Jul 312012
 
soto copy

UPDATE Soto will now be joined with former battery mate, Ryan Dempster. Dempster, snatched away from the Yankees by Rangers GM Jon Daniels moments before the deadline’s time limit, has a 1.55 ERA with Soto catching. The Rangers traded away two Single-A prospects—INF Christian Villanueva and RHP Kyle Hendricks. As long as you kept your receipt on your Geovany Soto jersey, you should be able to get your money back.

Geovany Soto: A Rangers Trade that truly Baffles, Unless...UPDATE: Dempster in the Hizzy

“Your beard is no match for mine, Mark Harmon…even when I’m clean shaven. Besides? Can you hit big league pitching 19% of the time?! I thought not!!!”

So, the Texas Rangers have acquired catcher Geovany Soto and an unspecified amount of cash from the Chicago Cubs for pitching prospect Jacob Brigham.

Since Yorvit Torrealba has been designated for assignment, it is presumed that Soto will function as the backup catcher.

The unspecified cash will most likely be used immediately to get really, really drunk. Because that’s what you do after getting shellacked 15-8 by the Angels.

I suppose it’s time we get to know the man named Soto.

Yorvit Torrealba vs. Geovany Soto

• Wow. Yeah, if UFC had fighters of this caliber, they’d have folded years ago.

• Soto has more pop. Torrealba has more slap. This isn’t Soto’s fault. When you spend this much time manicuring your beard, you don’t want to get punched in the crumb catcher.

• Soto, while flailing about aimlessly in the batter’s box, is more likely to doink one out. Torrealba will kick an umpire’s ass.

• Seriously, have you ever seen a player talk smack to the umpire after a swinging strike call?

Potential Derisive Nicknames and/or drunken proclamations to scream or chant (at your own risk)

Geovany Soto: A Rangers Trade that truly Baffles, Unless...UPDATE: Dempster in the Hizzy

“Hello Ranger Nation, I’m television’s ‘Geovany Soto.’ And I’d like to show you how big boys groom themselves.”


• Yes, Yorvit’s peculiar first name and its rhyming qualities will be missed. Pronounced “Yore-veet,”
“Tore-E-Habla” every time he did something dumb—like get himself crossed up on a fastball he called for—the keen drunken fan could easily proclaim:
“Yep! More sheet from Horri-ablah!” However, you must be careful, as Yorvit will climb into the stands Ty Cobb-style and kick your ass. He’ll also drink your beer, and eat your nachos while staring awkwardly at your significant other. He could pull this off because nobody on the field even noticed he was gone.

• Aside from the basic “Hey Geovany, where’s the rest of the boy band?” There is very little in his actual name that lends itself well to drunken exclamations, but I’m going to try anyways.

Geovany So-So

• Tidily sums up his career as well as capturing (rather optimistically) the level of excitement his arrival brings to Arlington.

Geovany So-terrific!

• Should Soto go completely nuts a la Napoli last season—yeah right—there will be no shortage of tee shirts with this moniker.

Geovany So—god **** awful, is tha* th* best yo* got *or us Jon eff*** Daniel*—Terrible

• Only rolls off the tongue well after beer number 18.

Top-notch facial hair

Geovany Soto: A Rangers Trade that truly Baffles, Unless...UPDATE: Dempster in the Hizzy

Oh c’mon, we all used to have this poster.

• Soto’s pristine fur-camouflage is clearly 80-grade. Normally, a beard of this quality comes with an angelic singing voice, skinny pants, and at least four other pre-pubescent 30-year-old dudes that provide background dancing, during performances at the Golden Triangle Mall.

• Okay, that’s a little mean-spirited on my part. I should never make fun of the Golden Triangle Mall.

• I do foresee a potential relationship between Soto’s beard and Koji’s sideburns. Really, that’d be quite beautiful. The unruly ‘burns from the wrong side of the tracks; Japanese-tough, no doubt. Soto’s chin strap and mini-stache, making eyes at that fluffy goodness from the get go…

Geovany Soto: A Rangers Trade that truly Baffles, Unless...UPDATE: Dempster in the Hizzy

Those bad boys mean business.


