Archive for the ‘Texas Rangers’ Category

As relayed in the link dump this morning, the Rangers relented on their original “plan” to move Ian Kinsler to first base in an attempt to make room for super prospect Jurickson Profar. Rangers GM Jon Daniels instead believes Profar will start the season in the minor leagues, keeping Kinsler at second base and giving Mitch Moreland a chance to earn more playing time at first.

The decision to keep Kinsler at second base also suggests Mike Olt will start the year in the minor leagues. Decisions like these are tough but make the Rangers the envy of many GMs around the league. Too much talent is never a bad thing, but how do the “win now” Rangers arrange their infield to get the most of their copious talent?

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Despite being something of an outspoken critic of the American League and its style of play, it seems Lance Berkman is less critical of doing what it takes to continue living in the swanky style to which he became accustomed.

Though he made some retirement noise this off-season, the Rangers ponied up the required dough to get Lance Berkman back on the field, reportedly reaching a one-year deal with the former Astro, Yankee, and Cardinal for $10 million, with a vesting option based on plate appearances for 2014.

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A sadish day for Blue Jays fans as the club’s all-time leader in appearances, Jason Frasor, agrees to terms on a one-year contract with the Texas Rangers. While Frasor is no Koji Uehara or Mike Adams, he is still a decent depth addition to an already deep bullpen.

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As exciting as Jeff Keppinger signing for three years is, there are rumblings coming from Nashville about a potential three or even four team blockbuster trade. Many moving pieces but Jon Heyman speculates that Arizona, Cleveland, Texas, and perhaps Tampa Bay are in deep discussions regarding some big names.

The latest from Heyman on twitter has Justin Upton going to Texas, Asdrubal Cabrera going to Arizona, Rangers prospect Martin Perez and more headed to Cleveland. Other (likely baseless) iterations of the same trade feature names like Trevor Bauer headed to the Rays with James Shields moving, possibly to Texas. Wow.

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It was just two short weeks ago that, based on a report from ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes, a David Ortiz contract extension seemed as good as done. Only the terms remained undecided as both parties clearly wanted to ink a two-year deal.

Then, it seemed, talks broke down. Reports of Ortiz opting to test the market trickled out when it look like the Red Sox and Ortiz were not nearly so close to a deal. The Rangers seems a logical fit and, viola, out come the reports of serious interest via good old Ken Rosenrosen.

But who are we kidding – David Ortiz isn’t going anywhere.

Update: Not going anywhere because he just signed a two-year, $26 million dollar deal to stay in Boston. Just as we all suspected!

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When Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter announced that his starter for tonight’s all-or-nothing game against the Texas Rangers was going to be Joe Saunders, people like me, who enjoy such recreational activities as imagining themselves to be smarter than they truly are, pointed things like this out:

This season, righty-hitters have put up a dangerous .349 OBP/.500 SLG/.359 wOBA against Saunders. To put this in perspective based on his numbers, he makes the average right-handed batter look like Albert Pujols (this season). In fact, Saunders has given up 21 home runs this season, all against bats on his right side. This should all be of interest because the Rangers lineup is sort of, kind of EXTREMELY right-handed-heavy, with only two regulars bothering to bat from the left side.

So, rather obviously, Rangers manager Ron Washington put together a lineup that looked like this:

  1. 2B Ian Kinsler, RHB
  2. SS Elvis Andrus, RHB
  3. LF Josh Hamilton, LHB
  4. 3B Adrian Beltre, RHB
  5. RF Nelson Cruz, RHB
  6. 1B Michael Young, RHB
  7. DH Mike Napoli, RHB
  8. C Geovany Soto, RHB
  9. CF Craig Gentry, RHB

The thing is, this is the Wild Card play-in game, and as such, rosters are set for a single game, which allowed Showalter to go with a bullpen that looked like this:

  • Jake Arrieta, RHP
  • Luis Ayala, RHP
  • Zach Britton, LHP
  • Tommy Hunter, RHP
  • Jim Johnson, RHP
  • Steve Johnson, RHP
  • Brian Matusz, LHP
  • Darren O’Day, RHP
  • Troy Patton, LHP
  • Pedro Strop, RHP

In other words, he had more than enough artillery to not only cover for Saunders, but also use favorable pitcher/batter match ups as soon as he wished. If Washington responded to such manipulations, he’d end up burning out his bench long before he’d likely desire. If he didn’t respond, Showalter would be able to set up the matches he prefers for the majority of the game.

However, this is baseball. And if there’s one recurring lesson from this game, it’s that you can’t predict it. The Orioles ended up getting an incredibly heroic outing from Saunders, who pitched into the sixth inning and kept the powerful Rangers lineup to a single run, as the Baltimore Orioles went on to win the game 5-1 and effectively end the Texas Rangers season. Here’s how it all happened:

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The Baltimore Orioles have named Joe Saunders as their starting pitcher for tomorrow evening’s all or nothing Wild Card Playoff game against the Texas Rangers. While Saunders hasn’t been as awful as we might have expected since he joined the Orioles at the end of August, he remains a left-handed pitcher whose repertoire and style don’t match up very well against right-handed batters.

This season, righty-hitters have put up a dangerous .349 OBP/.500 SLG/.359 wOBA against Saunders. To put this in perspective based on his numbers, he makes the average right-handed batter look like Albert Pujols (this season). In fact, Saunders has given up 21 home runs this season, all against bats on his right side. This should all be of interest because the Rangers lineup is sort of, kind of EXTREMELY right-handed-heavy, with only two regulars bothering to bat from the left side.

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