Monday Morning Manager…The Bullpen

So now…no Joaquin Benoit.

No, he did not have a great 2008 season. But he was pretty good in 2007 and the Rangers could have used him in 2009. Obviously, if Benoit would have been healthy, he would have been the Rangers eighth inning setup reliever behind Frank Francisco and C.J. Wilson.

Monday_Morning_Manager.jpgNow he is gone, along with Eric Hurley.

So that leaves us with:

Closer candidates: C.J. Wilson, Frank Francisco

Setup candidates: Warner Madrigal, Josh Rupe, Derrick Turnbow

Left-handers: Kason Gabbard

Starters-to-reliever possibles: Luis Mendoza, Scott Feldman, Dustin Nippert, Brandon McCarthy.

Long-shots: Brian Gordon, John Bannister, Kazuo Fukumori, Willie Eyre, Thomas Diamond, Guillermo Moscoso

Free agent closers: Chad Cordero, Joe Borowski, Keith Foulke, Eric Gagne, Eddie Guardado, Jason Isringhausen, Tom Gordon

Free agent right-handed setup: Luis Ayala, Juan Cruz, Brendan Donnelly, Rudy Seanz, Julian Tavarez, Al reyes.

Free agent left-handed setup: Joe Beimel, Will Ohman, Dennys Reyes.

1. Who should be the Rangers closer?

2. Do you think Warner Madrigal, Josh Rupe or Derrick Turnbow are ready for 8th innning set-up reliever.

3. Which of the starter candidates to do you feel are best suited for the bullpen

4. Do any of the free agent closers appeal to you.

5. Which of the free agent setup relievers should the Rangers pursue. Obviously they need somebody.


1. F^2

2. I’d be more worried about this group if I thought the team was going to contend. I can’t say I have tons of confidence in Rupe/Turnbow in this type of role. Let’s see what Madrigal has got.

3. It just kills me to see McCarthy’s name listed in this group.

4. Nope.

5. I thought we were looking at bringing back Guardado. Or do we not have room in the budget for him… (sigh)

1. Frank Francisco – he earned the position last season – or should I say CJ played his way out of it

2. If Derrick Turnbow can go back to being the same pitcher he was a couple of years ago – the position is his…however, the chances of that happening are slim. Josh Rupe actually did a pretty good job but – as with the rest of the bullpen – he was used way, way too often last season and his second half performance was not nearly as good. Hopefully he learned a little something about “pacing” himself for a long season, and if Josh doesn’t get overused this season I think he’s the guy. Warner Madrigal, hmmm, still don’t trust him.

3. Luis Mendoza and Kason Gabbard, and depending on how many trips he makes to the DL season Brandon “Who?” McCarthy probably belongs in the bullpen too.

4. Nope

5. Juan Cruz and Eddie Guardado are the only relievers I’d look at – Eddie was pretty good last season and the Rangers need more lefties in the ‘pen desperately. I’m only mildly interested in Cruz – still think that Thomas Diamond should get a good long look this year in the bullpen – I think he’s the Rangers closer of the future.

The good thing about the Super Bowl (and I didn’t watch any of it last night) is that once it’s over –there’s only a matter of days until Spring Training begins.

1. I like both guys but I think over time CJ will be the better of the two.

2. Josh Rupe, but as EMC points out he needs to be ready to pitch every day and Wash needs to commit to him in a role and not wear him out.

3. Nippert. He throws hard and could eventually work toward being a late inning guy.

4. First off, none of these guys are a closer on this team. That said, Guardado is a no brainer, if he’ll take a deal the team can live with, sign him. Having him around the younger pitchers alone is worth the price. I’d be happy to see Tom Gordon here as a bullpen veteran as well.

5. See #4 above but Donnelly might be worth a look.

1. Despite his implosion last year, I still want to see C.J. Wilson in that role. However, I think he and Francisco should be seen on equal ground going into ST. May the best man win the job.

2. I think Rupe and Turnbow are good options for set-up. I’d like to see Madrigal spend some more time in the minors.

3. I don’t know where Mendoza belongs at this point. I was pretty disappointed in him last season. Dustin Nippert had a rough start, but finished pretty strong. I’d feel good with him in the ‘pen. I still want to see Scott Feldman as a starter again. As for McCarthy, I think he’s still a rotation contender.

