Monday Morning Manager…Roster decisions

Let’s make this one simple. The Rangers have to set their roster by the end of the week and no doubt they need some help.


1. Andruw Jones or Frank Catalanotto?

2. Should Kris Benson be in the rotation over Scott Feldman?

3. Do you put Jason Jennings in the bullpen?

4. Should Derrick Turnbow be in the Rangers bullpen?

5. Do you think C.J. Wilson or Frank Francisco should be the closer?



1. Neither. I’d take Boggs over them both.

2. Don’t think so. I’d keep Feldman as #5 and Benson would be the long man out of the bullpen until Nippert comes off the DL. Then comes another decision.

3. Nope. Jennings goes to OKC and starts.

4. I think Turnbow makes it.

5. F^2

1. I agree with the stork on Boggs. But, since you gave us the choice of Cat v. Jones, I would have to go with Cat who is a proven pinch hitter.

2. I’m not sure about this one. It seems that no one sees Feldman as a long term starter so if Benson has gotten it together, I’d go with Benson in the rotation and Feldman in the pen.

3. Jennings to AAA for some more depth to call upon before rushing Holland or Feliz.

4. 6 to one, half dozen to another.

5. Frankie #1 with C.J. shutting down the 8th inning and occasionally giving Frankie a break.

1. In a forced choice (without a trade for Catalanoto) I choose Catalanoto. I wish he could be traded. I really like Boggs but he has an option. If Jones would fail we could bring Boggs up.
2. Feldman is number 5. I have more confidence in him than in the number 1. Benson makes the team as long man.
3. Jennings to Oklahoma.
4. No to Turnbow. Would like to keep him and see if regains form by mid season.
5. Closer by committee…use them both.

Bottom line is though the team will make the decisions based on money and what they see rather than the little glimpse that we see of these guys. I would have bet Rupe would have started out on the farm…but someone sees something I don’t.

One last comment…These guys can just flat out hit can’t they?

1. With Jones unable to play center field at an acceptable level, I’ll go with Catalanotto. Cat is a good pinch hitter and we may need that some this season with Elvis at the bottom of the line up.
2. I think the bullpen is better with Feldman in it, so yes. Benson has looked like an acceptable back of the rotation pitcher this spring by any standard. If he doesn’t get the job done you can always move Feldman back into rotation or call up someone from the minors.
3. I like him better in the Frisco rotation if Feldman is going to be in the bullpen.
4. He may have to be if they can’t get Warner Madrigal straightened out. The bullpen as I see it now would be Turnbow, Eyre, Feldman, Rupe, Guardado, Wilson and Francisco. I’m guessing Turnbow starts the season in the big leagues because Madrigal and Eyre have options left.
5. I feel fine about either of the closing games. The job was Franks to lose and I don’t think he’s done that, even as dominating as CJ has been.

1. If we can get anything for Cat, who I think improved his value this spring, then go with the right handed bat. If not, then go with the option that makes most sense economically.
2. Benson has outpitched Feldman this spring. Feldman’s longterm role with this team will be in the bullpen, so go ahead and move him there now.
3. Stretch him out a bit more in AAA to make sure he’s completely healthy. This makes him a great option when someone goes down.
4. Turnbow to the minprs until he gets his control back. If he turns down the assignment, then give him the opportunity to find a spot somewhere else.
5. It was Frankie’s position to lose and he did not lose it. The backend of the bullpen looks very promising.

1. I like Cat. He has never made any waves when his playing time diminished and he is an accomplished pinch hitter but the problem is he is left handed and there are too many of those on the team. I am really surpirsed there is not some NL team looking for that kind of help but his contract is likely the deal breaker there. Jones, will likely get his stroke back and will be a productive RH bat with power that this team can use but he’d need regular playing time to keep it. He and Cat are probably on par in left right now so the defensive side is a wash. So where does that leave us? Do we take DH time from Hank? Three guys platooning in left assuming that Josh and Nellie are pretty much everyday? Brandon Boggs would have earned a fifth outfielder spot any other time but is forced out in this case, he really has nothing left to prove in the minors. This has been allowed to play out way to far already. The team is on the hook for Cat’s salary no matter what. Since Cat alsoappears to be the odd man out, find a trade partner who is willing to split the difference, get someone back who is one of those “Change of Scenery” types and lets not mess with this much longer. The season starts in 7 days.

