.14 33 0 0 219.2 101 29 167 1.325 2.1 6.8 3.21
2010 28 TBR 13 15 5.18 33 0 0 203.1 117 34 187 1.461 2.3 8.3 3.67
2011 29 TBR 16 12 2.82 33 11 4 249.1 78 26 225 1.043 2.3 8.1 3.46
2012 30 TBR 15 10 3.52 33 3 2 227.2 89 25 223 1.168 2.3 8.8 3.84
7 Yrs 87 73 3.89 217 19 8 1454.2 629 184 1250 1.223 2.1 7.7 3.68
162 Game Avg. 14 11 3.89 34 3 1 227 98 29 195 1.223 2.1 7.7 3.68
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/18/2012.

David Price

Year Age Tm W L ERA GS CG SHO IP ER HR SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2008 22 TBR 0 0 1.93 1 0 0 14.0 3 1 12 0.929 2.6 7.7 3.00
2009 23 TBR 10 7 4.42 23 0 0 128.1 63 17 102 1.348 3.8 7.2 1.89
2010 24 TBR 19 6 2.72 31 2 1 208.2 63 15 188 1.193 3.4 8.1 2.38
2011 25 TBR 12 13 3.49 34 0 0 224.1 87 22 218 1.137 2.5 8.7 3.46
2012 26 TBR 20 5 2.56 31 2 1 211.0 60 16 205 1.100 2.5 8.7 3.47
5 Yrs 61 31 3.16 120 4 2 786.1 276 71 725 1.173 3.0 8.3 2.80
162 Game Avg. 17 9 3.16 33 1 1 218 77 20 201 1.173 3.0 8.3 2.80
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/18/2012.

 So, what do you think?  Would you swap Elvis for Shields and hand over full-time SS responsibilities to Profar?  Would you up the ante (Buckel & Perez) along with Elvis if you could get David Price in return?

Vote on the poll and sound off in the comments section!

Elvis is being mentioned as a potential trade chip to Tampa for pitching. What would you do?
Not interested in dealing Elvis
Deal Elvis for Shields
Deal Elvis+ (Buckel & Perez) for Price
View Result
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Aug 292012
 
Harri

Matt Harrison and Rangers go for Sweep of RaysNot that the Texas Rangers are taking tonight’s series-ender lightly, but it is easy to look ahead to their upcoming road trip to Cleveland after Yu Darvish’s dominating performance last night. Nothing like a thrilling, 1-0 win against a very good A.L. East team to get the confidence levels soaring…

Here’s a look at tonight’s lineup, as the Rangers bid adieu to their postseason rivals.

Tampa Bay Rays (70-59)

Matt Harrison and Rangers go for Sweep of Rays

Wait a minute, that’s not my cap…Longoria has raked against Harri over his career, with 7 RBI.


LF Desmond Jennings
CF B.J. Upton
SS Ben Zobrist
DH Evan Longoria
1B Jeff Keppinger
2B Ryan Roberts
3B Elliot Johnson
C Jose Molina
RF Sam Fuld

VS.

LHP Matt Harrison (15-7, 3.04 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 5.4 K/9, 2.6 BB/9)

Harrison has quietly and efficiently been the Rangers’ most reliable starter all season long. Simply put, the 6’4″ left-hander has continued to build on his success from a season ago and is paving the way to true “ace-dom.”

At home this season, Harrison has been sharp. He’s 5-3 with a 3.02 ERA. Although right-handers have touched him up with 11 home runs and a slash line of: .269/.328/.417, left-handers are practically out before they ever step into the batter’s box: .186/.216/.261 with just two long balls.

Harrison will be looking for a measure of atonement tonight as the Rays roughed him up in his only start against them this season. It was back on April 27, and Harri lasted just five innings and was blasted for 14 hits while surrendering six earned runs.

Texas Rangers (77-52)

Matt Harrison and Rangers go for Sweep of Rays

Kinsler provided all of the offense the Rangers would need last night, thanks to his fourth inning solo home run.


DH Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
CF Josh Hamilton
3B Adrian Beltre
RF Nelson Cruz
2B Michael Young
LF David Murphy
1B Mitch Moreland
C Luis Martinez

VS.

RHP Alex Cobb (8-8, 4.32 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 6.7 K/9, 2.5 BB/9)

Cobb, a Boston, Massachusetts native, is coming off of the best start of his young career. Last week in Oakland, he pitched the first complete game as he blanked the Athletics with eight strikeouts while allowing just two hits and two walks over nine innings.