4. No. Let’s stick with what we have.

5. Ohman is about the only one I know anything about, and I’m not sure he’s much better than what we already have.

– Micah

1. Francisco earned the chance to start the season as closer.
2. Rupe is not overworked, maybe combination with Turnbow.
3. Nippert stepped up and showed last season in my opioion, reminds me of Randy Johnson in his lankiness. I would not rule out CJ. He’d have to show some endurance he might not have though.
4. Guardado although Gordon is interesting as well.
5. Maybe Ohman, or decent lefty.

1. Frank. He’s back to his ’04 form with a better breaking ball. He pitched like a closer last season.

2. I’m a big, big fan of Madrigal. I’d like to see him get late inning work. Turnbow’s future will be dictated by his health – I’m skeptical, but he comes with low risk. Rupe gave us some valuable inning last season, but he doesn’t miss enough bats. He’s not the power arm I like to see from set up men. He’d have to take a step forward this season for me to trust him with late inning relief.

3. Feldman seems like a great candidate to work long relief or provide the occasional spot start. McCarthy could be effective in middle relief, while rebuilding some stamina, but I think he’ll make the roation. You have to love Nippert’s stuff, but can he ever find consistency?

4. Eddie does. I like Eddie Guardado. We need another lefty to compliment CJ, and while Gabbard might be a long term option in that capacity, I’d like to see him get straightened out at AAA first. He was a mechanical nightmare before landing on the DL last season.

5. I’m a big Juan Cruz fan. The only reason he’s still on the market is his designation at a type A free agent. I don’t like the thought of giving up draft picks, but if you can sign that guy to an affordable 3 year deal, he can set up or close for you. He could be an extremely valuable arm at the back of of the bullpen, negating the loss of Benoit. He’s better than Benoit.

Diamond is a really interesting guy. I guess he’ll be in the Oklahoma rotation, but his big league future looks to be in the bullpen.

1. I’d prefer CJ, but think they should fight it out in spring training.

2. I trust Rupe more than the other two right now

3. Nippert, I just don’t like what I saw from him as much as the others.

4. Nope, none are better than what we already have.

5. I think we should try to get Beimel and Ohman. Lefties are always a good idea, and they did the best jobs last year.

1. I just want the best candidate to win the job whether it is C.J. Or Frankie. But now that Everyday Eddie seems to be back in the fold don’t count him out either. I would still like to see the Rangers go after Chad Cordero. But I don’t know if they will. They do need another right hander either way because of Benoit being gone for it looks like most of the season. I think Cordero if he is back and healthy could really be a nice pick up he is still only 26.
2. Well, whoever doesn’t get the closer role out of C.J and Frankie should be the the set up man. But with Eddie back that gives the Rangers another another option. I would like to see Derrick Turnbow pitch well and be a seventh or eighth inning guy. I like the role Josh Rupe filled last year I think the job he did in long relief was very underrated and he should continue on that role. On the other hand Josh maybe a better version of Jamie Wright and do a little bit of both long relief and some quality set up opportunities. But I like having Eddie back that gives you 2 quality lefties out in the pen with Eddie and C.J. But I still think the Rangers should go after Chad Cordero. Warner could be a wild card he seems to have a little Coco Cordero in him. I hope for the Rangers skae he does.
3. Nippert would probably do well out there in the pen. Scott Feldman has relief expirence but I would like to see him get another opportunity in the rotation before putting him in relief. Why not put Brandon McCarhty out there until he can prove he is healthy. He was in a relief role with the White Sox if I remember correctly. So that might be something to try. I don’t know what to do with Kason Gabbard maybe he can develop into a nice lefty reliever.
4. As for Free Agent Relievers I have already stated I would like to see the Rangers sign Chad Cordero. They appear to have signed Eddie Guardado again finally a free agent signing now let’s finish it up with Ben Sheets and Cordero and I that is good enough to me.
5. With having signed Eddie I dont’ see the need but Beimel or Ohman would be worth talking to. The other right hander out there are ok but only if they have kicked the tires on Chad Cordero first.

1. If he hadn’t handled his situation so poorly last season, I’d say CJ, but with that, I’ll say FrankFrank. If Turnbow’s healthy, he & CJ could figure into the mix.

