What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
Every Rangers loss elicits a flood of comments about how bad this team is. I don't get it. The team is clearly in command of the division. The Angels went on a run due largely to some great BABIP luck that benefited their pitchers. Yet they are still 4.5 games back. The Rangers only consistent weakness has been starting pitching. The ownership recognized that and purchased help.
People keep commenting that the Rangers were good for 2 weeks in April, but are terrible now. That's not true. Over the last 30 days, the Rangers offense is # 1 in MLB in wOBA (.355) and wRC+ (120). Over that period, the bullpen has struggled a bit, but still has a very respectable 3.5 ERA and even better 3.2 SIERA. And does anyone really believe the bullpen won't be great again once Oswalt becomes the 5th starter, Feldman returns to the pen, and Feliz becomes a late-inning guy? The defense has made some errors, but it's still # 3 in MLB based on UZR.
This is a good team that we get to watch. The offense is consistently (week to week) among the best in baseball. We have a good bullpen and a top 5 defense. The only mediocre part of the team is starting pitching, and there's hope on that front.
Sure, there are ups and downs over 162 games. But I see no reason to panic. I don't even see much reason for concern.
sloppy defense has been the biggest problem in the last month
RFan ....Swoon and gush over what you've been seeing if you like, but this Rangers team has been great at stats but mediocre on the field, for way more of the season than they've been stellar. This is not panic, this is concern - and the concern is well warranted.
The first two weeks of 12-2, they looked great. Since then, six weeks of a .500 team, that's all. And those losses have been lots of sloppy play, boneheaded mistakes, lack of clutch performance, and just plain crap. Mixed in between the bad play, they get some BIG IMPRESSIVE WINS where they get a pitcher on the ropes and hammer the dog poop out of him ...and some go all gaga with the stats ...but those wins only count for 1, even though they pump up the stat totals. Down the road people look at the cumulative stat totals and think "Oh, it's bad luck they don't have a better record" - - but, the mediocrity and sloppiness is who they are, just as much as the big wins every so often.
This is a talented team ....but talent means nothing when it doesn't perform.
This team hasn't performed. Their habit is to win a game, then relax and lose a game. Win a few, see that they have a division lead, then lose a few. They coast ...and the habits become bad ones. Sloppy.
I want to see excellence and consistency. I'm not (and you aren't either). If we settle for mediocrity, we're going nowhere. I'm not satisfied at all, and it's not panic, but rather concern that there is so much apathy over the inconsistency. Over time, patience needs to turn to impatience, when the problems linger as they have.
This team hasn't played even close to their capabilities in 3 weeks... They're .500 in a crap division...
Not sure why stating general concerns = panic. Great offense and a bad rotation...that sounds familiar (ie...all Rangers teams pre-2008). And much of that offensive production was a result of Hamilton having two of the best months of his career (and probably two of the best months in ML history). No coincidence that when he inevitably slowed down, so did the Texas offense.
But I am not concerned with the offense and I think that the defensive woes will straighten themselves out to a certain extent. The bullpen is fine. But I really see no reason to expect the rotation to dramatically improve over the next few months.
The Texas rotation really wasn't great to begin with:
* Darvish has dominant stuff but he just doesn't have enough consistent command to be a TOR pitcher at this point. He currently has the third-worst walk rate in baseball, and it's getting worse, not better. * Colby Lewis is an average ML pitcher. * Harrison and Holland have basically been average ML pitchers for their careers. I hoped that 2011 was a sign that one or both were ready to take the next step, but apparently they aren't. * And now Texas has added Oswalt, a guy who projects to post an ERA around the 4 mark.
Things are only going to get more difficult as the temperature continues to rise. And what happens if another starter goes down? Feldman again? Perez? Ramirez?
Texas is a very talented team, but its rotation has serious question marks.
Maybe the Rangers just decided that blowing away the division and being 10 games up on the Anaheim Angels of LosAngeles Angels of California Anaheim Angels.... is boring so they decided to start playing like a minor league team to make things a bit more interesting and stir up the fan base. Seriously, they have been playing sloppy baseball with the mental mistakes and dumb plays. Adrian Beltre may be starting to show some signs of slowing down in the field, Andrus has proved to be a middle of the road SS and the inconsistency at first base with rotating Young, Napoli, Moreland, Snyder, and whomever else they can try there is crazy. Now, every one of those players were brilliant at the beginning of the season so I think they can recover so lets hope they do.
I knew a saber stat head would eventually come on and throw out numbers at all of us. Make the team appear better than they have been playing. No one loves saber stuff more than me, but this team isn't passing the eye test. A simple look at each game warrants concern, stats be damned. Is it fatigue from playing more games than any other team the past 2 seasons? A lack of concern at this point due to the fact they feel they have the division locked up already and will "turn it on" in September/October? Or are they simply not that good? Played beyond themselves the first month? Dunno, but what I see each night on TV, something isn't right.
