Tuesday, June 30, 2009

BA Snippet on Yoon-He Nam:

Tuesday Dish: The Rangers’ Korean Surprise

Posted Jun. 30, 2009 12:27 pm by Jim Shonerd
Filed under: Daily Dish
The low Class A Hickory Crawdads have a pitching staff featuring plenty of international talent, including the Venezuelan trio of lefthander Martin Perez and righties Wilmer Font and Wilfredo Boscan. While that group offers plenty to get excited about, another, much less heralded pitcher on the Crawdads’ staff has one of its best.

"The biggest surprise for us has been Yoon-He Nam, the Korean kid," Hickory pitching coach Brad Holman said.

The Rangers signed the lefthander Nam as an 18-year-old out of Korea in 2006. After two years in short-season leagues, the now 21-year-old Nam is getting his first look at full-season ball and has shown he’s up to the task. Nam has worked primarily out of the Hickory bullpen, making 19 appearances and four starts, yet he’s piled up a 7-1, 1.73 record and has won his last six decisions going back to April 29.

Nam doesn’t offer overpowering velocity, but he’s shown an ability to miss bats as he’s piled up 57 strikeouts in 52 innings while allowing only 30 hits and a .165 average against.

"He’s unbelievable," Holman said. "He throws four pitches—fastball, curveballl, slider, changeup. He commands them all. He disrupts timing."

Nam was utterly dominant during a nearly two-month stretch from April 25 through June 13. During that span, Nam allowed only two runs and 11 hits over 36 innings and 11 appearances. He also put together a 38-to-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio. That success landed Nam a spot in the South Atlantic League All-Star game.

All of this is coming after Nam put together two solid, if unspectacular seasons in short-season leagues. He made his U.S. debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League in 2007 and went 4-1, 3.62 in 32 innings, all in relief. After moving up to the short-season Northwest League last year, Nam posted a similar season, going 2-0, 4.20. Those numbers didn’t put him on the radar, but his success this season has.

"His velocity’s not through the roof or anything like that," Holman said. "But he commands the baseball and knows how to pitch."



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Ynoa update

I came across a blurb (can't find the source now) that Ynoa was placed on the 60 day DL yesterday. They appear to be shutting him down entirely, so not sure he pitches this year....





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Oakland's Outman Out

24yo Josh Outman will have TJ surgery today. Despite the blow, they have a seemingly endless pipeline to AAA of ML-ready starts. Vin Mazzarro has been the latest phemom called up to perform well. He did not make the club out of spring training despite being the best pitcher in camp, and has recently been compared to Kevin Brown with an electric sinker.

The erratic Gio Gonzalez replaces Outman in the rotation. Other options this year (and next): James Simmons, Sean Gallagher, Dana Eveland and Edward Gonzalez. Simmons is not currently on the 40 while Gallagher and Eveland are but are pitching in AAA. EGonzo is pitching out of the pen. In addition, their ace, the Duke, could be back just before or just after the ASB. It appears likely that he ends up in the pen to preserve his health but he could end up in the rotation at the beginning of August.

The A's will have an elite young rotation next year: Cahill, Anderson, Mazzarro, Simmons, Braden with Gallagher, and Gio as wildcards.

Who does TX have by comparison? Millwood will surely be back to front the rotation. Holland well be there for sure. Feldman will compete for a spot at the back end of the rotation; I expect he will still not receive any respect from the club next spring either. Harry and BMac will be there too, they are healthy. BMac is a prime candidate to be moved to the pen however even if he is healthy. Feliz will compete for a spot if the club trusts the health of his shoulder, if not, he will be a setup guy.

Hunter and Moscoso should be the most likely prospects to compete for the 4/5 spots though they could easily end up in the pen, where they would be instant updrades. The biggest wildcard migh be Tanner Scheppers. If he gets his as signed and to a full season club so that he can pitch for the next 10 weeks, then go to winter ball, he could compete for a rotation spot out of spring training. If he waits till august to sign, tX will likely have to wait until 2011 for him to front the rotation. Long shots would include: TMurph, Tony Doyle, Poveda, Kiker and Kirkman. TMurph and Kiker will likely end up in the pen.


So the rotation candidates stack up this way IMO:
Millwood, Holland, Harrison, Feldman, Moscoso, Hunter, Scheppers, Feliz, BMac

AAA arms:
Poveda, Kirkman, Kiker


As it stands, TX will likely go into next season with a lot of unanswered questions about its young pitchers unless Hunter, Feliz and Moscoso get quite a few innings in the second half and Scheppers signs soon. Oakland, on the other hand, will have a firm grasp on where their young aces are in their development and each of their highly prized talents will bring a great deal of experience into their second years. In order to make sure that these questions don't linger into the 2010 season, I would expect that during the off season TX trades a few of the arms mentioned above in a package that would include some young position prospects to acquire a young frontline starter under control for some years. The ideal scenario would have been for Feliz to emerge at that guy this year but that seems entirely up in the air at the moment. In addition, even if Feliz does prove to be an ace, he likely won't look like one until 2011, after getting his first year under his belt.





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Monday, June 29, 2009

Major Moves, Minor Notes

Rangers
As many have speculated after Hambone's latest injury woes, his move to RF would seem to be imminent now with Borbon on the roster. This would seem to mean that some established veteran might be traded once Hammy proves that he is healthy. The only other option would seem to be to option Davis, move blalock to 1b and use Jones as the primary DH. Really though, this seems like a lateral move, as with the entire lineup slumping, moving around the pitiable pieces won't get you very far. Packaging someone like Byrd with some prospects for pitching could be more feasible, now that the org has signed off on Borbon's readiness to start in CF.

This is really a pretty gutsy move once you think about it. Right on the verge of the most important series to date, the team is trying to shake things up, and get a nice player into the mix. How well his NL-style game will fit in with this band of lethargic hackers remains to be seen.

Hunter's start was very very encouraging. I have overlooked him since his promotion to AA last year due to his bad changeup, his high hits per 9, and his minuscule strikeout rate. He struck me as a bullpen guy but maybe he has turned the corner. I will throw up a pitch fX of his start shortly.


AAA
I am hoping that Gentry will get bumped to AAA to replace Borbon. He has hit about .340 in May and June (after hitting .200 in April) and has exploded on the basepaths, far exceeding his prior work; at one point he had stolen 20+ before being caught. The only drawback would be for Frisco which would be left with no true centerfielder. Smitty would move to center, and provide AA defense, but the bigger problem defensively would be having Moreland and Tracy in the OF at the same time. Let's just say, the OF was not their first calling. The Blaze's Joey Butler would've have been a candidate to fill Gentry's spot but he is in the midst of a terrible slump and can't make any contact to speak of.

On the pitching front, Mendoza was suprisingly moved back into the rotation with Hunter's promotion. His recent move to the pen had the smell of a permanent move, but, as I speculated in a previous entry, it might have been measure designed to get him to throw strikes. We may not know for a while what they intend with him, though if he gets removed from the 40 in the coming weeks, I guess that would be a much clearer gesture of a complete loss of faith.


UPDATE: AA
Forgot to Add that Jose Diaz was activated from the DL a day or two ago and can now rejoin the stable of absolutely abhorrent relievers on the club.


Update: Spokane
Mendonca signs. I had hoped that he would report to the Blaze. If the Rangers thinks he has a lot of mechanical issues to work out in his swing/stance then OK. However, watch his power #s (especially the first half of next year). The alterations that they make in the mechanics of power hitters (see Mayberry, Clark, Bolden)has tended to completely sap their power (particularly homers). Here is an update on the signing from EG:

The Rangers have signed second-round pick 3B Tommy Mendonca of Fresno State. The powerful Mendonca (pronounced Men-DON-Tza) receives a bonus of approximately $590,000. He will immediately go to Spokane. Expect Mendonca to be an above average defender with real power, but he will strike out a ton.