2. The middle relief has me really nervous so I’d put Feldman in the ‘pen. He’d probably view it as a demotion but it probably wind up being a rescue effort. Benson starts ’til he proves that he can’t anymore then we see what happens. The other thing is that it seems every time the team develops a plan for Feldman, some fire erupts and he has to be the fireman. McCarthy is still in the rotation and given his history, he might be the first fire to erupt.

3. We need to have some insurance policies somewhere that keeps the younger starters form coming up too soon so he goes to AAA and gets ready because he will likely get some starts this year.

4. No, He is part of the problem for me with the ‘pen. I can’t see keeping a guy who can’t keep his fastball from getting hit. Thats what got Kam Loe a trip to Japan. I really feel this team is going to need as much of a lights out ‘pen as possible so we really don’t need someon who struggles to throw a shutdown inning.

5. Frankie for now. CJ right behind him looking ot take the job back may keep them both focused and the setup, closer will be the strength of the ‘pen. The team just needs have to have enough pitching elsewhere to get to those guys.

1. Brandon Boggs might actually be the best to be traded. He has the biggest assets of the three of these guys. Switch hitting and a plus arm and can play all 3 outfield positions. Let’s face it the Rangers outfield is going to keep getting crowded with the highly taughted Julio Borbon and Engel Beltre still to come. But, I do agree that he is probably the best defender and the best for the long run. So back to the orignal question since others have brought up a little different question. Cat or Andruw? I am a big cat fan but let’s face he hasn’t been the same Cat since we got him back from Toronto where he was even better than he was here the first time. He has been hurt and in and out of the lineup too much and he is more limited to DH or left field and maybe a little first base if he had to. But with our depth over there he probably won’t have to do that if Blalock and Chris Davis stay healthy. But his plus is as a pinch hitter. That is why out of the 2 guys that i like Andruw better and here is why. First, We need another big right handed bat on the bench. Because, we are over crowed with Lefties. If we took Cat then Nelson Cruz would be the only right handed power hitter in the lineup. I don’t consider Michael, Ian or Marlon power hitters and they don’t hit in the middle of the lineup either. Marlon does for now but only against lefties. But Andruw fills both of those needs and i will bet you he will mash left handed pitching this season. We have not hit lefties very well for a while. I don’t know if Andruw is as athletic or has the arm strength that Brandon Boggs has at this point in his career but I believe Andruw can also play all 3 of outfield positions and DH. If Andruw is healthy and swinging a good bat like everyone is saying he is and with our lineup as it is already wow. Sorry this is such a long winded answer but it is a great question. Here is my last point of this question and then i will move on. I also chose Andruw here because the Rangers will have Omar Vizquel on that same bench and I think he would be a better pinch hitter than Cat would be and he is a switch hitter. So that is why I would choose Andruw over Cat and We would probably only pinch hit for Elvis Andrus any way. Who else would you pinch hit for in our everyday lineup. So that is my answer to this question. Sorry for the really long answer but i was typing and thinking at the same time.
2. Kris Benson or Scott Fledman? Why not Kris Benson and Scott Feldman? I want the best pitcher to win that job and we should also think of our needs too. For now I would put Benson in the rotation and make Feldman as the long relief guy and spot start guy. With our Starting pitching we may need a good long man. We have ned a good one in the past and Scott has bullpen expirence as well. So I lik that option the best. We will learn more about Kris Benson today. But Benson has been around for a while and he is a solid major league pitcher when healthy. Maybe Kris Benson will be Sydney Ponson without the baggage and pitch like he did for the Rangers last year. But I will take either guy. Scooter Feldman pitches with his guts you have got to like a guy like that. This spot will go to Feliz or Holland at some point soon any way it looks like. So we will see what happens.
3. Jason Jennings? I want Jason totally healthy first but if you put Scott feldman in the rotation then you need someone in the long refief role and that might be a good role for Jason until he gets all of his strength back. I just hope he is finally healthy for once because he use to be a good young starting pitcher.
4. I think Turnbow would be blocking someone that is younger and maybe be even better who might be a closer in the futrue and that would be Warner Madrigal. So I say cut your loses and go with Madrigal.
5. I think Frankie proabably deserves to start as the closer since he did a pretty good job at the end of last season. But have C.J. ready incase Frankie can’t handle it. But think Frank can because he has some really Nasty stuff when he is going well. I do like how C.J. has been pitching in spring training hopefully he is on his way to being what he was 2 years ago. But I think if you put Frank, C.J, Warner Madrigal and Everyday Eddie at the back end of the bullpen that is going to be pretty good. And hopefully Josh Rupe fits somewhere in there with those guys. If our starters can average 6 quality innings most of the time we are going to win some games this year with the guys i mentioned being right in the middle of it all.