But the stats not mentioned were those for the rotation. So far, this is where the Texas starters rank in the AL:
ERA..........5thWHIP.........7thBB-rate.....10th (5th worst)K/BB..........7thHR/9..........8thSIERA........9th
Any way you look at it, Texas has a very average rotation. Obviously, guys like Yu, Holland, and Harrison could improve. But similarly, they could pitch worse.
I think that an average rotation is probably enough for Texas to win the division, given the Rangers' bullpen and offensive prowess. But there are certainly legitimate reasons for concerns within the rotation.
I knew I couldn't take LtAldoRaine's post seriously when I read the part that says "Andrus has proved to be a middle of the road SS". No rational person would ever say that.
i think its very rational to say andrus is middle of the road. his defense still leaves a lot of room for improvement. Offensively, look at the "elite" shortstops over the past few years, even the lower tier guys still hit more than one hr. Yes he does get on base and makes things happen with his speed but I really dont think he's as great as people are making him out to be. Someday he might be, but he's not there yet
Shortstop IS NOT a power position, it is a quick, light-footed catlike position. Andrus is in the top ten...maybe not the top five but if there are 30 teams, being in the top ten puts him in the top third-not "middle of the road". I must admit that his immaturity really rankled me last year but after Wash got on him he has been doing extremely well. His hitting? WOW! Maybe he doesn't hit home runs, but then again most players don't hit 20 home runs a year anyway
Please list all of the current SS that you would prefer to have over Andrus?
No one in the AL West.The only guy in the AL Central would be Asdrubal Cabrera...but defensively, it's no comparison.No one in the AL East.
That covers the AL.
In the NL, you could make an argument for Tulo, Reyes, and maybe Castro? I take Tulo over Elvis, but I take Elvis over the other two.
If I am a GM, I am ranking Tulo 1st and Andrus 2nd in ALL OF BASEBALL. How would your rankings differ?
Andy, thank you for getting my post was made in jest. I thought my first paragraph would have made it obvious I was not actually being serious. On a serious note since Andrus was picked out of that paragraph, I would seriously rank him in the upper level of current MLB SS. I think our infield is one of the finest in the game right now BUT they have not really been playing up to that level over the last few weeks. I believe they will turn it around and win the division just as they have done the last few years.
UTB:In the NL, you could make an argument for Tulo, Reyes, and maybe Castro? I take Tulo over Elvis, but I take Elvis over the other two.
If I am a GM, I am ranking Tulo 1st and Andrus 2nd in ALL OF BASEBALL. How would your rankings differ?
I put Elvis and Sterlin Castro in about the same level with Elvis having the edge in a h2h battle. They are both young and have a high ceiling in my books. Given that Elvis has more experience and maturity, I give him the edge.If I were picking 1 SS from any team I think I would go with Reyes first.
The fielding lapses are bad. But so are a lot of ABs. Hamilton looked ok last night, but before that game he went through a lot of bad swings out of the zone. Cruz's ABs have also been inconsistent. Moreland always seems to take the team out of an inning with a GIDP Same with Ian, though he works the count well. MY is a player without a position. He hits too weakly for 1st or 3rd or DH. All of this stuff should work itself out except for MY. I can see hanging with him, as trading him would likely be futile, but batting ahead of Cruz and Napoli is a mistake.
I agree with Utb about the pitching. Either the kids settle down and improve and the team competes for the pennant, or they don't and it could be a disappointing playoffs season.
A couple points:
1) I agree with utb.....this is a team with an average pitching staff, a very above average lineup, very above average bullpen and above average defense.
At any time, any one component can go on an extended funk, and not be up to expectations. I think the defense, in particular, has shown that. But there's no reason not to think the BP, the bats and the defense won't be better than it has recently.
The starting rotation, however, is probably contributing what it will for the rest of the season; in fact it could get worse. I'm worried that either Holland or Harrison will either suffer an injury or just prove wholly ineffective. While neither is overpowering, both have been reliable to go out there every 5th day and (usually) give the team a chance to win. If either falters, the rotation suddenly becomes a team-killer.
2) Sustained mediocrity is something this team has provided for long periods in both 2010 and 2011. People just forget. They remember the season record and the playoffs. But as I've pointed out in many posts, both 2010 and 2011 final records were fueled by short bursts of dominance interspersed among long spells of mediocrity.
LtAldoRaine - "Andrus has proved to be a middle of the road SS"
You are a dipshit. There is not a better all-around shortstop in the league than Andrus. Period. Tulo can hit, but his range is Gurrerro-esk compared to Andrus. Castro is a nimrod on the baseball field. He's a walking cluster-fuck. Reyes can't stay healthy.
I think my favorite part of this entire thread is kaz's argument that "even the lower tier guys still hit more than one hr". Keen analysis.
Oh, and by "my favorite" I mean "the most hilarious".
Speak for yourself, I'm quite sanguine.
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