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Eyre down, Hunter stays for a while

Per Andro:


Tommy Hunter to get at least another look

The right-hander's strong performance Sunday kept him in Arlington, while Willie Eyre was sent down. Manager Ron Washington said Hunter is a candidate to start Sunday's game against Tampa Bay and possibly another game before the All-Star break. How Scott Feldman pitches against Los Angeles Wednesday will set the rest of the lineup. A strong start by Feldman would mean the Rangers would use him again in Los Angeles next week, freeing up a start for Hunter Sunday. If he doesn't pitch Sunday, Hunter will likely draw the July 7 start.

- Anthony Andro


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Borbon will start tonight

Oddly enough batting 6th at DH. Weird. All this per Tony Andro at the FWST:


Julio Borbon starting tonight for Rangers

He'll bat sixth and start at designated hitter. It looks like Willie Eyre is the odd-man out although nothing is official. Borbon is not here yet.

- Anthony Andro



And this per TRS:

Borbon in starting lineup
The Rangers called up outfielder Julio Borbon and will likely send reliever Willie Eyre to the minor leagues to make room for Borbon on the 25-man roster.

Borbon was in the Rangers' lineup, hitting sixth and at designated hitter. In 70 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City, he was hitting .300 with a .366 on-base percentage. Borbon is a center fielder and has led off for Oklahoma City.

The Rangers were carrying eight relief pitchers -- 13 pitchers total -- which left them with three bench players before this move. Manager Ron Washington said he would carry 13 pitchers until the bullpen settled down after heavy use.

Eyre has thrown 5 1/3 innings for the Rangers this season after returning from the disabled list. He has a 5.06 ERA with the Rangers.



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Surprise! Borbon Called up

Jason Cole over at Lonestardugout.com has this press release from the Univerity of Tennessee:
"Julio Borbon was called up to the Major Leagues by the Texas Rangers Monday. A standout centerfielder for the Volunteers from 2005-07, Borbon was drafted 35th overall by the Rangers in the 2007 MLB Draft and has been starring this summer for the Class AAA Oklahoma City Redhawks of the Pacific Coast League.

“This is a very important day for me and my family,” Borbon said. “It is so exciting and satisfying to see my dream come true. To think that just two years ago I was at Tennessee and now I’m experiencing this lifelong dream—it’s hard to describe how I’m feeling right now. I owe thanks to so many people for helping to guide me along the way.” Borbon ranked sixth in the PCL in hits, tied for sixth in triples (5), eighth in runs, tied for ninth in stolen bases and was 25th in batting average.

Texas Rangers Director of Player Development Scott Servais had an opportunity to personally evaluate Borbon and other Texas prospects during a visit to Oklahoma City last week. After being notified of his promotion, Borbon flew to Dallas on Monday and is unsure of when he’ll see his first action with the Rangers.

“I’ll be ready whenever they need me,” Borbon said.




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Hickory Rotation Notes

Assuming that TX doesn't want to increase some of their young starter's inning totals by more than 40 compared to last year, it looks like there has been and will be a few changes governing their rotation patterns for the second half. So let's take a look at their innings totals this year, then project a year-end total, and compare that to their total innings in 2008 to see how the staff might be managed from here on out.


Name

2008

Current

IP/GM

Projected

Ideal

Font

46 (07)

47

2.94

86

~86

Pimentel

65

67 (6/18)

5.2

140

~105

Perez

62

54 (6/12)

4.5

117

~105

Brigham

77 (07)

56

3.73

105

~95

Boscan

69

45

5

111

~110

Ramirez

44

11

~4.5

70

~84

Wieland

44

26

4.1

83

~84




As you can see Pimentel is on track to go over the ideal total by 35 innings. It seems as he has alredy been put on a reduced-inning schedule in fact, following NeRa out of the pen in his last appearance on 6/25 for 3.2IP. Perez is also on track to exceed his ideal total by about 15 innings and similarly, he has already been put on a reduced-inning schedule, pitching 2 innings in each of his last 2 appearances (6/16; 6/21). Perez has not pitched since 6/21, and has not appeared on the DL, so I assume they skipped his turn in the rotation. Coupled with their ASB, that gives him about 10 days off. If he doesnt make his turn in the next few days, then he probably has a minor injury that did not merit a DL stay. We'll see shortly I guess.

Wieland, Ramirez, and Boscan appear to by right on schedule to meet their ideal year-end innings totals, Boscan, only by virtue of his previous DL stay earlier in the season. Font and Brigham essentially didn't pitch last year, though Font was on a pitching program for most of the year, and Brigham was throwing from the mound since instructs. I would say that at minimum, they could safely pitch 65 innings, just like most rookie starters. I've set the bar a little higher for them to 85 as it doesn't seem overly burdensome and both are on pace to pitch about that many innings.

Right now the rotation looks something like this:

Brigham/Perez
NeRa/Pimentel
Boscan/ Font
Weiland
TBD

Whatever the arrangement is, starting or relieving, I think that you will see each pitcher in the rotation limited to 2-5 innings/game for the next 4-5 weeks or so if not the rest of the season. However, you might see their innings limitations relaxed the last 3-4 weeks of the season, maybe raised to 6 innings, in preparation for the playoffs. Only by carefully controlling their innings during mid-season would this be possible however. That is just a guess.

The fifth starter in this arrangement could be from the current roster (Tufts, Castillo, Nam) or from a short season squad (Hurley, Springston), or ideally, a draft pick like Doyle. Considering that Tufts, Nam and Castillo all merit promotions, and that Castillo is now regarded as a quality bullpen arm due to his erratic mechanics, it would likely be Hurley or Springston (if he is not injured, currently on AZL reserve). I would discount the idea Ocampo being promoted or it would've been done already but, as I have argued before, he merited an assignment there when rosters were set in April.

Due to the necessity of managing the innings of every pitcher currently in the rotation, I doubt that you will see any of them promoted to HighA until next year. In additon, given that this is everyone's first year for a full season club, it is a move that is hardly necessary, especially for the Latin American kids. For the international kids, it makes sense to let them start and finish in LowA, for reasons related to baseball and for those related to life. Whatever the case, none of their progressions through the minors will be hindered by leaving them in Hickory the full year. If they dominate HighA next year, which is doubtful unless the team is no longer in the Cal league, then they will see AA soon enough.



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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Feliz Unrest: An (Ir)Rational Rant

Ok So there has been a bit of a scrum on Lonestarball.com about the decision to transition Feliz to the pen this year. In short, I don't buy the public explanations being proffered by JD and CO and I certainly don't by all the various contorted explanations by people defending the perceived company line. I just came across Z's defense of the move in the DMN based on a concern for pitch limits. So I wanted to address pitch limits and suggest that defense is a canard and then move on to other things.

Feliz pitched 127ish innings last year. If you agree that an acceptable increase in innings this year would be 25-30 innings that would put him at 150-160 innings ideally. At present he has 63, if pitches 6 innings per start the rest of the way, the gets you to that limit, and you could modulate that down for July just to be safe. He has been on a pitch count ranging from 85-95 for most of the season so his arm hasn't really been abused. So I would have to say that i disagree with this as a justification for moving him to the pen especially in light of the fact that Feliz just finished his best month of the season.

