What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
you have trout, pujols, a hamilton who i believe will have trouble adjusting to pitchers throwing him junk, and a whole bunch of meh after that.
Trumbo? Kendrick? Aybar? Look I think the lineup is a little overrated but nonetheless they are a top 3 lineup at the least. They have good depth and they have a good lineup. But their rotation, that is the definition of meh, especially after Weaver.
Last year Dan Haren, Ervin Santana, Jerome Williams and Garrett Richards combined for 562.4 innings pitched, an era of 4.69 and a total fwar of 2.3. Jason Vargas, Joe Blanton, and Tommy Hanson combined for 582.3 innings pitched, an era of 4.34 and a total fwar of 4.2.
Trout, Pujols and Hamilton will likely be good for about 16 fWAR by themselves. After that, Trumbo, Aybar, Kendrick and Ianetta might be good for about 2 fWAR apiece. If we can navigate through the top-4 hitters in their lineup, we should have the advantage in rotation and bullpen. I think the West race is up for grabs. If we were to acquire Upton or Javier Vazquez, we'd have the advantage.
Eric, the potential Upton trade, if it ever really had a chance, died today and the Rangers did not even send a scout to PR. If the Angels are not the #1 lineup in the AL, they are at least in the top three. But so are the Rangers and Tigers. And for intimidation it is hard to beat Trout / Pujols / Hamilton; the Rangers Bs are no weakness; but I would still go with Jackson / Hunter/ Cabrera/ Fielder and Martinez as the most intimidating for their quality depth. However, the Rangers bottom M three will prove the best of the bottom 3 of any team in the AL. Look to see Murphy / Moreland / and a breakout Martin to major contributors to a still potent Ranger lineup, baring injury setbacks.
The Tigers have the best 1-5 combination in the league. However, the rest of their lineup is very weak unless Boesch and Avila can ever fulfill that, and here is the word people love, potential that everyone thought they had to be star players at their position. The Angels also have a very nice 1-5 going Trout, Aybar, Pujols, Hamilton, Trumbo, but clearly inferior to the Tigers.
I love how everyone is so optimistic about the Rangers, but except for Beltre there isn't a batter that's going to make a pitcher shake in his cleats. It's nice to get all of those solo bombs from Kinsler at the top, but you have to beging to think he's starting his downslide. Andrus is very, very nice number 2 hitter. He's actually one of the best hitters in the league the last couple of years with runners in scoring position, and his value is going up, but he's never going to put the fear into anyone. Berkman, well there's a lot of if's attached to his name. We shall see, but I'm betting he's more like 2010 Berkman. Anyone hoping for 2011 is just crazy. It's like everyone hoping that 2011 second half Napoli was going to be what we got in 2012,
The next three you go Beltre, clearly THE guy now, but how he will handle no protection? Didn't suit him well in Seattle. Plus, he's hitting the back side of his ability and contract. Then you have ????????????? I don't know who slots in at number 5. I'll go Cruz due to familiarity, and that's what Ron likes, familiarity. Cruz never realized his potential due to injury, and now appears to be sliding off the face of the Earth, and seems to be a black hole at the plate in big situations, when it used be his forte. In at the 6 hole, again your guess is as good as mine or probably better, but how about David Murphy? I guess he's earned it. Not much else to say there. No real cleat shakers there because Beltre loses his value in that pitchers won't feel compelled to pitch to him. He may have a career high in walks, though, so that's positive.
The bottom three? Well I just realized I forgot about the newest Ranger, AJP. I'll slot him 5th, and bump everyone down. Because I'm too lazy to go back and redo this I'll just deal with him here. AJP is another guy in his late 30's coming off a renaissance like Berkman in 2011, Napoli in 2011, Young in 2011, Jeter in 2012. These late age renaissances don't usually last more than a year. Furthermore, he's not going to play everyday so what happens on the days when he's not catching now that Berkman is signed? You're faced with replacing AJP with the black hole Soto straight up, or you can let Berkman play first, and AJP DH, but that defense may give up a run or two, plus it's not conducive to Berkman's health. Tough situation there when your possible 5 hole will only play 100-120 games.
8 hole goes to Moreland. I really hope he gets a chance to play everyday, and prove that he's a major leaguer with 25-30 homer power, which I think he is. However, I don't think he gets the chance because for some reason Texas seems to have, next to the Yankees, the most impatient, and unforgiving fans in the league. Washington also hasn't shown much faith in Moreland despite the FO's constant banter about believing in Mitch.
9 hole is Martin. He starts here simply because he's unproven. I feel that he could really prove himself quickly, and move into the 2 hole, thus moving Andrus up, and dropping Kins to 5 or 6.
The line up has potential to be maybe the 5th best by end of the season, but actual right now off the top of my head I'd have to put them in the 6-10 range. That's not a pessimistic Ranger fan. It's not the sky is falling. It's a realistic, and objective view of what the Rangers are now, and can be offensively. Too many of you play the if (best case scenario) game, and not the this is how it is now game. I wouldn't worry about the offense not being a top 3 like we are used to every year though because the strength of this team is the pitching, and that will be a top 3 staff. That's the way to win Championships anyway. I'd love to see more discourse about the pitching staff instead of everyone being so fixated on the offense. Those guys are oustanding at what they do, and deserve more recognition for it.
*Did not proof read, deal with it. I'm not getting paid, and the grammar police don't scare me*
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