1) A. Jones has to much talent to let go if he can still progress with Rudy.
2)Its a toss up. Both are true #5’s.
3)The way Jennings has pitched this spring I would give him the nod to be in the rotation as soon as they feel is is healthy. Been great this spring!
4) Depends-looked solid early-struggled lately. Need to see a couple more appearances.
5) Frankie has earned it and we have to go with him. Although CJ finally looks like he can throw strikes.

1. Andruw Jones or Frank Catalanotto?

If we are strictly talking about who the 5th OF is going to be, I would pick Cat. Cat used to coming off the bench, will put the ball in play, and has slightly more utility use. Boggs would be better served by playing everyday at OKC and not once a week or late in games. April would seem to be the easiest (if you can call it easy) month for the guys and there are more days off than in most months so the regulars get the bulk of the time.

2. Should Kris Benson be in the rotation over Scott Feldman?

If Benson makes the team, he should be in the rotation. My guess would be that Benson might opt out if he thinks he should be starting and there are plenty of teams looking for starters (How about Anaheim?) He is 34 and has never pitched out of the bullpen before. It would seem that Feldman is regarded as a bullpen guy that is in the rotation because of circumstances not because he is valued as a starter. So let him flourish in the position that they really value him in. Starters are only going to pitch once a week in April if they dont skip the off days so long relievers might be at a premium early on.

3. Do you put Jason Jennings in the bullpen?

Would like to see him go to OKC, get his arm ready to pitch as a starter and be the 6th guy, ready to go if/when one of the starters goes down or is ineffective.

4. Should Derrick Turnbow be in the Rangers bullpen?

Frankie Frank, CJ, Eddie, Feldman (with Benson in the rotation), Rupe…..that is 10 with the starters. So there are 2 spots…..Eyre seemed like a lock before the injury (DL, maybe). Nippert (DL?) Mad Dog has a very high ERA and options……what about Gobble? Turnbow is the 12th guy at best with the way he has thrown. I would say no. He is a one inning guy and that part of the pen is covered. Need middle relievers, no short guys at this point.

5. Do you think C.J. Wilson or Frank Francisco should be the closer?

Frank was given the closer job and has done nothing to deserve losing the position. Seems like a position of strength at this point……CJ has been lights out.

1. Andruw – based solely on the fact that he does play a little better defensively than Cat.

2. No, Feldman proved a solid innings eater and decent back of the rotation pitcher last year – you still don’t really know what your going to get from Benson.

3. Yes

4. No, the bullpen is too important to have a pitcher take up a spot who still is working on control problems. See if he’ll go to AAA – get himself straightened out, if he can – there will most assuredly be a spot in the bullpen for him at some point.

