What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
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1. After 60 or so games, which pitcher and hitter have impressed you the most? Conversely, who have been your two biggest disappointments?
2. Suspend disbelief for a second; if the playoffs started tomorrow and every Ranger pitcher was healthy (Harrison, Lewis, Ogando, Feliz, Soria), construct your rotation (1-4), and stack up the backend of your bullpen.
3. Are you of the opinion the Rangers will be fine so long as everyone comes back from the DL, or, if not, what do you believe is the greatest area of concern as the club moves forward? Which players would you target on the trade market? (This will be the one where you can create whacky hypothetical trades that are never going to happen.)
4. Currently the Rangers are 38-25 (.603), which is good for a 98-win pace. This question is simple: How many wins do the Rangers end the regular season with?
1. Most impressive hitter- Mitch Moreland
Most impressive pitcher- Derek Holland (Nick Tepesch a close second)
Most disappointing hitter- Elvis Andrus
Most disappointing pitcher- Matt Harrison (just disappointing that he is out for so long, considering Colby, Feliz, and Soria were already out for a while)
2. Rotation: Darvish, Holland, Lewis, Harrison Bullpen: Nathan, Scheppers, Ross, Ogando, Cotts, Soria, Feliz
3. Pitching staff: get healthy Lineup: get help
Obviously a huge question is what to do with Profar. The more I think about it, the more impossible it seems to me that he would be traded, or made room for, or whatever during this season. Kinsler comes back. He goes to AAA.
OF has got to be the route to take if we make an in season trade. I want Carlos Gonzalez, and if the Rockies continue to fall out of the race, we have enough high level pitching talent to get it done, assuming the Rockies actually want to deal him.
Nick Tepesch, Neil Ramirez, Wilmer Font, Joey Gallo, and Nomar Mazara for CarGo
4. 99 wins
1. Most Impressive Hitter: Jeff Baker. While Mitch Moreland is having a fine season, I don't think it was unreasonable to expect him to figure things out somewhat with a full season at first base. Baker though has been off the charts, and has been a wonderful addition to the club. He's the right handed bat off the bench that Texas has been needing/wanting since 2011.
Most Disappointing Hitter : No doubt this belongs to Elvis Andrus. He has been a total black hole of offense, and he needs to turn it around sooner than later. I think a close second would be David Murphy. Those two combined are almost painful to watch offensively.
Most impressive Pitcher: I think it's a tie for me between Derek Holland and Tanner Scheppers. Derek has matured to a new level and he's eradicated his homer problems. Tanner has turned into the guy the Rangers always hoped he would. His K/9 numbers are not that impressive but his control, velo, and movement are top notch. I couldn't be anymore happy with them this year.
Most Disappointing Pitcher : The obvious answer would be Kirkman for most people, but honestly there wasn't too many expectations for him. I am going to have to say Matt Harrison has been the biggest disappointment. His injury isn't his fault, but for a guy that needed a huge first year to net surplus value for his extension it's been rough.
2. I go Darvish Holland Lewis Harrison if everyone is healthy for my rotation. In the bullpen I roll with 7 arms. Nathan, Soria, Scheppers, Ross, Cotts, Ogando, Feliz. (They are in no particular order) I would stick with Nathan as the closer and if Soria were healthy I think he would be more fresh at the end of the season for the 8th inning man. I would use Ross/Scheppers in the high leverage 7th inning spots for match ups. Cotts Ogando and Feliz would get the other innings that needed to be eaten. I might also consider Grimm and go with 8 men in the pen for a long man role.
3. The pitching staff for sure needs to get everyone back and pitching well. After that I truly believe this team needs another COF. I don't necessarily think it will be Stanton, but I am open and trust the FO to do what they need to do to make the team better. I wish the Rockies would tank and want to get rid of Cargo, but I also don't see that happening. Texas really needs a consistent OF that hits for power, gets on base, and doesn't play horrible defense.
4. I see Texas winning 95 games this year. That should be enough to win the division. I would love for them to keep up the pace and win 98, but I just cannot see it happening.
