Well, here you go:
● T.R. Sullivan writes about last night's televised stomping of the Reds, during which Scott Feldman looked like the second coming of Roy Halladay and the Rangers' offense amply compensated for some of its early-March struggles. So does Richard Durrett. So does Evan Grant.
● As you may have heard already, Texas released Conor Jackson, Joe Beimel, and Mitch Stetter yesterday, with the latter two cuts confirming that the LOOGY race is down to Michael Kirkman vs. Robbie Ross. Evan says that the Rangers are open to bringing Jackson back on a minor league deal (thereby avoiding payment of the $100,000 "retention bonus" that would be due if they didn't cut Jackson loose), but the problem is that Jackson hasn't done anything over the last few years, hasn't done anything this spring, and hasn't really shown anything that would be suggestive of an ML-caliber player.
[* Article XX(B) free agents signing minor league contracts who are not added to the Opening Day roster or unconditionally released 5 days prior to Opening Day shall receive an additional $100,000 retention bonus and the right to opt out on June 1.]
● Durrett talks about the Rangers' decision to pitch Neftali Feliz in a Double-A game tomorrow, which affords the club the luxury of backdating a DL assignment if the condition of his shoulder should deteriorate in the next week or so, and which would allow Texas to activate him by April 10th if they were so inclined. (Although, if Feliz experiences even a minor setback at this point, you would kind of expect to see a total shutdown for 5-7 days, and it would be a bit surprising to see him return to the active roster less than a week after Opening Day.)
● Colby Lewis says that he isn't concerned about his hip, and you shouldn't be, either, because he says that he's been dealing with some degree of hip pain over each of the last six seasons. I suppose there's a way to put a positive spin on that, but the facts are that he's (a) coming off a pedestrian season during which he received multiple injections and (b) suffering from a condition that's getting worse, not better, and while I certainly don't advocate panicking over Lewis's health at this point, it seems reasonable to be at least a bit concerned about how well he's going to hold up this year.
● Jason's latest over at BP focuses on a handful of Rangers prospects, including Ronald Guzman, whose bat earned some rave reviews:
[Guzman] uses all fields in game action; drives through the ball; has a plan at the plate; tracks balls well from hand; stays in his approach; has leverage in swing, but can shorten up with two strikes and make contact; projects to hit for both average and power; could be 60 hit/70 power; will play 2012 season as 17 year-old; could reach full-season ball; potential 7 player; long way to go; works harder than any young prospect I’ve ever been around; first to arrive/last to leave; already speaks conversational English; very mature; future is riding on the bat; could be special.
● FanGraphs is currently rolling out its annual organizational rankings (obligatory #6org jab), and the (future AL West denizen) Astros and the Athletics clock in at 29th and 28th overall, respectively. Of particular note is the discussion on the Athletics, which acknowledges the influx of prospects netted during the course of their winter trading bonanza, but also hits Oakland hard as far as their current talent level, and notes that the profusion of young, bright analytically-minded GMs throughout the game combined with the Athletics' inability to get anywhere the last few years has stripped some of the shine away from the Billy Beane regime.
● Mike Adams talks about wanting to infuse his repertoire with more off-speed stuff. Jeff Wilson writes about the Rangers' inconsistent power output this spring, and consults hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh for his thoughts on the matter. Drew Davison speaks to RedHawks manager Bobby Jones. In case you missed it, Baseball America tabbed the Rangers' farm system as the best in the game last week, and if I recall correctly, one of the BA guys mentioned on Twitter that the Rangers would hold that spot in BA's view even if Yu Darvish was stripped of his prospect eligibility.