Given that June has been by far Feliz's best month then, why would anyone want to forestall the possibility of adding a front-line caliber starter to a rotation - say 8/1ish - that is now teetering on the brink. Whose to say he's not about to go on a roll? Why not take a chance and wait until the eve of the trade deadline to make a decision? It all seems a bit premature given the current health problems with the staff and relative youth of 2/3 of them. Do you really prefer the likes of Jennings, Benson, Hunter, or Nipper to Feliz pitching 6 innings every fifth day? Beyond even this, do you think that the fragile shoulders of Harry and Mac can gird the responsibility of pitching for a contender through October? Count me among those that think our chances are better with him in the rotation given all the exigencies that are likely to occur ( and are occurring).

Finally, given the potentially fatal problems with the rotation, one can't possibly believe that adding anyone, much less a rookie starter, to the bullpen is going to play a critical role to ushering this team into the playoffs. In addition, do you think that Feliz is gong to displace Wilson, Oday, and Frankie from their late inning duties? Do you even think that Wash will actually trust Feliz over those three in a close game? If not, then you would have to grant that Feliz will likely be relegated to a 6th/7th inning middle relief role, a role that has been filled adequately since the middle of April by whoever has filled it. In the end, any relative improvement that Feliz might bring to the pen in a MR role won't be so much greater than what the MR core is already doing, has already done.

Ok so clearly, I think all the blogospheric justifications for this move are bogus, especially to the extent that they defend some perceived, publicly articulated logic that has not in fact been made or defended by the club. To be clear, and I only just realized this tonight after arguing these points again and again, what I actually disagree with is the public explanation put forward by the organization. The ensuing debate has not issued from the organization at all as the Rangers have have been completely cryptic about the whole affair. Basically, almost anything reasonable can be inferred from their public pronouncements which really leave his future as a closer or a starter completely up in the air.

So what I would like to argue instead is that the club is actually concerned about the health of Feliz's shoulder, which troubled him at the beginning of this year and sometime last year as well. However, they must, I guess, dissemble on this concern publicly, and play it off as a tactical move instead: "Oh, we're leaving no stone unturned to improve this club". I think the unarticulated reason for this unexpected decision to convert him to the pen given the dire state of our rotation - and given the unlikelihood that we can trade for starting pitcher without getting rooked - is for this reason alone. And I don't think this is the same as being concerned about his yr-end innings totals, totals that Feliz is currently right on target to meet. This is different in my estimation.

So instead of merely debating why this is or is not a good move, and attributing this debate, and our conclusions, to some official club stance, I think this situation requires a little parsing between the lines of JD's cryptic prose. So, coming full circle now, I AGREE with this decision to move Feliz to the pen: If the Ranger's are dissembling about a fundamental concern with Feliz's health, I am also very concerned. If they think that his short-term and/or long-term health is best preserved by a temporary or even a permanent move to the pen, then I am all for it.

I can only hope that my interpretation is way off-base, paranoid, irrational, whatever, as loosing a potential #1 starter would be quite a blow even though he might quickly become an elite closer in the end. Every team has a closer but few teams have a legit #1 and any of our other prospects who have that ceiling - Main, NeRa, Perez - are a couple of years away from revealing their true ceiling to us.


Not sure how much sense this makes as I am sick of debating the issue, I refuse to edit this for clarity, and I'm going to bed - Have fun mulling it over or treating it as background noise emanating from just _one_ more sports blog...



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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cleveland trades Derosa

to the Cards for Chris Perez, a closer prospect from their current pen, and a PTBNL.



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Moves and Notes

ML
Harrison to the DL with the ambiguously frightening though seemingly ubiquitous "biceps tendinitis". His MRI was clear but he is going for nerve studies on Monday.

Tommy "judo" Hunter will make the spot start for him on Sunday. With the off-day next week, a 5th starter won't be needed until the next time through the rotation and that guy is TBD. Options include Hunter, Moscoso, Jennings, and Nippert. Moscoso will need at least one start to get stretched out due to his pine time with the big club; his first outing back with AAA was limited to 5 innings. Both Jennings and Nippert will need to be stretched out as well. Both can go 4 now and would probably be limited to 5 for any spot start 10 days from now. Hunter, then, appears to be the most likely candidate for the second spot start as well it seems.

Think JD is mulling over that decision to send Feliz to the pen with 2 starters on the DL and Holland getting shelled tonight?

AAA
Duran released to free up a spot on the 40 to accommodate Eyre. As he was on the DL, he could not simply be removed from the 40 and optioned to AAA if he cleared waivers. Rather than remove some real dead weight from the 40 like Bannister, this was a calculated move by TX as any club that claimed him off waivers would have to add him to the DL on the 40-man roster. No one is going to go this far for a guy who has been injured for most of the last year and as a result he is expected to resign with the club on a minor league contract. I presume that he will still have 2 options remaining.

Feliz pitched the late innings for the second time last night. The club appears to be grooming Feliz for a late-inning bullpen role rather than a MR-LR role as Holland broke in with. If that is not the case, I will eat JD's boot heel, as moving a front-line rotation prospect into Jason Jenning's role is a complete waste IMO. Of course, I have my reservations about the move anyways, considering our present starting rotation is on the brink, and, well, Feliz is the only font-line starting prospect that we have in AAA, right? Couple that with the fact that he has pitched his best the last 4-5 starts or so and you have to question why this is a wise move given that he could be inserted into the TX rotation the first week of August or so if he continues to progress. Who is to say he won't get white hot and be a very nice 2 month addition to the rotation? That was the hope since spring training anyways, or so I thought.

AA
Phillips promoted and debuted last night. There is still a roster spot open so hopefully another reliever will get the nod from HighA.

I was looking at probable promotions over the last week or so, and it really sunk in just how horrendous the Frisco bullpen is. In order to get any members of the Blaze pen promoted, some of these guys are due for a demotion. Diamond, Diaz, Jones Torres, Strop, and Garr all have a line that looks something like this: 20ip/20h/20/bb/20so/6.00era - it is just ugly. I say demote all of these guys so that Corey Young, Nam, Falcon and co can get a shot at putting up league average #s.

Kudos by the way to the Frisco manager for turning Mitch Moreland into a singles hitter by batting him second.

Update: Beau Jones demoted to HighA; John Slusarz promoted from short season. Not sure why they still like Slusarz as he is just an org arm.

HighA
Ryan Falcon gets the spot start, or at least we hope it is a spot start. I am hoping that Brigham gets the call to fill the last spot in the rotation despite his inconsistency; I prefer to leave all of the youngsters in LowA for the year.

LowA
Bianucci and Morrison still bashing away in a level below their skill set; it's nothing but a disservice I tell you.

There are a couple of guys in HighA (Gomez, Gac, Rody, Fry) and a few guys in short season who could all take their spots and continue to be the bulwark of the offense. I just hate to see these guys get the Moreland/Smitty treatment.

Short Season
No real draft news of note save that 45th rd JC catcher Dale Anderson plans to finish school rather than sign. Other than that, 14th rd RHP Chad Bell is pitching in the Cape Cod league on the same team that 25th rd RF Riley Cooper is on. Cooper appears to be on a taxi squad or no longer with the team while Bell is pitching. The season just started a week after the draft and has been washed out by rain for a week so no real #s to go by yet. The season would normally end just before the signing deadline but will probably go past that this year to make up the rainouts.

If anyone has located any of the other summer clubs for any of our unsigned picks, let me know, and I will try to make periodic updates on them.

22.5yo RHP Kelvin Arrendell promoted from DSL1. Puzzling promotion on the surface - looks like an org guy due to his age and he may well be. Late start as he entered the DSL in 2006 as a hitter at 19.5yo. Seems to have converted to pitching as late as last year so the org must see something they like about him, perhaps a lightning fastball who knows. His #s in relief in 08 were good, this year's not so much.