Gosh this is SO exciting.
1. Have to agree with Baker. Mitch had a good run for a while, and we'll see if it keeps up when he returns. But Baker regularly punishes lefties. It's really quite nice. Also agree with Elvis. At least Murphy hits a dinger every couple weeks or so. Dutch and Scheppers have certainly exceeded the expectations I had of them in March, and Kirkman hasn't met them, obviously. I didn't expect Kirkman to look like Scheppers has, but I expected better than he's been.
2. If everyone was healthy and as effective as they were before injured, I'd have Yu, Dutch, Harry, and Colby start, in some order. Colby would start in the more pitcher-friendly park, and Harry would start in the more hitter-friendly one (probably home). Would probably have Yu start away as well, as he's been significantly more home run-prone than Dutch so far. At current levels of effectiveness, I would go Nathan, Scheppers, Feliz, Soria, Ross, Ogando, Cotts, and for the long man whoever is most impressive out of Grimm, Tepesch, and Wolf (yeah, I'd consider him).
3. I think the pitching is good enough, but I wouldn't complain if a trade was made. At this point, I'm more concerned with the hitting. We need a catalyst. Ian has been that guy a lot, but he's out right now, and Elvis isn't that guy. I thought Profar might be, but now I'm not sure he's ready for that yet. In the meantime, we don't really have one, and I'm concerned about our ability to hit with RISP, as that was our biggest problem down the stretch last year, as well as sometimes this year (e.g. last week) so I would love a solid bat. Offhand I'm not sure who to suggest, but as long as it doesn't cost us Profar or Alfaro I'm probably okay with it. Certainly would love Gonzalez, but even if Colorado falls out of the race I don't know that I see them trading him. I wonder if we could get Carlos Gomez, he's looked really good this year and Milwaukee doesn't look like they're contending.
4. I guess 91 wins. Bad stretch at some point.
Ship has sailed on Olt and Profar. Waited too long on them just as we did on MPerez.
Andy writes: Certainly would love Gonzalez, but even if Colorado falls out of the race I don't know that I see them trading him. I wonder if we could get Carlos Gomez, he's looked really good this year and Milwaukee doesn't look like they're contending.
My guess is the Rangers would have no interest in a player performing in a career year who owns a BB% of 4.4% and K% of 20.6%. Not really sustainable, which means it's not really their style.
Gonzalez is a little more interesting, if for nothing other than "why not?"
Listen, the Rockies aren't going to compete for the next 2-3 years. At what point do they stop saying "Yeah we have Cargo under a nice contract, and Tulo, too" and starting understanding the reality that they are going to have to move one eventually. Those two players will expire, so it's best to pick your franchise (Tulo), and recoup a massive package for the other (Gonzalez).
The Rangers have a stupid amount of arms in their Minor League system. If you package Mike Olt with Martin Perez, either Tepesch or Grimm, Luke Jackson, and 1-2 blue chip single-A players of the non-Alfaro variety, then you could at least get the conversation going.
The Rockies need arms. Would you consider trading Alexi Ogando as part of that package?
Most impressive hitter would be Baker followed by Profar. Moreland is having a great year but I kind of expect it from him (although I'm not sure why)Pitcher would be Holland followed closely by Tepesch and Grimm.
Starting rotation would be Darvish, Holland, Harrison, Probably Lewis because he's been there done that but ogando and Tepesch and Grimm all should be considered.Bullpen Scheppers, Ross, Cotts, ogando, feliz and Soria and (if he isn't in the rotation) Tepesch or Grimm as your long manSorry Nathan is out. I know he's getting it done but right now he scares me
I think the greatest concern would be corner outfield both defensively and offensively Cruz and Murphy aren't cutting it.who would I go after? Stanton or Puig or Cespedes maybe Trout or Bryce harper. I think we could get any of these guys for a unicorn, a switch hitting leprechaun and a Dragon!!
How many wins???? I'll say 95
You would honestly leave Nathan of the post season roster? Are you kidding me?
Obnviously JoeC, is an idiot.
