What we know so far…second edition

Still early in Spring Training but never too early to come to some conclusions, near conclusions, first impressions and other dubious opinions…

* Frank Francisco and C.J. Wilson will be in the Rangers bullpen on Opening Day. Everything else is wide, wide open. Right now Warner Madrigal and Josh Rupe look as good as anybody.

* Key to the Rangers pitching? Health, sure. But also the breaking ball. This is a breaking ball-challenged pitching staff. There are guys going back and forth from the slider to the curve and back again. Some may even try a screwball.

* If Joaquin Arias doesn’t hurt his shoulder two years ago, the guess here is Elvis Andrus would still be with the Braves.

* Maybe Andruw Jones was Much Ado About Nothing. Or a Midsummer Night’s Dream.

* Marlon Byrd’s knee seems less of an issue than it was a couple of weeks ago.

* Derek Holland and Neftali Feliz passed up Omar Poveda last year on the prospect depth chart. Don’t even think that race is over yet. Poveda has been the most impressive of the young pitchers in this camp. He has the best breaking ball of any of them.

* Nice of Milton Bradley to drop by last year but the Rangers are still going to score runs this season despite his departure. Right now the biggest key to the Rangers offense is a solid-to-breakthrough year for Nelson Cruz. The Rangers need that right-handed bat in the middle of the lefties.

* Still don’t know who put the voodoo curse on Brandon McCarthy.


Rather it was Kenny Williams, Mark Connor or somebody else, whoever cursed Brandon, got him good. I’ve always read that Poveda had a plus changeup to go with a low 90’s fastball. If his breaking ball has made strides then it’a a good thing he was protected from the rule 5 draft. Poveda and Kiker will form a solid roation behind Feliz at Frisco, if he opens the season there.

Breaking ball I guess…Their own mates lit ’em up in an intrasquad.

Maybe we can get Padilla to show some of these guys that big 12 to 6 curve he’d break out on occasion last year. He didn’t use it much but he’d definitely put it in a hitter’s mind and it was more effective more times than it wasn’t.

Maybe the pitching coach can get his brother to drop by and pass out some pointers too. Ya don’t need to just blow it by ’em.

I wonder if they let Arias push Andrus all spring then use him to get pitching help late in the spring? Do they just open it up and let the best man win knowing the loser will be right there if you get overmatched? Interesting quandry.

Bet the outfield looks just like the one that finished the year out but with Murph back in the fold.

Maybe SP is MY’s next position switch…I’ll bet he’d at least try to do that with broken fingers too.

Stay away from the screwball, it will really tear up your elbow and shoulder. Is the major leagues really the place to be flip flopping between decisions on whether to throw a curveball or slider? Nolan had a pretty nasty curve. What about a split fingered change up? It is really ridiculous and no wonder that our pitching staff struggles. Go down to the minor leagues and develop your stuff, get confident throwing it then come up here and have a freaking plan….. Kenny are you that far off? Ponson? Eaton? Oil Can Boyd, anyone???????

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