The 6′ 2″ right-hander was bombed in his previous start against the Angels, surrendering eight earned runs on a whopping 14 hits.

Tonight will be the first time that Cobb has faced the Rangers since last season. He’s 4-3 with a 5.26 ERA on the road and has held the Rangers to a triple-slash line of: .176/.263/.176 in his career.

Right-handers hit him to the tune of: .295/.337/.410 with three home runs, and left-handers go: .253/.319/.371, also with three home runs.

Ian Kinsler and the red-hot Adrian Beltre have had the most success against Cobb, as they have driven in two and have a combined batting average of .333.

Notes:

• This is the second straight start that Matt Harrison will throw to Luis Martinez. Ron Washington has shown a lot of faith in Martinez’s ability to call a quality game.

• Michael Young gets the start at second base for the first time since August 2, against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

• The A.L. West is currently the only division in Major League Baseball where all teams have a positive run differential. Thus, the argument can be made that it is the strongest division in baseball. This is just another way to celebrate the greatness that is the Texas Rangers.

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Aug 282012
 
Texas Rangers v Toronto Blue Jays

Texas Rangers Roy Oswalt Clears Waivers and Yu Darvish Returns...So, Roy Oswalt has cleared waivers. Did he pass like a ship in the night, or did he fall like a tree in an abandoned forest?

Does anyone care? Should we care?

You’d think the feeling of his passing would be a relief since his stay here in Arlington has been a tumultuous one, about as comfortable as a kidney stone.

There are some teams rumored to be interested in a trade for ‘ole Roy. Naturally, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in the mix.

The Dodgers have become the MLB equivalent of your crazy grandmother. Yeah, the one with the $15K credit card limit that orders every magazine known to man, only to let each issue stack up throughout her house. Eventually, the unread magazines form false walls constructed from Cat Fancy and Redbook rather than plywood and drywall as Gam Gam’s house becomes a labyrinthine layer not even David Bowie would dare enter.

The Roy Oswalt saga can continue until this Friday at 11:00 PM (ET), when the trade deadline comes to an absolute close…in the meantime, on to more important matters.

Here’s a look at tonight’s starting lineups:

Tampa Bay Rays (70-58)

Texas Rangers Roy Oswalt Clears Waivers and Yu Darvish Returns...

Jennings was 2-for-4 in last night’s game.


LF Desmond Jennings
CF B.J. Upton
RF Matt Joyce
3B Evan Longoria
SS Ben Zobrist
DH Luke Scott
1B Carlos Pena
2B Ryan Roberts
C Jose Lobaton

VS

RHP Yu Darvish (12-9, 4.51 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 10.5 K/9, 4.9 BB/9)

Tonight marks the return of The Yu. Darvish is making his first start since August 17, as he was scratched from his last start due to a tight quad…or, perhaps, just because he felt sorry for Roy Oswalt and decided to let him start to boost his spirits.

In Darvish’s last start, he took the loss despite allowing just three hits, one walk, and three earned runs. He finished up striking out 10 over his seven innings of work.

The Tampa Bay Rays will pose a unique challenge for Darvish, as the Rays lead the American League in walks, with 451, trailing only the Atlanta Braves (454) for the major league lead.

Clearly, Darvish’s success is often predicated by how much he can control the strike zone (or find it with consistency.) If he walks too many Rays, it could be a long night and a short outing for The Yu.

However, on the flip side, the Rays tend to walk due to dire necessity. In other words, they take the free pass because they can do little else with a pitched ball. As a team, they are batting just .236. If Darvish’s stuff is present—as it usually is, he might be able to get the Rays to swing at offerings off of the plate. The key for him will be to attack the zone early and often.

This will be the first time that Darvish has faced the Tampa Bay Rays. At home this season, Darvish is 8-2 with a 4.50 ERA.

Texas Rangers (76-52)

Texas Rangers Roy Oswalt Clears Waivers and Yu Darvish Returns...

Elvis has destroyed Shields in his career, posting a triple-slash line of: .571/.609/.857.


