Monday Morning Manager…Not time yet

You know what Lewis & Clark were doing on this day in 1806? They were packing up and heading home. They had seen enough. They had explored all over Louisiana, followed the Oregon Trail and gazed at the Pacific Ocean.

Monday_Morning_Manager.jpgNow they were heading home.

The Rangers aren’t there yet. Still two weeks to go before Opening Day. Still time to gaze upon Andruw Jones and Kris Benson, Derek Holland and Neftali Feliz and Elvis Andrus and Joaquin Arias.

Still time for another strained quadricep muscle or a tight lower back. Or another blister.

Or for Owen Wilson to do more research.

1. How important is it to get a long-term extension done with Josh Hamilton?

2. What’s your take on the state of the Rangers bullpen?

3. Do you think keeping Andruw Jones is the right thing to do?

4. Any concerns about Chris Davis?

5. What’s your assessment of Team USA in the World Baseball Classic


1. I think it’s very important to sign Josh long-term. I have faith both parties will come together on that soon.

2. I’m still uncertain about the state of the bullpen. It seems like it’s getting closer and closer to all the spots being decided, but it’s so hard for me to tell anything in these spring games. I’m glad they added Gobble. It’s always nice to have left-handed options.

3. I’ve never been sold on him coming here, and I am even less thrilled now. I fear he’ll do nothing but take at bats away from players like Marlon Byrd, Chris Davis, Nelson Cruz and Brandon Boggs.

4. My only concern about him is how Jones’ presence will hurt him. Davis knows he’s had a slow spring. He’s not immune to that. I also think he knows himself well enough that when he says he’ll come around, he will. My fear, however, is that the manager will give up on him before he reaches that point.

5. I haven’t watched a lot of the WBC. My favorite part about Team USA was Mark DeRosa. I sure miss him being on a team I want to cheer for.

– Micah

1. VERY important! We need Josh to be a Ranger.2. Looks like it will be okay, but highly unknown. Ask me on July 1.3. Jones v. Catalanotto? Maybe, but can he pinch hit. Right now, he looks like and interchangeable part who is replaceable. Good problem to have.4. CD will be fine. We must be patient and keep in mind he is not a veteran.5. WBC? Team USA? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

1. I’d wait until next winter before working on a deal.

2. I’m not really that concerned about the bullpen.
Give me FF, CJ, Eddie, Rupe, Turnbow, Madrigal, Eyre – though based on the roster I might try to hang on to Nippert a little longer and start Madrigal in OKC.

I see random notes saying that the Rangers could trade this guy or that for a reliever and I recoil. There are plenty of bodies in camp and there will be some depth in OKC as well. And if guys like Mendoza can’t make it work in the bullpen, the time for cutting bait should come soon…

3. I might get a little windy here…
I think the team should keep Jones if the team thinks he is a better roster addition than Cat. However, given baseball man’s tendency to play veterans (“proven producers” like Broussard, Sosa… despite what recent statistics say) over youngsters I have a real trepidation for how keeping Jones will impact Murphy and Cruz’s playing time. Add in the fact that baseball man’s job is on the line and another slow start will seal his fate, and I think the concern is legitimate. Cruz and Murphy need to be playing regularly IMHO. Despite Murphy’s splits so far, I still think it is too ealy to call him a platoon player. Cruz needs to play regularly as well, as Sosa took his ABs before, and now Jones may be about to take some now.

Based on the above it is my hope that Jones moves along.

4. Nope.

5. Didn’t follow it, so I don’t know.

1. I think it’s important that it happen by the end of next spring to avoid his arbitration years, but it would be nice for that to happen in the next couple of weeks. A 5 year deal with a hefty 6th year option/buyout, keeping Josh here through his early 30’s, seems prudent. It would provide him financial security with a chance to get another large multi-year deal if he chooses to leave afterwards, while locking up a middle of the order, defensive whiz in right fielder for the Ranger’s foreseeable future.
2. I’m cautiously optimistic that this can be an effective unit. I like the back end with CJ setting up and Francisco closing. Health concerns about Gaurdado hurt the depth, but I think Madrigal is going to step up and become a late inning type guy this year. Rupe needs to be better than he was last season if he’s going to stick long term. Eyre seems solid. He can fill the void left by Jamey Wright. Donnelly and Turnbow are both still question marks, as is Jennings if he’s going to be a middle reliever. Nippert is a real wild card, with no options left and a lot of unrealized potential. Some of these guys will wash out. It would behoove Thomas Diamond to get off to a hot start in the minors, as he may be needed in the big league bullpen by May or so.
3. I’m on the fence about Andruw. He fits on this team better than Catalanotto. I will say that.
4. Not in the long term. He’ll hit for power, while striking out a lot. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him struggle to hit for average early in his career. The AL has a book on him now. He’ll have to make adjustments.
5. 9 runs for Japan? Wow. You’re not going to beat Matsuzaka very often like that.