DSL
Another spate of roster moves, moving people around, switching positions, adding org guys - I'll have that update when the dust settles.





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Omar Poveda

Poveda is in Arizona throwing a rehab start tonight. Interestingly, he is going up vs one of the LA bonus babies that TX was rumored to have lost out on last year to San Deigo: Adys Portillo (in his second outing of the year). Poveda's injury was rumored to be an injury to his non-throwing hand after he took out his frustration about a bad start (either in AAA or his first start back from there I think)on an immovable object, let's call it a water cooler what with Bradley in the news.


Update: Omar only went 3 innings today (2h, 2so, 0er). After being on the DL for 2 1/2 weeks (6/10), he will get one or two more starts (limited to 4 then 5 innings) before likely returning to Fricso for a 7/12ish start (though 7/7 is possible). It is really too bad for the kid. His injury came on the heels of a fantatstic 9 inning complete game and he seemed to be poised to break out.


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Bmac, Feliz, Hambone updates

Per Evan Grant, Hambone could run the bases and outfield full-speed, slide, and get a little dirty this weekend as a prelude to a mid-week rehab assignment. This could lead in turn to a return date as early at 7/6, the 1st game of the LAA road trip, in what amounts to an astonishing recovery timeline. It is also a bit frightening as pushing himself beyond the pale is risky to say the least. I can only assume and hope that he has has been fully cleared by the medical staff.

Bmac will soft toss this weekend as a prelude to a throwing program. He has been shut down almost a month, and I would expect about a 3-4 week throwing/strengthening program that might put him back on the staff sometime in the last week of July. I would expect that sticking Bmac in the pen would be the biggest move the rangers would make at the trading deadline. We'll see.

And finally, this tidbit from EG on Feliz:

"The Rangers think Feliz could be ready for his big league bullpen debut by the start of the second half, but they will test him on back-to-back days - the big physical test of recovery - before they promote him. "



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German Duran Likely to Stick

Check back on Wednesday morning. Also, an unreported injury tidbit: Duran has been recovering from an appendectomy; the last 12 months have really sucked for this kid on the injury front. I am still high on him and don't hold his bad luck, bad timing against him.

This update from Tony Andro of the FWST makes it seem more than likely that German Duran will stick and that people don't really seem to understand the waiver process/terminology (see the PadZ incident). If it wasn't so boring I might make a post about all of the waiver rules/procedures/terminology:


More on the German Duran move

I exchanged texts with German Duran, who wants to stay with the organization. The feeling is mutual. Assistant general manager Thad Levine said he hopes Duran clears waivers. The way release waivers work is that other organizations have two business days to claim Duran. If he isn't claimed by Wednesday, he can re-sign with Texas. While it would seem like an easy move to claim Duran, that really isn't the case. He's on the minor league DL after having an appendectomy. Any team that claims him would be forced to put him on the major league disabled list.

- Anthony Andro



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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Second Round Value picks

Sam Young (just taken)
DeJuan Blair (knee issue apparently)(Just taken)
Derrick Brown- gone
Nick Calathes
Marcus Thornton- gone
Dejuan Summers (just taken)


I'm sure the Mavs are identifying their perimeter shooting PF for 56 so that value list is not for the Mavs obviously. With 4 second round picks the next 2 years if the Mavs didn't/don't make a play for any of these guys, well, you know what I think...

DeJuan Blair to the Spurs. They've done their best to smite you tonight Junior while you stand in cement shoes...

Update1: Word just came down that houston bought Washington's second (#32)for straight up cash so clearly the mavs arent' interested in getting value here or one of these guys who could play in the rotation right away. Last year it cost 1.3mill plus 2 seconds to move into the early second. This year, not so much.

Update2: Brown and Thornton just taken; Calathes the only value pick left on the board.

Update3: Word has it that the Mavs traded their 56 pick and cash to MN for Calathes. It was the only thing the Mavs have gotten right on draft day. The kid will play in Greece for probably only 1 year and probably has a reasonable buyout. He made a big mistake not pulling his name out of the draft as he slid right out of the 1st round costing him a cool 750k I'm sure. In addition, I think an NBA team can only pay like 300k of a buyout and the rest comes out of the player's pocket. I'm sure he was smart enough to have a buyout clause under 300k.

I like this kid and he has the ceiling to be a starter but probably only on a team that has a couple of swingmen who are above average defensive players. The Mavs are not that team right now. However, he could also be a valuable combo guard, essentially being #3 in a guard rotation and could play alongside a smaller 2-guard like Jet or Barea. His main problem is his relative lack of athleticsm and defensive limitations. He is a heady pg with absolutely outstanding vision and passing ability who has a balanced offensive game as well. And he is only a sophomore to boot. So he will fit into a rotation once he comes over.

Update4: Apparently, we gave up Portland's 2010 second for Calathes not this year's pick so we keep Nivens. Nivens is a fundametally sound college post player with average athleticism, a terrific offensive rebounder, poor passer, good poster scorer, who added a little more finesse to his game this year including a mid-ranger jumper. His ability to defend his position in the nba is the main concern in addition to getting his shots off as he's not all that agile. Don't buy into Juniors annual hype when he calls him a "pj Brown" starter kit. This is a joke. PJ Brown could defend 2-3 positions well and Nivens will never be that guy. Ordinarily, I don't really care what planet a guy lives on, except, in this case, that guy is Junior, and he runs an 400Million$ nba franchise...



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WOW!

I almost convinced myself that the Mavs might do something right with 3 value players who slipped to #24. They selected BJ Mullens a player ranked in the top 20 who couldve been ready for the Mavs in his 3 year after they blew the team up. Ok I can buy it especially if they make a play for another value pick in the 25-30 range by simply plopping down a cool 3 million.

Well, I shouldve stuck to my guns as my predictions were right on the money. Junior screwed the franchise one again by trading Mullens to OKC for French tweener leandro barbosa/devin harris point guard clone Rodrigue Beaubois. Horrible pick. A project who will never be an adequate playmaker and certainly won't contribute this year. Simply AMAZING. The Mavs did _exactly _ what I predicted they would.

Let the Junior hate flow. Simply a fireable offense. AMAZING - but just as I predicted.

Now prepare yourself for the the well-oiled machine that is the Junior press junket spitting out trite cliches about what a great player he is, plays a little defense, quickest point guard in the nba, we view him as a playmaker, he will contribute this year, he will stay in front of player like tony parker and chris paul, in fact, we think he is the next tony parker.

Absolutely nauseating.

I have officially turned in my Mavs apparel and now return to your regularly scheduled broadcast, the Rangers' stacked minor league system. They are the only metroplex pro team that seems to have sound management at the moment...

AMAZING.



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The value range

was clearly 16-20 as Johnson, Holiday Lawson, Teague and Maynor went. Did the Mavs make a play for anyone? Probably not. But the Nuggest managed to essentially move into the 18th slot _without_ a first round pick going in and had MN draft Lawson for them. Go Mavs!

So, another reach here for need by drafting a backup PG in Darren Collison at 21. So three reaches and Junior's idea that 22 = 24 is shot to shit. AT 22 BJ Mullens, Blair and Sam Young would have been available with Sam Young being a Josh clone. Mavs fucked up unless Young slides to 24 (and they take him - who knows what' rattling around in Junior's head). Mullens fits as a project but you would still want to buy a 1st 25-30 to snag a guy who could make the bench rotation if available. Blair seems to be falling because of injury concerns with his knee. Not sure about the details. I say take Blair if he's available at 24 as he is the BPA there but only if you think he can play 20 minutes at center otherwise go with Young.

