It's 6:00-something a.m., I've been up most of the night/morning trying to clear out stuff that should never be allowed to take up residence inside a human being's chest, and I'm slowly getting the writing itch back. I don't know if DJ Shadow is the right artist to link to in response to that odd set of details, but if liking this song is wrong, I don't want to be right:
● T.R. Sullivan writes about the state of Mike Napoli's ankle and the stalled-out contract negotiations between player and team, and also touches base with Matt Harrison, who is eager to claim a rotation spot regardless of what might yet transpire on the Roy Oswalt front. Jeff Wilson writes that Napoli wants to be at 100 percent by Opening Day.
● The DMN has some snippets up from Evan Grant's chat session yesterday, and, among other things, Grant believes that Yu Darvish is headed for a 13-win, 3.80 ERA season. I haven't decided whether I would be satisfied with that caliber of performance -- referring solely to his ERA, mind you -- or not.
● FanGraphs' Jeff Zimmerman has some 2011 disabled-list statistics up that indicate the Rangers were fifth in baseball last year in total DL days, with nearly 1,100 to their credit. Before anyone uses this data point to jump to the wholly unfounded conclusion that the Rangers' training and medical staffs are falling down on the job, it should be noted that Brandon Webb and Omar Beltre -- the latter of whom fell victim to a rare spinal disorder, and the former of whom was probably a lost cause from the outset -- account for 362 of those DL days just by themselves, with Rule 5 draftee Mason Tobin chewing up another 160 days.
If you're inclined to freak out about major contributors in the vein of Neftali Feliz and Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz missing a grand total of 150 days, be my guest. Don't, however, be misled by the final total of DL days, as that number includes a substantial number of largely irrelevant DL days.
● Texas signed lefty reliever Neal Cotts to a minor league deal yesterday, which I suppose I would find to be a more interesting development if not for that minor detail of Cotts not being a genuine relief asset since 2005 and, arguably, 2009. I get the relievers-are-variable and lefties-are-quirky arguments and all of that, and it's not out of the realm of possibility that Cotts sees some time in the majors this year, but you're really scraping the bottom of the barrel if you're trying to conjure up some real excitement about this.