What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
Jeff Passan thinks so. Do you?
It's a distinct possibility. Our offense might not be better, but it's close. And I think we might have found the pieces missing to complete a solid pitching staff. I won't outright say we're better, at least not for a few weeks, but it's a favorable comparison. I look forward to seeing how we fare against them in our remaining series.
We;re better... but on any given day
All that matters right now is if we're better than the Angels. Division isnt over i'm not gonna talk playoffs (Jim Mora again... playoffs? playoffs?) while we only have a 2 game lead. lets see where we're at in a month. we're up by atleast 6 games i'd say its safe to start asking these questions.
Sox just lost Buccholz (sp?) for the year. I'd like to believe our offense matches up, our bullpen destroys, and our starters are better aside from Beckett and Lester. It's a close one, but the 2 new bullpen pieces I believe puts us ahead of them.
The Yankees are virtually no different than last year, aside from poorer starting pitching. With the other teams getting better, I would look for the Yankees to start losing more. I think they will have to fight hard to make the playoffs.
We can't out hit the Sox or the Yankees, but our pitching and defense are superior. Wow, did I just type that? This a strange time in Ranger land.
Astute Dcaggie06 pointed out a salient fact: At the moment, it doesn't matter if the Rangers are better than anyone in baseball other than the Angels. This is Texas' first hurdle to the playoffs.And to put that in perspective, how different would that game that Derek Holland and Tommy Hunter upchucked against the Angels a couple of weeks ago turned out if the Rangers had their two new bullpen toys?If the Angels come back to overtake the Rangers, I will forever point to that choke job as the turning point of the season. Maybe Boss Nolan and JD saw it the same way and did something about it.
15 blown saves on the season so far. Feliz has a few of those, but how many were blown before it got to him? The AL West race is over right now if not for sooooo many blown save opportunities. Sure are gonna blown some but 15? With the pen the Rangers have now, hopefully there are not many more.
i don't think the the red sox's offense is much better. they play in a weaker pitching division.
Wow...last week I posted on all the doom and gloomers moaning and groaning about how we were about to head off to chokeville. Now I read we're better than the Yankees and Red Sox.
My take....first, great moves by Daniels. I was always against picking up Bell as I think he's a typical NL guy who would struggle in the AL, and is a rent-a-player to boot. Getting Adams and Uehara is immensely better than just picking up Bell.
I do caution....you can't expect these guys to just move in and re-create the fabulous numbers they have. Don't know why, really, but relievers frequently seem to struggle, especially if they move from NL to AL. I think Adams will be fine, but just as Cliff Lee put up mediocre numbers for the Rangers last regular season, I wouldn't be surprised if one or both of Adams / Uehara have a meltdown or two. It happens.
Second....has anyone noticed the Rangers struggle mightily to score runs on the road? Eight runs in the 3-game Blue Jays series. Zero runs in the last 14 innings of the Angels series. Yes, they scored 15 runs in the early part of the Angels series but this team can long periods without much hitting outside of Arlington. That is a worry.
Finally, I can't believe the comment that "our defense is superior". Is that comment based on the fact the Rangers now rank first in the AL in errors? They now have 88, nearly twice as many as first place Chicago (48) and on pace for 131, which would be 25 more than last year. Yes, there's more to fielding than # of errors. ANd yes, Andrus and Beltre get to many balls that others don't touch and yes the team leads the lead in DP.
But anyone who thinks this team is anywhere close to last year's outstanding defensive squad is deluding themselves. Seems like every game I see a play not made and it turned into a run (Kinsler not making the play before Arencibia's 3-R HR, Friday, for example).
The bottom line....the Rangers are only 2 games ahead of the Angles despite having a 12-0 streak and a 9-1 run to start the season. That means they are 40-47 in their other games. They are not a dominant squad by any means. Boston and NYY have dominant, across-the-board numbers and until the Rangers can match that they are a second tier squad, looking up at the competition.
@Mr.ManYou are wrong about the Rangers defense. Errors are a relic of a time when we didn't have better. Let them go the way of the pager and the 8-track.
If you actually want a good grip on defense, the question is which squad turns the most balls in play into outs. That's what we are discussing, and happily, there is a stat for that: defensive efficiency. The Rangers rank second in the AL in defensive efficiency. The Rays are first, Boston is third , the Angels 5th, and New York an expensive 8th. Before you stat charging other posters with deluding themselves, try looking at some meaningful data.
I share your worry about the Rangers hitting. Perceptions of the offense are inflated by park effects. Ballpark adjusted stats show the team to trail the big budget beasts of the east in that area. Its not like we don't hit, its just that we don't hit as well as most people think.
there's some truth to the defensive error argument. the rangers have allowed the most unearned runs in the majors and have lost games due to elvis or adrian fumbling routine grounders. this team has one of the best infield formations in the mlb so the talent and athleticism of these players make errors harder to swallow. i think the team's defense has been both a boon and a bane.
also, the ballpark has very little impact on their offensive stats. i highly doubt rangers ballpark is responsible for ian kinsler's home batting average and napoli's rbi numbers.
Error total and Unearned run total are highly undependable because they rely so heavily on the official score keeper. If you have a tough one in your home yard (and the Rangers do) you, and your opponents, wind up with a lot of errors. Now wings, you are probably saying, 'yeah, but I've seen stupid errors that led to runs, lots of them.' Well, yeah, but that is the problem with perception. You only see what is there to be seen, but sometimes it what doesn't happen that is what counts. You see runs after errors and you go, 'wow, that sucked.' But you don't ever see runs, or walks, or hits or anything else after balls that get turned into outs on plays that don't get made on other teams. Sometimes thats great plays, sometimes its superior positioning, sometimes its plays that are made to look routine, but aren't. Errors and unearned runs are the crappiest way of judging defense. People only talk about them because we learned about them when we were kids and its all we had, well, we also had Gold Gloves, LOLOLOLOLOL.