1) Most impressive hitter is Moreland. Hopefully he picks back up where he left off when he returns from the DL. Baker has been impressive, but in limited playing time.
Most impressive pitcher is Holland. He's shown flashes of brilliance and flashes of not-so-brilliance the past few years. Seems like he has really put it all together this year and is pitching better than expected. If Holland is #1, Scheppers is #1A.
Most disappointing hitter is Murphy. After last year, I think we all expected him to perform much better this season. Elvis is a close second, but if he improves is OBP then he'll be fine. He's not and is not going to be a power hitter. Just set the table and score, that's what is needed from him.
Most disappointing pitcher is a former Ranger...Scott Feldman. Where was that Feldman last year? Sure could have used him. I have no problems with the way the Rangers' staff has performed this year.
2) I think the starting 4 is Darvish, Harrison, Lewis, and Holland. Assuming an 11-man staff, that leaves 7 in the bullpen: Ross, Scheppers, Cotts, Ogando, Feliz, Soria, and Nathan. Still have Tepesch, Grimm, and Wolf left if needed.
3) The pitching is fine, and could be much stronger once all return from the DL. I think righting the offense is the most important thing. Getting Kinsler and Moreland back will help, but even with the normal lineup in place, the offense wasn't strong. A power bat would be a nice addition. CarGo...Stanton...Bautista...either of those would be a much needed bat. Ain't happening. Those players aren't going anywhere. I like Andy's idea of Gomez. Sure, he's having a career year, so why not take advantage of that? I believe he's a free agent after this year anyway. Or maybe Andre Ethier. His contract is not friendly, but I think he is someone that would benefit from a change of scenery. Martin and Gentry just aren't long term solutions in CF. Trade for an upgrade in CF this year, then go all in for Choo in the offseason to solidify CF for 3-4 years.
Let's stick with the pace...98 wins.
RevNo I'm not kidding! in this question everyone is healthy and ready to go, so you have Shep, Feliz, Soria, Ogando, Ross, Cotts then add long men Tepesch, or Grimm or Perez. and also Ortiz and burns but they wouldn't make the playoff roster, same with Kirkman.Shep is going to be the closer probably next yr or this yr if Nathan goes down, Feliz and Soria have already been closers and pretty good ones. (no game 6 talk please) Ogando can go to the bull pen and do everything but walk on water.You only have so many spots so who would you leave off?
Holland is the most impressive pitcher now. He has improved a great deal, much more than I expected him to. Tepesch is the biggest surprise. It is hard to pick a disappointing pitcher; the ones doing poorly have injury issues (Harrison, Ogando, Kirkman) or are gone (Lowe).
Jeff Baker noses out Moreland, but I really like Martin and his combination of hitting, throwing, and running skills. Elvis is a disappointment, but there is no historical basis to expect his hitting to improve materially.
I do not count on Lewis contributing this season. If he does, great and slot him in at 3. I do expect Harrison to return but I question his future. With Lewis and Harrison I would use Holland, Yu, Harrison, Lewis, and Tepesch. If Lewis is not available or effective Grimm remains the 5th starter. I disagree with Andy re pitching Yu for away games; I would use a 4 man rotation and would pitch them in order of effectiveness: today that would be Holland, Yu, Harrison, and Tepesch/Lewis.
The bullpen looks incredible. Nathan, Scheppers, Ogando, Ross, Cotts and Soria. I fear Nathan may not be effective all season. If so, hopefully Soria will be the closer. If Soria returns with closer stuff, then I would use him for non-save high leverage situations.
Nothing new as to weaknesses. The team needs a good hitting corner outfielder and a starting pitcher. I have no great ideas on the trading front, but I would not be excited about Lee or anyone else at his age or price.
Joe C,: Rest assured that no one is leaving Nathan off the post season roster. That will be one of the most idiotic statements this month.
I already answered who my bullpen would be. And Nathan sure as hell will not be left of any post season roster, barring injury.
that's the kind of crap that people who know nothing about baseball put on here. there is not one gm or mgr who would even think about what that idiot said about nathan.