It’s a baffling trade, unless…

• Yeah, all kidding aside, I’m truly baffled why we move one subpar backup catcher for another. Sure, Soto is four years younger, but a .195 batting average is exactly that. Unless…

Maybe, just maybe, the Soto move is a precursor to bringing in Matt Garza or Ryan Dempster. And if that was the case, it makes a lot more sense.

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May 272012
 

Yu Darvish and Texas Rangers Seek Sweep of Struggling Blue BirdsThe Texas Rangers (29-18) have already locked-in the series win over the Toronto Blue Jays (24-23) regardless of this afternoon’s outcome.

The previous two games have already cured much of what has ailed Rangers Nation. You’ve got the dominant start from Derek Holland, a day of domination from Nelson Cruz, and a Hami homer of normal proportion.

Then, of course, the walk-off Hami homer; the type best told over a roaring campfire; a 400-foot cautionary tale to any pitcher who dares throw a strike in Hamilton’s legendary wheelhouse.

Then, the back-to-back-to-back long ball attack from the 7-8-9 hole hitters. And, lastly, a collective Rangers offensive assault that has averaged 11.5 runs per game in thus far in the Jays series, when it had averaged less than 4 runs per game the prior 10!

How could things get any better?

A sweep.

What could be better than sending the “oots” back north of the border with the wrong end of a broom crammed in their blue bird bootays?

And who better to complete the task than Yu Darvish…

Yu Darivsh (6-2, 3.05 ERA 1.41 WHIP, 10.1 K/9

This will be the second time Darvish has faced the Blue Jays.

He was outstanding against the Jays last month in Toronto as he pitched 7 innings, striking out 9 while surrendering just four hits around two walks. The Rangers won 4-1.

Darvish’s last start was the worst of his major league career. In his second tour of duty against the lowly Mariners, he lasted just 4 innings, while walking 6 to see his ERA swell from 2.60 to 3.05.

Darvish’s electric was stuff was there, his fastball command was not.

In his initial start against the Jays, only Edward Encarnacion managed more than one hit off of him. Encarnacion was 2-for-2 with a solo home run. Colby Rasmus and Eric Thames were both 1-for-3 off of The Yu, while the rest of the team went 0-14 with 7 Ks.

Kyle Drabek (4-4, 3.27 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 7.1 K/9

Drabek, once again, has the dubious task of matching up against The Yu. Drabek took the loss last time. He didn’t pitch poorly; as he scattered 5 hits over his 6 innings of work, walking two and striking out 8.

Drabek, like Darvish, flashes excellent pure stuff but gets into trouble when his command isn’t sharp. This is evident in his last start against Tampa Bay, when he went 6 innings, walked 6 but surrendered just 3 hits.

Elvis Andrus is 3-for-6 versus Drabek lifetime, and Adrian Beltre has touched him up to the tune of a .333 batting average.

Yorvit Torrealba has only one hit against Drabek over his career, but it was long ball, and Torrealbahas hit two home runs in his last two games…should be an interesting matchup.

The Rangers can complete the sweep if:

They continue to strike fast and furiously. Yesterday it was all Rangers in the first inning once again as they pounced on Henderson Alvarez for two quick runs.

They need to capitalize on Drabek’s tendency to go deep in counts by getting on base anyway possible. If they can do that, and the offense stays hot, the Rangers can pull of the sweep.

Prediction time:

The most important thing for Kyle Drabek to do today is go deep in the game; if the beleaguered Blue Jays bullpen has to be summoned too soon, we may just see backup catcher Jeff Mathis on the hill again.

And that would be fine with me.

I think The Yu is going to be sharp in the summer-like heat and will go six innings with 7 Ks to earn the win while seeing his ERA dip back into the twos where it belongs.

Rangers win 6-2.

Go Rangers!