2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
CF Josh Hamilton
3B Adrian Beltre
RF Nelson Cruz
DH Michael Young
LF David Murphy
C Geovany Soto
1B Mitch Moreland

VS

RHP James Shields (12-7, 4.01 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 8.6 K/9, 2.4 BB/9)

On the hill for the Rays tonight, it’s “Big Game James,” a nickname I’m fairly certain James Shields made up for himself. I’m not saying this to be cruel, but it’s just that most of Shields’ “big games” have come against the Texas Rangers, and they haven’t gone so well for him. Unless of course, his moniker means “Big Game” for the Texas Rangers’ bats…

Against Texas during the 2010 and 2011 American League Division, Shields is 0-2 with a 10.61 ERA with eight strikeouts. But, hey, in those two starts he didn’t walk anybody!

The Rangers have hit .257 against Shields over his career with eight home runs—six of which were hit by Kinsler, Young and Hamilton. Over his career, Shields is 3-2 with a 4.11 ERA at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (during the regular season.)

Texas Rangers Roy Oswalt Clears Waivers and Yu Darvish Returns...

“You have thirteen hours to solve the labyrinth…in the meantime, can you pass me that copy of Cat Fancy?”

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Aug 272012
 
Craig Gentry, rocketman.

Rangers Offense Keeps on Rolling as Texas Takes Second straight Series

Craig Gentry, rocketman.

The Minnesota Twins are gone, but they won’t be forgotten. And for the most part, their four game stay at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington will be remembered fondly.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights from that four-game set…

Adrian Beltre can carry a team

• Adrian Beltre was 7-for-9 (.777) in the first two games of the Twins series. He went 3-for-5 with one homer in game 1 (not a bad encore after the previous night’s three home run effort against Baltimore.) Game 2 saw Beltre notch the second cycle of his career, as he went 4-for-4 with three RBI.

• When Beltre heats up he’s more than capable of setting the tone for the Rangers’ offense or carrying the team on his own.

• It will be fun to see how Beltre handles the Tampa Bay Rays this week. Beltre hit three home runs in game 4 of the 2011 ALDS against the Rays.

Rangers Offense Keeps on Rolling as Texas Takes Second straight Series

Beltre gets a well-deserved hug from Mike Napoli.


Throwing at Josh Hamilton’s Cabeza is highly frowned upon…

• Yep, we learned this in the series’ opening game. Starting pitcher Scott Diamond retaliated for a Roy Oswalt beanball by letting one loose in the general vicinity of Hambone’s head.

• Even though Oswalt had not been warned, and no brawl ensued, Diamond was treated to a six-game suspension courtesy of Major League Baseball.

• Head-hunting aside, Hamilton had one heck of a series against the Twins. All told, he hit .438 with 9 RBI and hit his 35th home run of the year during yesterday’s finale.

White Men can jump, and Craig Gentry is proof

• With one out and one on in the top of the ninth inning, Craig Gentry perfectly played a deep blast off of the bat of Joe Mauer. #KittenFace deftly judged the arc of the ball before cat-apulting over the centerfield wall, landing on top of the Captain Morgan Club’s roof, robbing Mauer of what would have been the first ball ever hit onto Randol Mill Road. All in all, it was pretty sweet.

Koji Uehara still sucks

• Sunday’s finale saw the return of right-handed relief specialist Koji Uehara—whose true specialty is serving up the long ball. It’s good to see that after a two month layoff, Uehara can still get rocked with the best of them.

• Had it not been for the aforementioned trampoline-like leap of Craig Gentry, Uehara would have served up a two-run bomb to Minnesota’s Joe Mauer. This, of course, would have surprised absolutely no one.

• Can we please get Tanner Scheppers back up here to replace Koji? Sure I know he’s susceptible to the long ball as well, but at least his heater can actually break a pane of glass.

Mitch Moreland, one strong son of a gun
Rangers Offense Keeps on Rolling as Texas Takes Second straight Series
• In the second inning of the third game of the Minnesota series, Mitch Moreland crushed a Brian Duensing pitch into the right field upper deck. The three-run shot was measured at 463 feet, making it the third-longest bomb ever hit in the 19-year history of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

• Not only was the bomb historic in length, it is also notable in that it came off of a left-handed pitcher, only the third time this season and the fourth time in his career that Moreland has gone deep off of a port-sider.

Up Next:

The Tampa Bay Rays, currently in second place in the A.L. East, come to Arlington for a three-game series.

On the hill for the Rangers will be LHP Derek Holland (8-6, 4.92 ERA). Left-handed ace, David Price (16-4, 2.28 ERA), is on the bump for Tampa Bay. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 (CST).

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