The rumor is that portland will snag Casspi at 22. Nope Portland reaches for Claver (who has a minor liver condition I think) and the Kings select Casspi.

Mavs on the clock. If they get Blair or Young I will eat crow and admit that the Mavs draft board was risky but right in the end. If they Draft Mullens or Calathes they better get another late first to go with him. If they get anyone else I will, I will...I don't know...explode maybe...




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Tyler Hansbrough

going to the Pacers at 13 means that one quality player will slip to #22, the Mavs former spot, illustrating the idocy of the MBT - Junior still floating along on the coat tails of his Nowitski/Nash moves 11 years ago.

The pick who is falling (out of the lottery in fact) is Jrue Holiday and James Johnson seems to be falling a bit as well. The fact that the Mavs bailed on their spot at 22 really hurts their chances to move into the 16-20 range to grab a guy who is falling.

Austin Daye just taken at #15, a huge reach, and major bust prospect. Here you have it folks. There have now been 2 reaches IMO with Hansbrough and Daye and the Mavs would be sitting pretty on a value pick at 22. I'm turning in my green and blue tee and cancelling my League pass folks; it's a sad day. Come have a beer and a P'oh Boy with me to assuage the loss....



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Junior: 6 Years of Ineptitude (republished from 2/7/09)

Saturday, February 7, 2009
The Ghost of Finley Haunts Donnie Jr.
Please fire Donnie Jr. NOW, before the trading deadline, the draft, and free agency. Let me count the years and reasons:

1. 03-04: For squandering a season with the acquisition of Jamison and Walker. Scrubbs signed that year: Delk, Fortson, Williams, Best, Ndiaye
2. 04-05: Podkolzin period. But P-Pod over: Kevin Martin, Delonte West, and Tony Allen? Year of Damps huge extension?X!! For the failure to recognize that Jet is not a PG. For the failure to recognize that Devin Harris was destined to be a shoot first PG. Romance with Dampier. failure to recognize the 'Quis cancer. Scrubbs: henderson, van horn, booth, dickau, mbenga, armstrong. Failure to recognize Finley's decline soon enough.
3. 05-06: Terry still starting PG. Failure to replace Finley, instead relying on Quis and Stack and the following scrubbs: griffin, christie, marshall. Other scrubbs: benga, armstrong, powell. Failure to buy picks in first round that were being given away.
4. 06-07: Terry now essentially the starting SG at 6-2. Almost signed Mike James to full exception. Terry given huge extension. Swingmen still trying to replace Finley: Terry, Croshere, Bucker, George, AGer, stack. Stacks continued decline. Other scrubbs: Johnson, Bonsu, Willis, benga. Failure to buy picks in first round that were being given away.
5. 07-08: Still trying to replace Finley: Jones, George, stack, wright, hassell, ager. Other scrubbs: Fazekas, Ju. Howard, Allen, Lue. Stacks continued decline and resigned to boot. Trade away the teams future instead of firing the coach even though players were asking to be traded internally. Failure to buy picks in first round that were being given away. No first rounder. Jet is essentially the starting SG.
6. 08-09: Still trying to replace finley: Jet, Wright, Green, Williams, Carroll, George, R. terry, Shan Foster. Scrubbs: hollins, Singleton. Diop signed to full exception. Stack has hit bottom. Jet is essentially the starting SG.
7. 05-09: Failure to sign draft or trade for available swingmen who represented marked improvements over any other scrubbs the last four years (to name just a few): Grant Hill, Matt Barnes, M. Pietrus, Roger Mason, Jason Richardson, Gerald Wallace, Posey, Diaw, Marion, Ariza, Tony Allen, Rudy Fernandez, JR Smith, Artest, Korver, Mason, Maggette, salmons, sefolosha, Anthony Parker(please feel free to add your own).

Enough already Donnie Jr, please don't let the door hit ya!


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NBA Draft- Player Rankings

Ok the draft is finally here. You can be sure that Donnie Nelson will screw this up...Oh wait he already has. Donnie Nelson somehow managed to screw the franchise _before_ the draft has even started, yesterday trading away our highest pick in 4-5 years for a lower 1st. The Mavs Brain Trust (MBT) saw fit to move from 22 to 24 in exchange for two second round picks from Portland, 2009 and their lowest one in 2010. Why? Why the hell not?! I mean how often has Donnie chanced upon a second round pick who has made a lasting contribution to the team in the last 5 years? Anyone...Anyone...Bueller? The Mavs official justification: "We can get the guy we want at 24 and who knows who how useful one of those seconds can be?"

This is truly disturbing. This draft is about 21 picks deep in terms of 1st and 2nd tier talent and 20 players deep (which excludes freshman center BJ Mullens who is a project) in terms of players that can make contributions as starters or as critical backups to any and every NBA team. The Mavs admit that they are ready to commit to a player _outside_ of those two tiers, a third tier talent, who, despite what they believe, will not make any substantial contributions to the team in 2009. In fact they are so ready to make this commitment, they were ready to do it before the draft shook out and risk losing out on a player that might slide to them at 22.

The chance that a second tier player would have slid to them at 22 can be regarded as most likely because this draft is full of second tier players from picks 13-21 with assessments of them by each NBA team all over the map. It would only take ONE team to reach on a third tier player or for a player to merely slip due to concerns unrelated to ceiling - injuries, attitude - for the Mavs to snag the next Josh Howard. Clearly, the MBT have determined that the second tier talent ends much sooner than my prognostications, and I feel confident that they are wrong. But then, that is a Mav's feeling that has been with me for years...

OK to get to my player rankings(no particular order within each tier and compiled from studying the profiles and rankings at draftexpress and nbadraft.net):

Tier One (1-12)
Blake Griffin
Hasheem Thabeet
Ricky Rubio
Jonny Flynn
James Harden
Stephen Curry
Jordan Hill
Tyreke Evans
Jrue Holiday
Demar DeRozan
Gerald Henderson
Brandon Jennings

Tier Two (13-21)
James Johnson
Terrence Williams
Ty Lawson
Earl Clark
BJ Mullens
Jeff Teague
Sam Young
DeJuan Blair
Eric Maynor

Tier Three (22-39)
Nick Calathes
Tyler Hansbrough
Marcus Thornton
Derrick Brown
DaJuan Summers
DeMarre Carroll
Omri Casspi
Taj Gibson
Darren Collison
Toney Douglas
Victor Claver
Dante Cunningham
Wayne Ellington
Patrick Mills
Chase Budinger
Rodrigue Beaubois
Jonas Jerebko
Austin Daye

Tier Four
40+

Everyone else...


As they have since Finley's release, the Mavs need a well-rounded swingman who can start. And, of course, they may need a starting PG, so unless they want to be completely screwed on 7/1 if Kidd declares FA, they could take a contingency player in this draft. In fact, how could you not do so? If I'm Kidd, there is absolutely no way I return to the Mavs for the money, as they have ZERO chance to win a ring. To that effect, almost all of the Tier One point guards are worth trying to trade up to get (and the swingmen too really), though I don't like Curry as a PG.

If any of the Tier 1 swingmen or points fall into the Tier 2 range, you make a play for them. Now that the Mavs have an even _worse_ 1st round pick, this becomes all the more difficult. The Tier two players that I don't like for the Mavs are C BJ Mullens and SG JEff Teague. The ones that I would consider trading into the 13-21 range to get are: SF Sam Young, F/G Terrence Williams, PG Ty Lawson, PG Eric Maynor, and F Earl Clark. I would only trade up for these guys if you think they can start now in the case of Williams, Young and Clark, or, if they can be primary backups this year who can develop into starters by 2010 in the case of Lawson and Maynor.