2. Turnbow is a definate yes – especially if he’s healthy… his experience as a closer would be invaluable. Madrigal has the stuff and may be ready, but let’s let the experience play the role first (i.e. CJ, Turnbow, Everyday Eddie…). I still prefer Rupe as a starter/long reliever.

3. Mendoza. He seems to lose focus after an inning or two as a starter and got lit up. I also like Nippert in a long relief/spot starter role. I think he could put it together better than most of the other guys on the team and his potential, from what I saw, is pretty high. Scotty would also thrive there, but I’d like to see him get a chance to start after his heroics last season.

4. I don’t see any free agent closers who I’d rate above what we have with the possible exception of Cordero and I’m not sure I’d rate him above FrankFrank or CJ. He’d probably be a waste of both money and a roster spot we could assign to one of the young arms to provide experience.

5. Again, I’m not sure any of them would fare better than what we have. Our biggest bullpen issue last season was overuse and misuse. With Wash rotating relievers faster than my kid can eat Skittles, there really wasn’t much in the way of continuity or consistency.
Stick with a reliever who is going good for another inning and you can save the other guy for tomorrow’s game. That way, you minimize your chances of implosion if you take out that successful guy for the next on the list and the next guy isn’t on that day.

1. Who should be the Rangers closer?

They need to sign Guardado in case Francisco bombs. Wilson may have learned from his mistakes last year. I think he tries to throw pitches at a speed that is beyond his capacity.

2. Do you think Warner Madrigal, Josh Rupe or Derrick Turnbow are ready for 8th innning set-up reliever.

No. The three named above or the best suited for closer and set-up. Not mentioned by TR – resign Jamie Wright.

3. Which of the starter candidates to do you feel are best suited for the bullpen

McCarthy, Gabbard & Mendosa

4. Do any of the free agent closers appeal to you.

Cordero & Guardado

5. Which of the free agent setup relievers should the Rangers pursue. Obviously they need somebody.

Dennys Reyes (LH)

1. I like both CJ and Francisco. CJ has the closer character while Frank has that large intimidation factor. May the best man win and the other will setup. It would be nice to have that kind of one-two punch at the end.
2. I like Madrigal. I think he took some valuable lumps last year and is developing nicely. Maybe the 7th inning for him? The success of everyone else would just enhance things.
3. I’m sorry. On this one I just can’t get past McCarthy being at this point. One more year to find out if he really does have that upside greater than Danks’, then let’s talk bullpen.
4. None of the free agent closers jump out to me more than the ones we have. If there was a for sure “shut down” guy maybe. But is there such a thing anymore?
5. No. I am fine with developing what we have for now at this point. We should have someone surprise us out of the long list shouldn’t we? A month into the season I may do a d’god flip flop and wonder why we didn’t sign someone, but I’ll take the heat and roll with it. Today, I’m tired of the unsigned journeymen. Let’s see what “our guys” can do.

I love it TR, you list the available relievers talk of the bullpen and we get Guardado and some guy not on the list Brian Corey. Don’t the Rangers read your suggestions or look at your lists? Hey Sullivanian, i am not flip flopping, i want to pitch the young guys. The only guy that i touted was Sheets, he aint that old, he’s thirty. The Rangers stated, “we need two starters and two relievers. Well we got, Turnbow and Guardado. Hopefully they are healthy. At this point, maybe Sheets should just ask the Rangers if it would be ok for him to pay them so he can play here. Sooner or later the price is going to get so low, that the Brewers are going to get back in it. All the players that refused Arbitration this year made some serious financial mistakes. Sheets gets a pay raise from what he made last year in arbitration. Now he will be lucky to get 9 million and that is with incentives. I am not against management getting its price, but this is getting ridiculous with Sheets, either we want him or we don’t. Injuries are a part of the game, so deal with it. It doesn’t matter who is on that list up there, if they want any type of money they aren’t coming here, why would they. If i am going to take low money then i go to a playoff team and get that playoff money. Sadly the Angels are still the better team, BECAUSE OF IT’s PITCHING. Is Jamey WRIGHT hurt? If not, sign him, he hasn’t done a bad job here….

Ok enough of the Oatman. How about some Billy Martin, Eddie Stanky, Billy Hunter, Pat Corrales, Kevin Kennedy…..

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