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May 272012
 

Texas Rangers Bruise the Jays Blue on Hamiltons Walk off Home Run Sometimes, even without RISP, there can be a reward.

After going 2-for-16 (.125) with runners in scoring position, while leaving as many runners on base as innings played (13); and then failing to plate the winning run after getting it on base with the leadoff batter in four consecutive innings

The Texas Rangers—thanks to Josh Hamilton—weren’t going to let this 13-inning affair end with a loss. And just like that Hamilton hit his 20th home run, and his third career walk-off home run.

You know, Josh, you’re spoiling the hell out of us Rangers fans. But, hey, after that whole “1972—2009″ stretch of Rangers’ mediocrity—with a few one-and-done playoff teams sprinkled in—we deserve a little pampering.

Aside from the obvious Hambone-heroics here’s a glance at some other highlights from, literally, the longest Texas Rangers game of the year:

• With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, and the Rangers trailing 4-2, Nelson Cruz, Yorvit Torrealba and Mitch Moreland (the 7, 8, and 9-hole hitters) each hit solo home runs to give the Rangers a 5-4 lead…

• Mitch Moreland is now hitting above .300 for the first time this season…his home run was his fourth in the last 10 games, and he is hitting .458, with 8 RBI over that span.

Nelson Cruz has hit as many homeruns (2) in the last two games as he had in the entire month of April.

• The Texas Rangers are now at their high-water mark, 11 games above .500, for the first time since May 13th.

•The Rangers are 3-1 in extra innings this season.

The Texas Rangers will go for the sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays this afternoon, with the first pitch scheduled for 2:05 PM .

Yu Darvish (6-2, 3.05 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 10.1 K/9) will oppose Kyle Drabek (4-4, 3.27 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 7.1 K/9).

Make sure to check back here for the pregame preview a la BaseballDo, foo!

Go Rangers!

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Mar 192012
 

Monday Morning Fastballs   Darvish Day III & St. Patricks Day Ticket WinnersThe Rangers fell to the Cubs yesterday in a split-squad Spring Training game, but the real story was the performance of Matt Harrison, who in five innings allowed one hit and one run with a walk and five strikeouts.

  • Harrison on the outing, ”So far, so good.  Hopefully, I can keep doing the same thing: pounding the strike zone and making quality pitches. I want to make them swing the bats because good stuff happens when they do that.”
  • Manager Ron Washington on the effectiveness of Harrison’s changeup, ”I’ve always thought that was his second-best pitch.  He worked on it the second half of last season, and he came into spring training, and he’s continued to work on it and it’s gotten better.”
  • Two of Harrison’s strikeouts came on changeups, which is an encouraging sign from the young starter.
  • Jean-Jacques Taylor discusses how the Rangers rotation is starting to take shape.
  • Ron Washington said a few weeks ago that he was going to split Harrison and Holland up in the rotation, which makes perfect sense.  To me, I’ve though the debate was whether they would fall in the second and fourth spots of the rotation or the third and fifth, with Darvish and Feliz taking the other two spots.  After the strong performances from Holland this Spring, I think it’s clear the order looks like this:
  1. Colby Lewis
  2. Derek Holland
  3. Yu Darvish
  4. Matt Harrison
  5. Neftali Feliz
  • Washington on Holland and Harrison expectations, “I don’t want them having 18 or 20 wins on their mind.  If they set out to do what they did last year, they’ll surpass it without even trying. If they repeat the number of wins they had last year, that’s good enough for me – anything else is failure. I don’t want them going backward.”