The Tier 3 players that I like are limited really, and most will be career backups who do one thing really well - rebound, defend, pass, score - but none of them really well in combination. The exception might be sophomore PG Nick Calathes headlines the bunch, but he has signed for a Greek team in 2009-2010 so he won't be coming over to the NBA until 2010. His defensive limitations might mean he is a third/combo guard but that is still a pretty high ceiling and his potential to develop into a starter makes him a pretty good value pick. If the Mavs pick him, then they will need to add another first or make a substantive trade in the summer to bring in a swingman or point to get help _this_ season.

The only other guy that I like that could develop into a starter at the SF position is F Derrick Brown. His game is offensively deficient, and he would never really be a true swingman, just a tweener forward really, as his ball handling and shooting mechanics will always be below average. Where he does excell is being an excellent defender at two positions, freakish length and athleticism. In a word, he is not the scoring, slashing, shooting swingman that the mavs need but could start on other teams who have scoring at 3 other positions already.

Three players from this tier who could become valuable backups in an 8-man rotation would be PG Darren Collison, G Toney Douglas and SG Marcus Thornton. Collison is a fundamentally sound pg whose calling is above average defense. Douglas is a tweener point - a shooting point really- with average pg skills at best whose calling cards are scoring and defense. Thornton is a poor man's Jason Terry, but not as athletic, or quick and with a less-developed in-between game - a catch and shoot guy for the most part.

The problem with these five guys, and the principle reason why staying at 22 is immensely more sensible than moving to 24: none of them will help you next year and any substantive way.

One player who I don't really have a handle on is DeJuan Summers, a tweener F with a PF body and a SF game. IMO he doesn't project as a starter but might become a good backup. Beauty will be in the eye of the beholder I just hope it isnt the Mavs as he won't be ready to start next year and their really won't be any minutes for him unless Bass or Wright are traded.

So, what do I hope happens today? I hope the Mavs can trade for a swingman or trade into the top 10 to draft an elite swingman or point guard. The second tier guy that I like the most is Terrence Williams, a poor mans Boris Diaw/Thabo Sefolosha/Anthony Parker type who would be ideal for the Mavs as an all-around offensive player, terrific athlete and excellent defender. The ideal accidental scenario would be to have a second tier player fall to them, really unlikely now that the idiocy that is the MBT decided that 24 was better than 22. The reality is that Calathes will likely be the best value pick at 24. If Sam Young or another second tier player falls to Portland at 22, one letter of the MBT deserves to be axed.

However, that is assuredly _not_ what the MAvs will do. What will the Mavs do you ask? They will likely draft the next P-Pod or Maurice Ager or Cortney Alexander or Martin Muursepp or Xue YuYang or Vassilis Spanoulis or Mladen Sekularac, Fazekas, Bruno Sundov - you get the picture. And you will be forced to listen to Junior' trite post-draft cliches: this kid can really play, he can jump out of the gym, just the kind of guy we need, we think he can help us, he can really shoot, he plays really good D, blah, blah (see the Maurice Ager tapes)....

So just what kind of picks give Junior b-ball happy pants? Here are a few: Rodrigue Beaubois, Chase Budinger, Patrick Mills, Jonas Jerebko, Taj Gibson, Omri Casspi, Austin Daye. If you see any of these picks scroll across your espn ticker going to the Mavs, it is time to retire the green and blue Tee and cancel your League Pass gear up for training camp.

I will say this, if they Mavs pick anyone other than the players outlined in this missive (I am an expert after all), they will be busts and a prelude to the Mavs breakup unless some blockbuster trade it made. Hell, I'll even take just a _smart_ trade; I'm easy like that. As a Mavs fan, I only hope that once the Mavs are broken up into a rebuilding state, Junior is not the ship's captain; WAKE UP CUBES! - you've become a Nelson-family tool.



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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Minor/Major Moves and Notes

Texas
On the good news front, look for Rangers to be in the running to sign Luis Ayala, and give him what MN was not willing to: a setup role. He still throws 91 (61%) with a hard 84mph slider (28%) and an 83mph change (11%). It would be an excellent sign and hopefully prevent the loss of some good prospects at the trade deadline trying to rent a reliever.

Saving that, they are likely to sniff Luis Vizaino and see if he might take a brief minors stint to work on his control and approach. He appears to have lost faith in/command of his FB as he is pitching backwards now. Though he still throws it up there at 91, he is only throwing is 40% of the time. The last thing we need is another Jennings on the roster but Vizcaino is worth a try if he is willing to work the kinks out in OKC.

On the bad news front, don't look now but Seattle is only 2.5 back right behind the Angels. As for the Ranger's offense, TR Sullivan offers these notes about some depressingly historic lows and their June swoon:

Among American League teams, the Rangers offense is:
* Last in percentage of pitches taken.
* Have the highest percentage of swings and misses.
* Have the highest percentage of swinging at the first pitch.
* Second lowest percentage of walks per plate appearances. Only the Mariners are worse.
* They have the third highest slugging percentage but the fourth lowest on-base percentage of any team in the league.
* They are last in strikeouts per at-bat.
* They are hitting .249 against left-handed pitchers, third lowest in the league.

For the month of June:
*They are last in the American League in batting average (.218), on-base percentage (.277) and slugging percentage (.363).
* Also runs scored. They have scored 60. The Rays lead with 107.
* Their .218 batting average for June would be the the lowest by an American League in this decade and the lowest since the Mariners hit .216 for June in 1988. The Rangers hit .310 for the month of June in 1996 when they won their first division title.
* Their .277 on-base percentage would be the lowest by an American League team since 1981.


AAA
All-star game on 7/15. Voting ends tomorrow.

With lower-level promotions in the offering these guys might be on the bubble: Rupe, Lizard, Corey, Gordon, Hinckley, Hamilton

Next up to the bigs: Mags, Moscoso, Hunter, Borbon


AA
Kirkman to the DL (hbp ankle); Smoak activated. Guilder Rodriguez (Rody) is on the inactive list for unspecified reasons and hasn't played in 3 weeks.
The Frisco mash unit to date: Kirkman, Schlact, Poveda, Diaz, Laughter, Nipples (rehab)

All-star game is 7/2 I think. Smoak and Pina voted in as starters while Kiker and Poveda will join them.

With lower-level promotions in the offering these guys might be on the bubble: Diaz, Torres, Laughter, Hyatt

Candidates for promotion: Gentry, Ballard, Garr, Vaughan, B.Jones, Smoak


HighA
All-star game tonight. 2B Matt Lawson voted in as a starter with org soldier and HighA squatter (1b/3b) Mauro Gomez voted in as a reserve. Lawson was one of my pres-season sleepers and while he is hitting .300 with above-average power for a MIF, his plate discipline has been awful. Hopefully, he improves his approach in the second half.

Most of the relief core merits a promotion with Phillips (as a reliever), Falcon, Young, Reed, Flores and possibly Tatusko (as a starter) leading the way. The only thing holding them back is the shitty relief cores in AAA and AA blocking their way to Frisco. Look for some of the worst relievers in the high minors to be released or sent to the DL to make room for them.

OT: I really hope Scheppers and Mendonca get assigned here and think they will if they get signed by early to mid-July.


Hickory
All-star game tonight. RF Mike Bianucci (Nooch) voted in as a starter with inf/of Eric Morrison and CF David Paisano joining him as reserves. Nooch was one of my preseason breakout candidates and the player I picked (not in my top 20 prospects) to hit for the most power in the system. Joon-Hi Nam and Martin Perez made the squad as well.