Chris Davis=Ryan Howard in a few years? Lots of strike outs, but good power? I wish. Doubt it though. Are future is Justin Smoak, not Chris Davis. He will be a good filler until Smoak gets up here in a couple years.

1. I think that if we ever hope to win thee division again in the near future we need to sign Josh Hamilton to a long term contract. He’s an integral part of the puzzle. The Reds made a mistake letting him go….
2. I think the bullpen is in confusion right now…truly unsettled. Rupe hasn’t stepped up I like Madrigal but he does have ooptions…Nippert and Rupe don’t. I think we should hold onto Benson (Middle relief???) Eyre looks solid and what in the world do you do with Guardato and Jennings. Now here’s a decision I don’t want to make.
3. If a satisfactory resolution can come from the Catalanoto situation then I don’t have a problem with Jones. If he can’t do it we’d have Boggs at AAA. But….if no trade on the horizon for tCatalanoto then we keep him rather than pay out 6M for nothing and dump Andruw.
4. Just the usual worries about Sophomore jinx….they’re have been a milolion of these kids from Hurricane Bob Hazle to Kevin Maas during my lifetime. But I think this kid will hit. I’d bet on it!
5. Ho hUM!!!! The only baseball I care about right now is played in Arizona.

1. Get it done. This is a no brainer.

2. This one is clear as mud. I saw Frankie pitch last Friday but he was up against minor leaguers and they were over-matched. So, why did Washington have him pitch 2 innings yesterday and let him get knocked around in the second of the 2? Stupid move. Nippert is hurting, I saw Donnely give up line drive base hits to the Padres, before getting out of it. I think this is still a big question mark (see the Gobble signing) to be dealt with and it may not be done before the end of ST.

3. He is still not on the roster yet and he is still not seeing front-line ptiching so if he stays he needs to be in OKC continuing to get . Jamie Newberg has a bit of an analysis of keeping Cat or Jones I need to go re-read when I am not so tired. He does make a good point about the Jones vs. Cat is not a money issue. In my opinion, Brandon Boggs is the best option if you are going to carry a fifth outfielder on the roster.

4. Not really, he’ll be fine once the season starts and the lineup settles down.

5. This is a case of not assembling the best possible team combined with not putting the best lineup on the field. Does it say “see Adam Dunn” when you look up “defensive liability”? Why was Shane Victorino on the bench in favor of Dunn in RF? Davey Johnson expected Oswalt to completely shut them down but the Japanese played their game. Patience, get on, Steal bases, and slap hits into an outfield that moves about as fast as I do. This wasn’t injuries or not being ready. Nor was it the lack of superstars. The team in Frisco would have eaten the Japanese team alive.

On another rant, what was up with the lineup for yesterday’s TV game? Is Goodyear like going to Tucson now? To say I was disappointed in the personnel used in a relatively rare ST TV game is an understatement. I know they think they want to evaluate as many players as possible but just playing a game with folks that looked they were just whoever they could rost from the clubhouse does not sell lots of excitement in the home market. I saw a couple of games last week out there and still saw better lineups than that. The folks who buy the tickets deserved better than that for a Sunday afternoon TV game because not everyone can go to AZ.

1. Very important. This organization let one franchise favorite walk away (Pudge) – hope they learned their lesson. It appears that Josh and his agent are waiting for the Rangers to make the first move, I wish JD and Mr. Hicks would be as aggressive with Josh as they were pursuing some free agents who didn’t even really want to play here (like Barry Zito, Randy Johnson and Tori Hunter).

2. Nervous – Frankie Francisco is the only pitcher in the ‘pen that I feel good about – the rest have me buying Maalox – at least until they prove they are reliable.

3. No. The Rangers have plenty of OF’s and DH types. If the organization is truly committed to developing from the farm system, then keeping Jones takes playing time away from Chris Davis and is contrary to their stated objective (which is not surprising when you consider some of the decisions the manager/hitting coach have influenced in the past – Ben Broussard anyone?)

4. See my answer above.


thanks for the Johnny Oats pic!!! God bless Johnny ! [and kudos on a little Lewis and Clark trivia too; careful you’ll get us all edu-ma-cated ]

1. How important is it to get a long-term extension done with Josh Hamilton? It needs to get done but why does it need to be done in the spring…..Josh doesnt seem to be concerned about it getting done right away.

2. What’s your take on the state of the Rangers bullpen?
Feel better about the bullpen than about the starting pitching….A little concerned about the 6th and 7th inning guys

3. Do you think keeping Andruw Jones is the right thing to do? small investment with potential upside……..If he is the player he was before…..great. If he isnt……They have been trying to trade Cat since last June/July. Opens up a space for Boggs.

4. Any concerns about Chris Davis? Not really…..Looked good at 1B……I’m sure that he will be feeling some pressure if Smoak does well though…..Davis to 3B?