AlanElmore writes: Where was that Feldman last year? Sure could have used him. I have no problems with the way the Rangers' staff has performed this year.
To be honest with you, Scott Feldman is materially the same pitcher now as he was in 2012; in fact, his peripherals were better last year than they are this year.
2012 -- 6.992013 -- 6.69
2012 -- 2.332013 -- 2.48
2012 -- 10.9%2013 -- 11.8%
2012 -- 3.872013 -- 3.86
Rangers fans drastically undersold Feldman's actual worth while he was here and, yeah, he needed a change of scenery. But it's amazing how far LOB% and BABIP go in affecting public perception.
A real baseball topic!!!Most impressive hitter--Adrian Beltre always...Honorable mention--Jeff BakerDisappointing hitter---Elvis and Murphy....i think both will improve this season
Impressive pitcher--Yu Darvish--Cant take an ace for granted--truly remarkable. Honorable mention--ScheppersDisappointing pitcher--Holland--i thought he was on the verge of being an ace after game 4--of course i mwriting after tonight game. Dissapointed because of my high expectations. Harry is huge disappointment but can't blame him for the injury.
2) When healthy-Darvish, Harrison,Holland,Lewis and Ogando----Tepesch nextBullpen--Nathan,Scheppers, Soria, Ross,Cotts,Feliz
Impressed the way this team has held in despite injuries--a winners atmosphere lives in Arlington. May well not be our year--Think Detroit-Baltimore-Oakland-Boston--but we are in the hunt.
Drafting--signing and development is the way to go.
If i could pull a wild trade--it would be for Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez --we need to solve our catching situation. This kid is a 23 year old super star --defense and hitting and a 5 yr--7 million salary. Of course KC would not want to give him up but they are trying to play win now. Send KC--Ian Kinsler--Ogando--Martin Perez, Justin Grimm and a partridge in a pear tree.I cant see playing Kinsler at 1st base or outfield. If we keep him--Profar has to go down and learn outfield.
We would be set for a decade with Perez catching,Elvis and Profar and the developing Leonys Martin-I hope.WE have baseballs best minor league outfield talent Beras,Brinson,Mazara, developing.If Alfaro continues to develop-awesome.
I think Mike Olt still has a big role this year----as a corner of--and fill in at 3rd--or as a trade piece. I would rather see him here than send a bundle of prospects for Stanton--28 teams in that bidding!!!
Folks i love the Rangers and of course im a homer. I still see Texas winning the West with 91 wins.At any rate this team will be much better in 2 yearsWe have the talent and a plan and a genius general manager. In JD i trust!
1. Hitters- Good- Baker, Moreland, and Kins as far as the average is concerned Bad- Andrus, Berkman, and Murphy thought he might have a good start knowing he didnt have to worry about PT
Pitchers- Good- Holland, Scheppers Bad- Ogando hurt twice, and Harrison although it sounds like his probems were injury related
2. Rotation- Darvish, Holland, Lewis, Harrison Bullpen- Nathan, Scheppers, Ross, Soria, Feliz, Ogando
3. I would target a middle of the rotation guy ( Ricky Nolasco, Bud Norris, Jason Marquis come to mind) and send Ogando back to the pen he didnt seem as injury prone there, I would also get a middle reliever maybe Jesse Crain from the ChiSox or Glenn Perkins of the Twins. Then I would go after a COF and I would probably just spend my time talking to the Rockies because if you cant get Cargo you might get Fowler or Cuddyer. Or maybe you talk to the Royals about Gordon. The only change I make to that formua is if Cliff Lee becomes available I would go after him and I would agree to take on more salary rather than give up more prospects but of course it isnt my money.
4. 96 wins I think is what they will get and make the playoffs. I dont know if that will be enouhg for the division title but they will make the playoffs.
1. Impressive Hitter: Moreland Least Impressive Hitter: Berkman Impressive Pitcher: Holland or Scheppers Least Impressive: Kirkman by a mile, Harrison due to injury.