It is likely the Bianucci and Morrison get promoted to highA tomorrow or Wednesday (with Hollander also being a candidate). If not, someone should simply be shot. Look for Miguel Alfonso and/or another OF from Spokane to replace them both with Jason "the brick" Ogata moving to 1b and Hollander starting at 2B.

You could make an argument for the promotion of all of the relievers as well but Nam, Castillo, Tufts, Eppley, and Nevarez are most likely. The only thing holding them back, once again, is the shitty relief cores in the high minors. Don't look for any of the starters to be promoted until August and even then only if the team is not in the playoffs.


AZL/A-
No new draft sightings or scuttlebutt to offer


DSL
Pitcher Kevin Gomez moves to the DSL1 roster and C Oswaldo Pirela moves to DSL2. Hopefully that puts an end to the daily roster manipulation. Wilmer Batista has yet to materialize on either roster, so I am assuming that he contract was voided or something.

The 2008-2009 international free agent haul stands at 37 - see worksheet for up-to-date bios and projected signing bonuses.




######

Minor Moves and Notes

AAA
With Peter Gammons thinking that Daisuke Matsuzaka will be out from 4-8 weeks recuperating a bad shoulder that resulted from his WBC stint, I'm wondering if that might also be the venue in which MaxRam hurt his wrist. Maybe the VZ team screwed him and the Rangers by not starting him for whatever reason,or maybe he got hurt after he left ST and they couldn't play him and he never told anyone upon his return. It would explain a lot. He knew he had much riding on the season and piling on a wrist injury on top of zero WBC playing (to the obvious frustration of team officials) time might have made him a bit reluctant to speak up. Hopefully he'll go on a tear in the next month and he'll learn from the whole (bad) experience. As for the Rangers, just say no to the WBC.


AA
Manny Pina had a fastball glance of his left earflap getting a piece of his head in the process. He was taken out of the game as a precaution. No word on his status. Michael Kirkman had a ball hit off his ankle and was replaced in the game by Pedro Strop I believe. No word on Kirkman's status.

Strop (pronounced with a "hop" not a "hope", ruining my Srop-a-dope nick) apparently can't throw his fastball for strikes. That is to say, it is not a command issue, it is a control issue, which is much worse. Apparently his splitter is working great, but as Scott Garner noted in last night's broadcast, he has to get to it in order to throw it. He hasn't been able to do that since spring training to the great disappointment of all of the minor league minions (like us) out there.

Finally, can anyone please tell me why Mitch Moreland is batting second with Chad Tracy batting cleanup? Someone please email a "lineup efficiency" calculator up Frisco way and give them my regards.

Spokane
I just have to give a shout out to my man Kyle O'Campo who I have hyped since he was drafted. A 13th round pick in 2007 who signed too late to make his debut that year (who also signed for 3/4rd money), Kyle had a stellar AZL debut last year putting up this line:

3.29era/52ip/47h/19bb/56so/.249baa/1.55g_a

He features a low 90's fastball, 2 breaking pitches (the CB was plus in high school but he mainly threw a slider last year) and a developing change. Despite his stellar debut, good enough to make the LowA club in my estimation, he was not only held back a level but was also skipped over for the opener in favor of Robbie Ross despite being the man among teens. To add to this ignominy, none other than the great Matt Thompson and Ben Henry have now been awarded the 2nd and 3rd spots in the rotation. A man can't get no respect these days, not even from a smallish lefty (and a couple of pubescent righties).

Hang in there Kyle; I've got your back (chest thump, gang sign).


DSL
In what appear to be probably the last of the moves to balance out the 2 DSL clubs after the matriculation of quite a few players to the AZL club, the club made 4 moves. Pitchers Hector Herrera and Carlos Ramirez reassigned from DSL2 to DSL1 while
C Yefry Castillo and SS Jose Arias moved from DSL1 to DSL2. It appears that Castillo is being converted to the OF (LF).

The DSL teams have an abundance of catching prospects this year, most of them 2008 Venezuelan signs. As I suggested in a previous post, it appears that TX has tapped into some sort of VZ catching veign that they feel pretty confident in. Or, maybe they have a rep now for being the org that develops catching. Not having a VZ academy, I'm not sure how they swing this but they have.

The two veteran catchers of the DSL clubs are 19.6yo Dominican Alison Perez and the ni'gh pubescent 17.9yo VZ Gilberto Guarcucano - both are raking. Not too sure what to make of Perez as he was worthless at the plate his first 2 DSL years but he is doing well 1 month into 2009. Gilberto is a 2nd yr VZ and his early success at the plate bodes well for him now and in the future.

Gilberto is one of 5 VZ catchers on the DSL clubs this year with 4 rookies: Carlos Oropesa, Oswaldo Pirela, Carlos Torres, and Luis Cedeno. Given that Oropesa and Torres are converted 3B, it might indicate that there has been an organizational decision made to look for and develop potential catchers in that market. Venezolano Max Ramirez himself starterd off as a 3b after all so, who knows, maybe the next MazRam or Manny Pina are nestled in these new "crops on the farm". Just speculatin'.



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Monday, June 22, 2009

Junior's Days Numbered

192 days 7 hours 27 minutes 15seconds to be exact. I've added a "Fire Junior" countdown clock which sets the end of his reign as 11:59pm 12/31/09. Of course, as any die-hard Mavs fan knows, that clock has been ticking for about 5 years now - better later than never. So the beginning of the Mavs' renewal starts midnight 1/1/10 - just enough time for the Mavs to get a new GM in here to work some magic around the mid-February trade deadline. Unless Junior does something out of character this summer, like not drafting a serbian "center", a russian stiff, or a scoring "point guard", or like finally acquiring the under 30 swingman they have needed for the last 5 years, there is only one other option: time to blow it up fella's.

I'll be posting a draft preview shortly but in the interim you can peruse my jeremiads against Donnie Jr and last year's trade deadline (in)activity in the following Spring posts:

Feb 7, Feb 10, Feb 18, Feb 19a, Feb 19b, Feb19c, March 2.



EDIT: Wheels off on the blogger countdown gadget so I'll put up the clock when I find another script...



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Trouble accessing the worksheets

in the sidebar? If so leave some feedback...




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Vaughan's latest

This is some funny shit. Beau Vaughan interviews Greg Golson (before Beau got demoted):

BV: Alright, Gollie. This off-season you got traded for John Mayberry, Jr. And we were in Las Vegas like two weeks ago, and we saw him hit his first major league home run for the Phillies. You haven't hit any home runs with the Rangers yet, have you?

GG: No.

BV: Does that make you feel like a complete failure? (Royce Huffman laughs on the couch)

GG: (small laugh) No. Not at all. I mean how is that going to make me feel like a failure?

BV: Just compared to his success?

GG: No. Because he's had success because he got opportunities. He got to start in a game. I haven't got to start in a game yet.

BV: You know I'm just messing with you, right?

GG: Yeah.

BV: Now this next question, it's... I'm not gay, but I stare at you in the shower. (Huffman laughs again)(Golson laughs) Do you have body fat?

GG: (laughs) No. I don't, actually. I got three percent body fat.

BV: What is it? Do you do P90X?

GG: No, man. It's just God-given. I've never been able to put on weight.

BV: Alright.



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Couple more AZL Notes

Alex Rodriguez has apparently been converted from the OF to 2b. Reliever Jared Schrom is a SR FA sign from SF Austin while catcher William O'Connor is a SR FA sign from Xavier.