5. Frank is the closer – but CJ’s an excellent back-up if things aren’t going well.

1. Catalanotto if you won’t let me have Brandon Boggs.
2. Chris Benson. Put Feldman in the pen.
3. Send Jennings down and put Feldman in the pen.
4. No, Feldman is in the pen. ( I feel like I’m repeating myself)
5. I like Francisco as closer. C.J. looks good as a setup guy though.

1. Given only those two options, I’ll choose Jones, simply for defense.

2. No. Benson is still a big question mark, whereas Feldman, in a pinch, came through in a big way last year. He ate a lot of innings and kept he club in a lot of games.

3. Sure.

4. Not yet. He still has some things to work on. See if he’ll go to AAA to do that.

5. C.J.’s been dominant this spring, but the job was Francisco’s to lose. He hasn’t done anything to lose it, so it’s his. That said, I sure don’t mind having two guys capable of closing things out sitting in the ‘pen.

– Micah

Jones, I hate to admit……if he makes it a whole season?
Benson starts #3. Feldman long man.
Keep Jennings close and let him keep the Rangers in the game
Turnbow to AAA and ready to be called
Francisco until something happens then CJ can get it back….

1. Does it really matter? If either needs to play regularly things are in trouble. Give me Catt unless a NL team wants him on the bench.

2. If he can pitch.

3. Sure, let him prove he’s healthy. Hes more rotation insurance.

4. If he won’t accept a AAA assignment. He has an arm that should be kept around.

5. Neither.

1. Andruw Jones or Frank Catalanotto?

I don’t understand how Boggs keeps coming into this conversation. He is good defensively at all three spots, very fast, but he hit .226 last year and struck out 93 times in only 283 at bats. Unfortunately this team needs guys on base that can be knocked in and Frank Catalanotto is the very definition of that. A lifetime OBP of .358 and a career .292 hitter. He is your man at this point. I would like to see Andruw go to AAA and beat his way back to Arlington. You know there will be an injury, it happens every year. Andruw Jones can still play defense quite well, he made a spectacular catch saturday afternoon in the high skies and bright sun. Unfortunately I dont think Andruw would accept an AAA assignment.

2. Should Kris Benson be in the rotation over Scott Feldman?

Kris Benson no doubt. I talked to both on Sunday, Benson has the confidence of a seasoned veteran. He knows what he wants to do out there, he listens to instruction and thus far he has been getting it done. Feldman doesn’t seem to have any confidence in himself or situation at this point and it showed Saturday.

3. Do you put Jason Jennings in the bullpen?

Again, no doubt about it. 3 and 2/3 of fantastic work to finish the game Saturday, beeming with confidence when he left the game, has had an outstanding spring. Bullpen should be:

Scott Feldman – Long Reliever / Spot Starter
Jason Jennings – Long Reliever / Spot Starter
Josh Rupe – Middle Relief
Warner Madrigal – Middle Relief
Derrick Turnbow – Late / Middle Relief
CJ Wilson – Setup
Frank Francisco – Closer

I also wouldnt be opposed to leaving Turnbow in AAA to start the season and carry Andruw Jones and Catalanotto, but with our pitching struggles, that would seem very unlikely.

4. Should Derrick Turnbow be in the Rangers bullpen?

Yes see above. The injury to Willie Eyre really muddies the waters here. Use him as infrequently as possible and get Willie Eyre in Turnbow’s spot as soon as he is ready then ship Turnbow back to AAA.

5. Do you think C.J. Wilson or Frank Francisco should be the closer?

No doubt again. As previously stated Frank has done nothing to lose the job, he deserves it. If he fumbles it, CJ is waiting and he has been fantastic this spring.

I knew I was leaving someone out on question 3 earlier. Guardado in for Turnbow. Start Turnbow at AAA this season, when Eyre comes back, send Jennings out to AAA to be the sixth starter.

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