I'm forgoing the usual Sunday morning open thread for logistical reasons (primarily because there's an early 12:30 p.m. CDT game), but there are enough little things out there this morning to warrant a short post, so here goes:
- Strange tidbit: Michael Young is now beginning to work out in the outfield, and Evan Grant says it's being done in the hopes of creating another right-handed-hitting outfield option for Ron Washington, which would naturally to suggest some actual amount of outfield playing time ... but then you flip over to Calvin Watkins' account and find that when Ron Washington was asked point blank if Young would see any time in the outfield, Washington replied "no" and went on to suggest that he would only be a last-resort emergency option. So, where does the truth lie?
- Per Jeff Wilson, the Rangers are now considering using Dave Bush in a higher-leverage eighth-inning role, which is more a reflection of the sorry state of the major league bullpen than it is an endorsement of Bush's abilities. This whole thing is beginning to take on a very strange early-00s feel, reminiscent of those days when Texas was willing to try just about any pitcher in a spot outside of his conventional role (e.g. Hideki Irabu closing) if it meant he had a chance to catch lightning in a bottle.
- Richard Durrett has a feature story recapping the Cliff Lee saga, and detailing just how close the Rangers came to signing him. There's been some scattered conspiracy theorizing about Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan not being present at the final do-or-die meeting because they weren't completely on board with Chuck Greenberg's aggressive push to sign Lee, which may or may not have been a part of Greenberg's alleged "interference" in baseball operations matters that ulimately led into Nolan laying down the it's-me-or-him edict ... in any event, Durrett's story maintains the narrative that Daniels/Ryan couldn't attend merely because of other commitments, so there's that.
- Ian Kinsler claims that his present struggles are all a function of him being mentally "locked up," and says he's trying to make adjustments that will beget future success.
- Brandon Webb could throw a side session in Arlington later this week for Mike Maddux if his extended spring training start on Tuesday goes as planned, and then if both events go off without a hitch, he could embark upon a rehab assignment. Don't hold your breath.