Quick hits:

  • C.J. Wilson is an idiot.
  • The Rangers have partnered with the Japanese social media company gloops.  The partnership will include a gloops exclusive Japanese backdrop during press conferences, a fixed sign behind home plate at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and signs around Surprise Stadium for the rest of spring training.
  • Monday Morning Fastballs   Darvish Day III & St. Patricks Day Ticket WinnersDavid Murphy and Brad Hawpe each went yard in the other split-squad game yesterday, before the game was called short in the 4th inning due to rain.
  • Torrealba was removed from the line-up due to stiffness in his back.  He did get some batting practice in, so it looks like his removal was precautionary.
  • Craig Gentry returned yesterday from his wrist injury that he sustained last week.  He went 0 for 2.
  • Prospect Robbie Ross, who is fighting for the bullpen role, started the game against the Brewers yesterday and didn’t fare well, giving up 4 runs on 5 hits across 2 1/3 innings.
  • Bullpen coach Andy Hawkins on Ross’ outing,  ”He was aggressive, went right after these guys.  He just didn’t have the command that he had earlier in camp. I liked his approach and liked his attitude. He has a good head on his shoulders.  He recognized those guys at the plate today, but he didn’t back off from them. He came right at them. I didn’t see any intimidation, and I didn’t see any fear. He just didn’t quite have the command, or otherwise he would have had a pretty good time out there.”
  • Good article from T.R. Sullivan (MLB.com) on Johan Yan, who the Rangers are hoping to convert from a poor hitting fielder to a strong armed relief pitcher, just as they did Alexi Ogando.  Another current Ranger who made a similar conversion was Joe Nathan, who was originally drafted as a shortstop by the Giants.

Darvish Day III:

  • Yu Darvish will be on the mound and Mike Napoli will be catching today when the Rangers play the Brewers.  The game will be live on MLB.TV, at 3:05 p.m.  Darvish is making his third start and will be looking to throw 60 pitches across four innings.  Napoli, who has been dealing with a strained groin muscle, will be back behind the plate for the first time since March 8.
  • Monday Morning Fastballs   Darvish Day III & St. Patricks Day Ticket WinnersDarvish reportedly generated more than $250 million of advertising revenue in January alone.
  • Pitching coach Mike Maddux on Darvish (from Ben & Skin, 103.3FM ESPN), “So far we’ve got five innings to go on. In those five innings, we had some ups, and we had some downs. We had more ups especially the ball being up and down. It’s just something we need to continue to grind at. We’re going to work today and really get that ball going down. He showed us some good breaking stuff, and that’s kind of bailed him out since his fastball command has been erratic. He’s a confident young man. He only knows success. You look at his track record in the Japanese league, and he was dominating. His expectations are to go out there and dominate, but it’s a little different game over here. There is a more concentration of talent so he has to grind it out, and I think he’s learning that.”
  • Maddux on overcoming the language barrier with Yu, “It’s somewhere between broken English, broken Spanish and broken Japanese. Some how, we got it all on the same page. The good news with baseball is that it’s an international language. Whether you’re in Tokyo or Arlington, Texas, it’s fastball, curveball, cutter, slider, change. It’s a strike and a ball. Some of the phrases are universal. There are some phrases that everybody knows whether they be in English or in Japanese or in Spanish. You kind of use those bullet phrases, and we all get on the same page. We’re able to get the communication bridged. When we come to the dugout, we really start getting the communication bridged when we employ the translators.”
  • Darvish’s younger brother, Sho Darvish, was sentenced to a one-year prison term for assaulting a female friend. According to the Japan Times, Sho repeatedly slapped the woman in the face and tried to choke her. The attack reportedly resulted from Sho’s anger over her association with some of her friends.

St. Patrick’s Day Rangers Tickets Giveaway Winner

  • Thanks to all those that participated!  The winner of the tickets is rauch5s.  We’ll get in touch with the winner and get the tickets out in the mail this week.  Stay tuned for more giveaways throughout the season!
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Feb 142012
 

2012 American League West by Position (Part 3)Be sure to check out Round 1 (IF and C) and Round 2 (OF & DH) of the 2012 American League West Position Rankings if you missed them.

Score at the end of Round 2:

  1. Rangers: 35
  2. Angels: 31
  3. Athletics: 15
  4. Mariners: 14

We’ll be ranking the benches and the managers for each of the AL West squads in this round, which will be handled a little differently from how we have handled the individual positions so far.