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Sunday, June 21, 2009

AZL Roster Pocket Analysis

A couple of items of note:
No new draft signs - darn.
Eddie Garcia reassigned from HighA as expected
Leury Garcia remains with Hickory - thought they might move him here or to Spokane
Justin Gutsie apparently released

As expected, 21yo RF Miguel Velazquez officially assigned after his reinstatement. Miguel was an excellent RF prospect drafted out of PR in 07 (17th-ish)who has good speed and power on a big frame. If he has been playing in PR during his suspension, he could move to full-season ball by season's end.

Justin Miller, Ed Koncel and Corey Ragsdale have not been released as I previously speculated, Miller having been activated from the AZL EXT DL.
Australians Mark Stanford and Aaron Thompson suprisingly remain with the DSL squads
Kevin de Leon and Ayennil Mendoza also remain in the Dominican both of whom along with Denny Peralta should be the next DSL kids to be promoted before season's end.
Justin Smoak starts a rehab assignment tonight
Springston on the reserve squad for some reason
Couple of Free agent additions: 22yo C William OConner; 22yo rhp Jared Schrom
43rd rd CF J. Bonadonna will apparently be groomed as a super utility player

Three surprising Latin American debuts:
17.8yo INF/3B Alex Gonzalez: Not sure about this kid as he hit .200 in his 08 DSL debut. It is possible that he is depth until a draft pick signs.
19.4yo OF Edward Alfonzo: Does not appear to be a prospect. In 2 DSL years he is hitting about .200 with a nic walk rate. He too may be here to provide OF depth until the likes of Blash and Williams sign.
19.5yo Reliever Jose Monegro: Excellent 08 in DSL and unscored upon 09, 4g/8ip (bullpen).
19.5yo SP Daniel Rodriguez: 19.5yo, pitched well in starting role for DSL this year. Mexican prospects tend to be a little more advanced so although he seems a bit old for a rookie season debut, he still might be a good prospect - time will tell.

21.4yo reliever Ovispo de los Santos returns to the AZL after missing all but a few innings of his debut last year. He has a scintillating 07 in the DSL as a starter.

All the pitchers will be on pitch counts especially rookies, so I would expect the guys getting "starter" innings to be: Melo, Ahn, Grullon, Rijo and possibly Wilkins. The rest will have their innings managed out of the pen.

Finally, lest there should be anymore doubt about which notable players are/were embroiled in Age-Gate, the absence of Juan Polanco, Jairo Valdez, Miggie de los Santos, Ariel "Ace" Ventura , and Wilson Ventura from any short season roster whould finally put any speculation to rest. The fact that Polanco and the Ventura brothers do not appear on any roster in the minor league system makes it likely that they have been released.



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Offiicial AZL Roster

56 Tae Kyung Ahn P R R 6' 3" 185 05-25-1990 Active No
62 Richard Alvarez P R R 6' 2" 180 08-14-1992 Active No
7 Ovispo De Los Santos P R R 6' 1" 180 11-19-1987 Active No
64 Edwin Escobar P L L 6' 1" 185 04-22-1992 Active No
41 Juan Grullon P L L 6' 0" 185 03-04-1990 Active No
54 Justin Jamison P R R 6' 8" 225 01-10-1991 Active No
68 Carlos Melo P R R 6' 3" 180 02-27-1991 Active No
70 Justin Miller P R R 6' 3" 190 06-13-1987 Active No
27 Jose Monegro P R R 6' 3" 200 09-19-1989 Active No
57 Corey Ragsdale P R R 6' 4" 175 11-10-1982 Active No
54 Ezequiel Rijo P R R 6' 4" 190 09-12-1990 Active No
51 Danniel Rodriguez P R R 6' 0" 195 01-11-1990 Active No
59 Jared Schrom P R R 6' 4" 230 02-23-1987 Active No
Cliff Springston P L L 6' 3" 195 11-13-1986 Reserve No
46 Robert Wilkins P R R 6' 4" 225 08-20-1989 Active No
16 Johan Yan 3B R R 6' 3" 185 09-27-1988 Active No

Catchers (click column headers to sort)
# Name Pos Bat Thw Ht Wt DOB Status MLB 40-man
4 William O'Connor C R R 5' 11" 180 01-02-1987 Active No
6 Tomas Telis C S R 5' 8" 175 06-18-1991 Active No
8 Kevin Torres C R L 6' 5" 193 02-24-1990 Active No

Infielders (click column headers to sort)
# Name Pos Bat Thw Ht Wt DOB Status MLB 40-man
1 Joseph Bonadonna 3B R R 5' 8" 170 09-06-1985 Active No
13 Edwin Garcia SS S R 6' 0" 150 03-01-1991 Active No
25 Alex Gonzalez 3B R R 5' 11" 165 07-07-1991 Active No
23 Edward Koncel SS R R 6' 3" 195 07-29-1988 Active No
10 Michael Ortiz 1B L L 6' 2" 200 05-02-1989 Active No
3 Alejandro Selen 2B R R 5' 10" 175 03-20-1989 Active No
Justin Smoak 1B S L 6' 4" 220 12-05-1986 Rehab No
2 Taylor Vail 2B R L 6' 2" 200 09-05-1986 Active No


Outfielders (click column headers to sort)
# Name Pos Bat Thw Ht Wt DOB Status MLB 40-man
61 Edward Alfonzo LF R R 6' 1" 185 10-29-1989 Active No
3 Braxton Lane OF S R 5' 10" 190 12-30-1990 Active No
11 Guillermo Pimentel LF R R 6' 1" 190 11-12-1989 Active No
21 Ruben Sierra OF L L 6' 2" 172 03-10-1991 Active No
2 Miguel Velazquez OF R R 6' 2" 205 05-15-1988 Active No



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Minor Moves

Frisco
Jose Diaz to the DL. Majewski activated from the DL.



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AZL Roster Pitchers

56 Tae Kyung Ahn P R R 6' 3" 185 05-25-1990 Active No
62 Richard Alvarez P R R 6' 2" 180 08-14-1992 Active No
7 Ovispo De Los Santos P R R 6' 1" 180 11-19-1987 Active No
64 Edwin Escobar P L L 6' 1" 185 04-22-1992 Active No
41 Juan Grullon P L L 6' 0" 185 03-04-1990 Active No
54 Justin Jamison P R R 6' 8" 225 01-10-1991 Active No
68 Carlos Melo P R R 6' 3" 180 02-27-1991 Active No
70 Justin Miller P R R 6' 3" 190 06-13-1987 Active No
27 Jose Monegro P R R 6' 3" 200 09-19-1989 Active No
57 Corey Ragsdale P R R 6' 4" 175 11-10-1982 Active No
54 Ezequiel Rijo P R R 6' 4" 190 09-12-1990 Active No
51 Danniel Rodriguez P R R 6' 0" 195 01-11-1990 Active No
Cliff Springston P L L 6' 3" 195 11-13-1986 Reserve No
46 Robert Wilkins P R R 6' 4" 225 08-20-1989 Active No


Johan Yan is there too.



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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Minor Moves

Frisco
Andrew Laughter to the DL was their unannounced move bringing the roster to 25.



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Minor Moves

11th round JC RHP Johnny Gunter officially added to the Spokane roster. He likely projects as a bullpen arm.

This puts them at 33 players now, 3 over the roster limit. I am assuming that Ortiz, Slusarz and one other start of on the DL. Jason Cole noted that Ortiz has been throwing in Arizona so it probably won't be him but whoever they might be, there should be 3 guys on the DL before tonight's game. Of course, with those famously flexible minor league roster rules, who knows...

I would expect to see 4th round JR RHP Tony Doyle added to the roster shortly as he has reportedly already signed. He is a candidate to move through the system quickly, a sinkerballer with above average stuff and command.


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