Sunday, January 16, 2011

Notes

Miggie Injury? Ming over at the Newberg MiL forum has a link up noting that Miggie de los Santos did not return for the 4th inning due to some kind of injury. No further notes though so hopefully it is minor.

Enrique Rojas is reporting that Manny Ramirez has signed a 1/4m deal with the Angels.

Juaquin Arias injured his "right arm" for Escogido. The shoulder injury (among other things) that derailed his career was originally sustained playing CF in the Dominican.

No confirmation on whether Texas was in on Jeff Francis but it appears unlikely that they would have successfully woo'd him as he felt KC was a good fit for him - must have been a PT issue, a guaranteed spot or something to rebuild his value?

Nick Cafardo says that TX might have some minor interest in Bonderman. I doubt he would accept an NRI on a split contract but that is all that I would offer. At some point, you just have to go with your younger back roto prospects, as they will all likely have an FIP in the 4.8-5.0 range, with the younger guys capable of outperforming that.

Probably going to be a slow few weeks until ST gears up unless there is a major trade brewing for a starter or something. I think TX will trade for a flexible RHH to come off the bench, when that happens is anyone's guess but I'm sure they have already identified guys that they like. Might see an announcement of a j2 sign or find out about an unannounced one once ST opens. With the failure, to acquire/sign either an elite or mid-roto arm, the Rangers off-season remains incomplete, though they arguably go into ST with a stronger club than they had in 2010. Beltre, Torrealba, and Rhodes all make the club stronger. Moving Young to 1b/DH improves the club in a number of areas. Starting the season with Moreland is an upgrade. Starting the season with Treanor is at least a necessary lateral move given the complete lack of ML ready catchers in the system. Andres Blanco opens with the club. Mark Lowe opens with the club. Francisco offers nice flexibility to the pen in a different role. The AAA club has been bolstered with a lot of guys with ML experience at each position, to provide some bodies in case of short-term injuries, while the CF spot has 2 guys in Gentry and Chavez who can fill in for Borbon in case he goes down (should they not wish to move Hambone to CF at all). Any other tweaks can be made during the first month or two, same as last year.

The biggest weakness for the club is obviously the lack of starters with a long record of success. I think Colby Lewis is the best pitcher on the club and not likely to regress much in 2011. Wilson is much more likely to regress given his terrible walk rate versus RHH especially if his hit and hr rate tic up. Feldman likely won't contribute to the rotation until mid-May or June as he is likely to be DL'd and stretched out in AAA and even then he is a complete wildcard and only a back roto arm. Furthermore, there is no room for him in the bullpen as presently configured. I predict that Webb will not break with the club. I think he will likely have continued problems with his arm slot and mental hangups so that we might not see him until mid-May. Holland is a wildcard but likely a back roto arm. Hunter is a #5 but has the capacity to pitch 200 innings but his FIP will likely be in the 4.8-4.9 range. Kirkman needs to work on his command vs RHH and his changeup. Without improvement in those 2 areas, he will likely work out of the pen in 2011. Omar Beltre is a safe bet to be a DL baby for 2011, so it would be safer to move him to the pen. Scheppers is a wildcard and you would think that he would only contribute as a starter no sooner than July as he needs innings. Hurley will be on an innings limit for 2011 as he has been out for 2 years so he would only be likely to contribute out of the pen in the second half and needs innings in the first half to work the rust off. And don't forger about his terrible flyball and HR rates. Given that there is no room in the bullpen for any of these guys they all might be more likely to start some games for TX in 2011 than relieve, which is a little unnerving given the issues that each one brings to the table.

For a contending club, this starting rotation has too much variability built into probable outcomes for my taste. I would much rather pay money for a couple of mid-roto vets, move Feliz to the #5 spot (or Holland or Hunter) and move all of the rest of these other back roto prospects to the bullpen. So having older guys like Oliver and Rhoads and Francisco in the pen blocks any opportunities for young AAA starters with a good 2-pitch mix who can contribute right away and work their way into the rotation down the line.



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