So there is this massive pool of data that shows how players perform in each Ballpark as compared to how they perform in other ballparks. You put this data in a spreadsheet, crank it up, and voila! A metric for adjusting raw numbers into environmentally neutral numbers. Math. Its a powerful thing.
Do yourself a favor, click over to Baseball Refernce or Basebal Prospectus, and look at some good information. And leave the error talk to the Joe Morgans of the world.
Remember when MY won a gold glove at SS....I still LOL every time I think about that...
there's a misconception that errors increase with range. the ability to make spectacular plays doesn't excuse some of the players' blunders. i agree that "errors" aren't always clearly defined, but there have been games in which elvis dropped a routine grounder or threw it over the 1b's head.
and yes, everyone knows about park factor. it's an extremely flawed stat.
Re the defense....
Agree the defense isn't as bad as the errors show. A lesser defense could conceivably have less errors but the SP ERA would be much higher. I think the great ranger pitching this year is helped certainly by Kinsler and Beltre making great plays. However, Elvis has had a bad year and there have certainly been some bad bad errors at bad times that have cost the Rangers games (Josh's misplay of that Thome hit). If errors weren't a real problem then you wouldn't see Elvis getting publicly humiliated by Wash in the middle of a game. You expect players to make some errors but Elvis has been bad. Peripheral defensive stats are probably more important than subjective error rulings but you can't discount some of the un-timely mistakes.
I would argue that Texas is comparable to the NYY but not as good as Boston. Saying that Texas pitching is just as good "except for Lester and Becket" underscores probably the most important difference between the two teams.
In Lester and Beckett are both better than anything Texas can throw out there. Boston has a pretty dynamic bullpen as well.
I am just hoping that Texas does not match up with Boston in the first round. We really need them to win the division.
So what Boston got after Lester and Becket? (...by the way there is no automatic win for Boston with either of those two, not against this Texas lineup)They were trying to get Harden for crying out loud !?!?You have to be real deperate to ask Roseanne Barr out.With all that said, Boston is a great team, one of the few teams that can beat us in a 7 game series, but I don't think Texas needs to be scared of anybody!!!
I can't tell if you guys are serious or joking. If Texas met Boston in a 7-game series, there is zero chance that Texas would be the favorite. Does that mean that Boston is guaranteed a series win? Of course not.
But Boston has a better overall team than Texas, IMO. People keep talking about how Boston can't handle the "Texas offense," well Boston has a better offense than Texas (Boston has scored 44 more runs in 2 less games...team OPS is 30 points higher than Texas). Boston also has a better playoff rotation than Texas (Lester and Beckett > any Texas starter) and Boston has a comparable bullpen.
Besides team defense, I don't see any area where Texas has a distinct advantage.
I'm not sure about you, but in a 7-game series where Beckett/Lester can start 5 out of the 7 games, I don't feel good about the Texas odds.
...and you do realize that Boston is 64 and 31 since their 2 - 10 start, right?
If you were to grade each postion player, (Rangers, Yankees and Red Sox) individually; Ranking each player by there production. One being the best. It appears that the Rangers would have an edge: Rangers Yankees Red SoxDH- Young 1 Posada 3 Ortiz 2C- Napoli 1 Martin 3 Saltamachia 31B- Moreland 3 Teixeira 2 Gonzalez 12B- Kinsler 3 Cano 1 Pedroia 23B- Beltre 1 Rodriguez 2 Youklis 3LF-Hamilton 1 Gardner 3 Crawford 2CF-Chavez 3 Granderson 1 Ellsbury 2RF-Cruz 1 Swisher 2 Reddick 314 17 18Additionally the Rangers lead the league in Quality Starts by 24% and Shut Outs by 29%. Combine the starting pitching with the additions of Uehara and Adams to the Texas bullpen i think edge has to go to Texas Rangers.
the red sox have scored more runs because they play in a division with inferior pitching and haven't been plagued by injuries all year.
About the run differential between Boston and Texas. Yes Boston has scored quite a few more runs in less games but they also play in a much weaker pitching division. And despite the AL West not being able to score runs, you can't deny that the pitching isn't there.
That being said, I still feel like Boston is the better team due to the fact that the Rangers are much to often hit or miss when it comes to scoring runs. It seems like they are either putting up at least 8 or barely 2.
And my final point. If it comes down to a playoff series between NY or Boston, I like our chances against NY. After CC they don't have much that scares me. Boston however has 2 aces, who up against Texas' young and Inexperienced starters have a considerable advantage. Although if we can keep it close it makes things much more interesting with our revamped bullpen. can't wait until October.
For one, creating a position-by-position comparison doesn't tell us anything. Yeah...Cruz might be better than Swisher, but that doesn't account for the vast difference between Teixeira and Moreland. It's just not a good way to compare teams.
Secondly, you can highlight whatever overall pitching stats you would like, the fact remains: Beckett and Lester will start 5 out of 7 games in a 1st round series. As such, team quality start %, team ERA, etc...really isn't very relevant. Boston will have the best starter in 5 out of 7 games.
Offensively, the AL West does have better pitching than the AL East - but part of the AL West pitching numbers are inflated b/c the non-Texas AL West teams have worthless offensive teams.
Similarly, the pitching numbers for the AL East are worse b/c every team in that division can score runs (outside of Baltimore).
I have no idea what will happen, but I have a hard time believing anyone outside of Texas believes that Texas is a better team than Boston.
Wow, Ricworld, where are you getting your numbers? I love Moreland, but there is no way he is better than Teixeira. I would also have to give Cano and Pedroia the edge over Ian. Seriously?? Chavez over Granderson? Crack kills...
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