2. Rotation- Darvish, Holland, Lewis, HarrisonBullpen- Nathan, Scheppers, Ross, Soria, Feliz, Ogando
3. Honestly I think the Rangers need a COF bat, the person who comes to mind who might really be available is Willingham granted not as big as anyone would like but he would improve offensively over Murphy and fill in nicely if Cruz is suspended. Also bullpen is my may concern with pitchers, I really think Lewis will be back shortly after the break and I am hoping Harry will as well. I think Perez can give us some help in the rotation if given a shot in place of Grimm, I relaly do not think Grimm is ready.So having said that Soria shoudl be back and that means middle relief is my main concern maybe a Crain type or someone like him.
4. I see 92 wins maybe assuming we get some offensive help and our pitchers coming back. But with 3 rookies (unproven starters) and without some offensive help I can see that number as low as 85 or worse.
"The Rockies need arms. Would you consider trading Alexi Ogando as part of that package?"
Yes, I'd consider that. Although, as you mentioned, they probably are still a couple years away from contention. Hence, wouldn't you think they'd rather have someone controllable for longer?
Alexi Ogando won't be a free agent until after the 2016 season, so he's still got a ways to go. All things considered, 3+ cheap years of Ogando is probably worth about as much or more than Martin Perez, Justin Grimm or Nick Tepesch.
A couple weeks ago in a thread I mentioned that Ian Kinsler is more valuable right now to the Rangers than he is the rest of the league. Alexi, however, is more valuable to the league than he is to us. He would fit into 20-25 rotations, and here, most see him as a solid bullpen arm.
Most Impressive Pitcher/Hitter......Yu Darvish/Adrian Beltre
Most disappointing....Michael Kirkman/Elvis Andrus. David Murphy has been worse, but we need Elvis on base.
Playoff rotation: Darvish, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison and Derek Holland. Alexi Ogando could easily replace any of the last three.
I have lots of concerns about the Rangers right now. And, no, I'm not convinced that they'll be fine as long as people return from the DL. Here is why...
-Neftali Feliz has undergone Tommy John surgery. This necessitates changes in the way you approach the game. Will he adjust?
-Colby Lewis should be ok. Then again, he's had some setbacks. How long will it take him to be Colby again?
-Soria? See Feliz.
-Ogando is looking more and more like the Rangers version of DeMarco Murray. Talented but fragile.
-I don't think we'll see Matt Harrison this year...even if his body returns to the mound.
-I thought Elvis would take another step forward, offensively, this year. So far, he hasn't.
-This offense worries me. Anyone else feel this way? Boy, would Giancarlo Stanton look good in this order.
All of this being said, I'm proud of these Rangers. I'm proud to be a Rangers fan. This team has done more with less this year. There is no way they should be that far over .500, but they are.
Eric, your 4th question is toughest. If everyone comes back healthy (and plays well), I can see 92-95 wins. But you and I both know that we don't live in a perfect world. Our Rangers are showing cracks. The accumulation of injuries and oddities are starting to take their toll.
I see 88-91 wins. Will this be good enough? I dunno. The A's are pretty damn good. Anyway, It'll be fun to watch. I have a feeling that this off-season will take on extreme importance as it relates to the future of this team.
Our Rangers are showing cracks. The accumulation of injuries and oddities are starting to take their toll.
I'm a math guy at heart, which is probably why I'm such an uncreative writer, but the math says things always come back to normal. Average. Regression to the mean.
When I see injuries and oddities as two things that are going against the Rangers' favor, it means they will even out. Right now we've basically hit the roster's rock-bottom, so it's only going to get better from here. I firmly believe that. The A's, on the other hand, have experienced most things going right over the last 3-4 weeks, so they are due to regress as well.
I think the Rangers are a solid 94-to-96-win team right now, all things considered. And I think that will be good enough to win the West by 5.0-7.0 games.
Eric, I really do love your optimism at having the Rangers win the West by 5-7 games. I think Oakland makes it closer than that. They remind of Matt Harrison- consistently outperforming their peripherals.
More than anything though, I love the fact that you've created the first real baseball post on this site this entire year.
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