Bench

For benches, we are looking at the quality, depth and flexibility and we’ll have one rankings for the entire team.  While the bench for a team, in it’s entirety, may not play the equivalent of a full 9 innings every game, I feel that it’s still more valuable than just one player.  Given the flexibility and strategic advantage that a strong bench can provide to a team, we are going to double the points awarded in this section.

  1. 2012 American League West by Position (Part 3)Kendry Morales/Mark Trumbo, Bobby Abreu, Cesar Izturis, Hank Conger, Mike Trout/Peter Bourjos – LAA
  2. Craig Gentry/Julio Borbon/Leonys Martin, David Murphy, Yorvit Torrealba, Brad Hawpe – TEX
  3. Mike Carp, Alex Liddi, Adam Moore, Casper Wells, Michael Saunders – SEA
  4. Daric Barton, Eric Sogard, Chris Carter, Kila Ka’aihue, Collin Cowgill – OAK

This is a close one as both the Angels and Rangers have some flexibility with their bench and some starts, but the Angels take the pole here as they have the best two quality players overall in whoever isn’t starting at DH between and Morales and Trumbo and whoever isn’t starting in CF between Trout and Bourjos.

2012 American League West by Position (Part 3)The Rangers have flexibilty with their starters at every infield position (Young & Napoli in mix with starters), CF and DH (Napoli and others with Younger considered starter) which amplifies the role that the bench players can play on a day-to-day basis.  They clearly outpace the Mariners and Athletics, but fall short of the Angels primarily based on the quality of the players that would make the most impact off of the bench more often.

Manager

Similar to the bench, I feel like the manager rankings have to account for more than just the equivalent of one starter.  Considering the impact that the manager can have on every game, we will be doubling the scoring in this section as well.

  1. 2012 American League West by Position (Part 3)Ron Washington, TEX
  2. Mike Scioscia, LAA
  3. Eric Wedge, SEA
  4. Bob Melvin, OAK
It’s hard to go against managing a World Series winner (Scioscia in 2002) and twice being named the American League Manager of the Year (Scioscia in 2002 & 2009), but when looking forward to 2012, Ron Washington is the best Manager in the American League West.  Washington has managed his team to the World Series in both the last two seasons and finished in the top three of AL Manager of the Year voting over the last three seasons.

In 2012, both managers go into the season with an increased level of expectations and some new stars/phenoms to work with – Pujols & C.J. in LA and Darvish in TEX.  The ranking comes down to who’s hotter as of late and Washington get’s the nod.  That said, Scioscia is an excellent manager that knows how to use his players to maximize productivity and performance.  There isn’t another division in baseball that has two better managers than Wash and Scioscia.

Score at the end of Round 3:

  1. Rangers: 35 from first two rounds + 8 + 10 = 53
  2. Angels: 31 from first two rounds + 10 + 8 = 49
  3. Mariners: 14 from first two rounds + 6 + 6 = 26
  4. Athletics: 14 from first two rounds + 4 + 4 = 22

Round 4 will cover all facets of pitching (starting rotation, relief and closer) and will be posted by this weekend.  At that time, we’ll crown the winner of the American League West in 2012 and notify commissioner Selig that playing the games won’t be necessary this year.  You picking up what I’m laying down here…my point exactly.

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Jan 032012
 

Episode 5   Catching up after Christmas, Torrealbas right hook and Oliver heading north...Maybe Yorvit was just wishing this umpire Happy New Year?

Episode 5 holds the secrets to what’s in store in 2012 for Baseball Do (psst…it’s not really a secret, just more of the same).

Jasen shares some of his favorite Christmas family traditions and we discuss the loss of Darren Oliver and the punishment of Yorvit Torrealba.

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Dec 022011
 

Episode 1 is finally here…

Jasen and I discuss the foundation of “Baseball do”, the acquisition of Joe Nathan and the catcher position for the Rangers.

We’ll be highlighting a different position each week during the off-season, with 1B on deck in Episode 2.

We’d love to hear  your comments, and remember, everyone deserves a second chance.

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