5. What’s your assessment of Team USA in the World Baseball Classic? Dont really have since I didnt really watch it but I would be unhappy with the amount of work the pitchers got. Oswalt was tired after pitching 3 innings…..Seems like he is behind most of the other pitchers that are in MLB camps. Why would MLB teams want to send their guys out there if they are not going to be ready for the season?

1. It is important to get a long term deal but no need to push the panic button. After reading his autobiography, you know he will just ask for a fair deal, none of this Tex stuff saying that I want a fair deal while really meaing I want to get a huge pay day from the Yanks.

2. The Ranger bullpen is a total question mark. It could be great, it could be a disaster, or it could be in the middle. Also depends greatly on the starters.

3. I love Cat and do not wish this situation on anyone. I am praying for a National league team to need a lefty on the bench. But I would have to take Andruw, even just for the threat off the bench. With no righties on the bench, an opposing manager would at least have to consider the threat of Andruw pitch-hitting.

4. Chris will be fine. Keep batting him low in the line up and it is like have two clean up hitters.

5. I watched quite a bit of the WBC. It has some real potential. We have to remember that the purpose of the WBC is to increase baseball around the globe. If you dont think that happened did you miss the Netherlands beating the Dominician TWICE. Also, it was like a national holiday in Korea. Team USA was not given a chance to win and yet they almost did. A big issue is there are too many off days that the players cannot stay fresh or have enough innings. Next time they need to have one primary starter at each position (except 2 catchers), a utility guy (see DeRosa), and some up and comers. This prevents the Jeter/Rollins fiasco. Rollins can and did play rings around Jeter and should have started every game a short and let Dunn be the permanent DH. They also need to be able to trade out players easier, esp pitchers. Oswalt looked fine for 3 innings but it was only his 3rd start, while most pitchers had had 4 starts by then. Also, they would not take him out when they should have because he needed the work. They needed to pull him and let him get the rest of his work in the bullpen, just like pitchers do in Spring Training.

Also, I need to ask hefe…did you watch the USA/Japan game or just the highlights? Saying 9 runs does not tell the story. If Davey Johnson had pulled Oswalt sooner as he would have had be been managing in Game 7 of the World Series and not pretending like he was in spring training, the outcome would likely have been different. Also, that stiff wind in from left cost DeRosa 2 homers and 5 RBIs and would have chased Matsuzaka earlier. Then it would have been a battle of bullpens which the lefties of the US dominated the entire Japaneese line up (7 lefties).

1. Signing Josh long term was suppose to be a priority in the off-season. So I still think that they will sit down more as the season approaches and get soemthing done. If I remember correctly I think that is what they did with Ian Kinsler last year. But they should get this out of the way so I will not distract from the on-field goals of the team and if the Rangers are smart they will get this done.
2. I think it will be ok. Josh Rupe I think is the pitcher I think that will be able to be a little bit of everything for the Rangers Bullpen. Long relief, Short relief and even a set up man. I think if they use Rupe the same way they used Jamey Wright that the rest of the bullpen will be fine. I think Franky and C.J at the end of games will be a good one, two punch if they are healthy and so far that is what I keep hearing. But the Bullpen will only be as good as the starting pitching and I believe if the Rangers starters can give you a solid 6 innings I think the bullpen will be good enough to hold on to a lot of wins. Last year I think the bullpen was fine but it wore down because the starters got shelled to often. If the starters can go deeper into games which I believe the Rangers are trying to preach in spring training the Rangers will be at least a contending team. I don’t know if they will win the division or the wild card but they will be in the mix if they can pitch effectly and play solid defense which is also a big thing and they will hit that is a given. So put all of these three phases inplace and it should be a fun summer for baseball around here.
3. If Rudy says his bat is there then you would be a fool not to make room for him until he proves he doesn’t have it any more. Trade or cut Frank which they need to do any way there would be no room for Cat even if we didn’t have the option of Andruw Jones and with the options that Brandon Boggs still has. He can play everyday in triple AAA until he is needed due to an injury or Jones flaming out. I like the idea of Jones and Blalock as the DH. Blalock would play first against lefties instead of Chris Davis most of the time. Jones healthy and swinging a good bat is a nice problem to have if Hamilton and Nelson Cruz keep swinging the bats they are so far in spring training.
4. He has been better lately. He will be ok. There is enough power in the lineup that if he does get off to a slow start. He won’t have worry about Justin Smoak until probably after the all-star break or September or until they trade Hank. Then they will probably alternate playing first and DH. Again another nice problem to have. To many good power hitters in the lineup.
5. Team USA did a lot better this time with reaching the semis and I did watch or listen to them all the way through the WBC. I still don’t like doing the WBC now. I would rather do it after the season and playoffs when our guys are not in spring training mode our pitchers for sure. That wasn’t the real Roy Oswalt and Jake Peavy out there. And if it was the Astros and Padres are in for a long year. They didn’t manage the Bullpen very well either. Especially, against Japan when they were down 2 runs. They had better guys in the bullpen than who they had out there in that situation. Scot Shields or Broxton should ahve been in there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s