What we know in the desert…Day 5

Here is what we’ve learned so far in the desert…

* Manager Ron Washington said his starting rotation is Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla, Matt Harrison, Scott Feldman and Brandon McCarthy. He added that’s “tentative.” The feeling is McCarthy, more than anybody, has to earn his spot. He has looked good early but everybody is still watching and waiting.

* Jason Jennings and Kason Gabbard are coming back from elbow surgery and are being brought along slowly. That’s to be expected. What is significant is C.J. Wilson is also coming back from elbow surgery and is full speed ahead. He looks good so far.

* Brendan Donnelly is an early bright spot in the bullpen.

* Chess is still big in the Rangers clubhouse. Frank Francisco introduced the game last year and that was a big development. Chess is not only a game in the clubhouse but a bonding experience among teammates, just like cards and cribbage. Francisco is emerging as a team leader similar to Francisco Cordero a few years ago.

* Andruw Jones is similar but there is still caution. He tried to play Winter Ball in the Dominican but still looked lost with a lack of bat speed. Still the most compelling story in camp, even more so than Elvis Andrus.

* Still wondering if Marlon Byrd’s knee is going to be an issue this spring.

* Yes Chris Davis is here. Not much to say about him yet but obviously he should play a big part of the Rangers offense this year. Waiting on games to begin to see if he can pick up from last season.

* Michael Young is getting his work in at third base. Waiting on games to measure progress. Prediction: turning the 5-4-3 double play will be quite revealing, one way or another.

* Pitching coach Mike Maddux is revealing little about his pitching staff, other than lauding them for their effort in the fielding drills. Not tipping his hand on anything.

* Warner Madrigal has the same Mad Dog scowl on his face from dawn to dusk.

* If you hire Jackie Moore to run Spring Training, expect Spring Training to run quite efficiently.

* Still not sure who will hit cleanup, but Hank Blalock does appear quite accepting to his new role of designated hitter.

* Max Ramirez may end up playing for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.

* Eric Hurley. Big loss. Thomas Diamond. Could be a big story

We are just getting started.




DVD, DVD, DVD. If Franciso is playing chess and he loses does he throw his chair? Is that why he always wins? And what happened to that team leader Cordero? Traded thats what but he couldn’t pitch here. We still haven’t replaced that guy…I would be accepting also if i were making $6 million dollars.

I love cribbage! Great game for the mind – lots of math!


I got a chance to hear Mike Maddux on the radio today and he has got me really excited about this possibilities for the pitching staff. I’m trying not to get too excited, but I think he is going to be a real asset to some of our young guys!

“And what happened to that team leader Cordero? Traded thats what but he couldn’t pitch here. We still haven’t replaced that guy…” – Neither has Milwaukee since he left there via free agency. Actually Gagne was better than Cordero in ’07 then flipped for a nice gain. Wilson finished up that season with comparable numbers to Cordero. Frank Francisco was better than Cordero last season. Wilson and Francisco are both under 30 years old and going to make a combined 3.5 million while Cordero will pull down 12 million in the season he turns 34. I’d call him replaced. It’s Melvin that wants that one back, not JD, dbrokenrecordgod.

I guess Nelson Cruz was a freebie d’god. I know, I know; he hasn’t done anything yet, but I think we will all be pleasantly surprised by his season. Will you forget Coco then? I agree with hefe. Coco has been replaced and we have the depth to assume there is more than one possibility as a replacement for the upcoming season.

Looks like the first week or so of camp hasn’t had much drama for me other than the revelation of the microfracture procedure on Byrd’s knee. That one takes time to recover because the cartilage renewal it is supposed to facilitate is not a speedy process.

I still think the “tentaive” setting of the rotation was something that could have been kept quiet a bit longer even if it was what we all expected all along.

Can’t wait to go see for myself in the middle of March!

BTW I guess we all had some handle changes after the site was updated a while back but so everyone knows I used to be sean0126…

Hefe, I got a laugh out of that one.

I wonder if Frankie has brought out the clocks for speed chess yet. That’ll get ya thinkin’ on yer feet.

I like Nelson, he is the guy we had to have remember? Why we keep trying to give away his position after what he did last year boggles the mind. Now i like Francisco, but he has 5 career SAVES people, when he does it for a longer period of time then i will say Cordero has been replaced. We could of kept Cordero for 2 more years and then traded him before he got the big money. If Francisco becomes this stud closer that everyone thinks he is and i don’t necessarily disagree he will be. Will it be a surprise that he too is gonna want that kind of money? If it is 6 years before free agency how long has Francisco been up 5 years? When is he eligible for Free agency? If he is eligible after 2009 or 2010 isn’t it a mistake to make him a closer and thereby drive up his asking price if he is successful? Why not put Wilson as closer who has more of a track record at the MLB level?

Francisco is under control through 2010. If he gets through ’09 healthy they’ll likely try and extend him through ’11, if not longer. I don’t know who he’s represented by. Wilson is under control through 2011.

I don’t want to jinx them, but this is the makings of a pretty good bullpen. Francisco, Wilson, Guardado, Donnelly, Madrigal………Thomas Diamond may be an interesting option, Rupe or Gabbard are decent choices as long men. Maybe Maddux can get Nippert’s mechanics consistent. His raw stuff is undeniable, but unless I’m mistaken he either makes the big league club or we’ll lose him.

Madrigal is one of the young guys I’m really excited about.

We only could “of” kept Cordero another single season after ’06, not 2. He filed for free agency in ’07. We won that trade anyway you slice it. The Brewers got 2 draft picks. We got 2 draft picks and still have Nelson Cruz. When Julio Borbon makes the big leagues in ’09 it will be the trade that keeps on giving. Same for Beavan in a few years.

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