Monday Morning Manager…Seven Days in May

Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.
James Joyce…Ulysses

So the now for the Rangers is an 18-17 record with ten losses in their last 14 games, tied for second with the Athletics and two games behind the Angels in the American League West.

The immediate future has the Athletics in for three games and the Angels for the weekend. At some point they will get Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton back, two badly needed pieces who have now been on the disabled list a combined total of eight times in the past three years.

They have a rotation of C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando, and a disabled list rotation of Tommy Hunter, Scott Feldman and Brandon Webb. When all was right with the Rangers, everybody wondered what would happen when those three got healthy.

Now the suspicion is being raised that there will be a need in the future for those who were once a prominent part of the past. That may be the reality of the now.

Six division games over seven days in May and the Rangers may see the future more clearly and it may include the past.

“I never thought of it just like that, Mr. President, but, well, that’s what we got and I guess it’s worked pretty well so far. I sure don’t want to be the one to say we ought to change it.”

Fletcher Knebbel and Charles Bailey…Seven Days in May

1. When Tommy Hunter is ready, does he go immediately into the rotation and who does he replace?

2. Do you have a different opinion of Julio Borbon than you did at the end of Spring Training?

3. Are there changes that need to be made in the bullpen?

4. What is the biggest problem with the Rangers offense?

5. Would you call this a pivotal week for the Rangers?

13 Comments

1. When Tommy Hunter is ready, does he go immediately into the rotation and who does he replace?
– Tommy I think will go into the rotation, and I think he replaces Alexi Ogando because of the blister issue. I think that they will put Ogando on the DL to give that blister time to heal all the way.

2. Do you have a different opinion of Julio Borbon than you did at the end of Spring Training?
– I have always liked Borbon. He has a ton of talent and potential, and he is starting to show that he can be a paitent hitter at the plate, and a huge asset in the field. I think Julio is about to really come on and show the Rangers that they were right about him.

3. Are there changes that need to be made in the bullpen?
– Yes. I am not sure how, outside of trades, but Rhodes has not impressed me to this point, Eppley has shown that he is inconsistant at best, Lowe just got back so we do not know exactly what to expect from him, They seem hesitant to use Bush except as a spot starter, Oliver has been either real good or real bad, but mostly good, the only constant is Neftali Feliz. They need help, I just do not have the answer on where that help will come from.

4. What is the biggest problem with the Rangers offense?
– Inconsistancy. They are brilliant one game, and totally dormant another. They can knock in everyone with small ball or homer the day away, but they cannot do it on any kind of consistant basis. They need to get it in gear. It is still so early in the season that Ranger fans need not panic, especially with Josh and Nelly on the DL. This team will hit.

5. Would you call this a pivotal week for the Rangers?
– No, it is too early in the season for talk like that. Even if they lose all 6 games, all it would take is the Angels or A’s losing 8 out of 10 at some point of the season for the Rangers to be right back in it. Now, I will be a little more than worried if they lose all 6 home games against division rivals, but I wouls still not call these games pivotal.

get rid of the 2 old timers and some you guys who can not seve up homers

I agree. The real problem is the Rangers added bats when they already had bats. If they had signed Lee I beleve they could have gotten on of the other good free agents to come here and there would not have been this big bull pen issue. We also keep messing around with catchers and could have kept some we already had. One last thing, I know I am old school but I always was told you work as good as you look. Many Rangers come to the Park looking like they just got out of bed. I don’t see the Yankees looking that way.

They tried signing Lee and he went to the team offering the least money. What other good free agent pitchers would they have signed? Who was available? Who could they have signed with the money left over after signing Lee? I don’t remember anybody good being available. They didn’t go after any bats until after they lost out on Lee.

1. When Tommy Hunter is ready, does he go immediately into the rotation and who does he replace?

Yes. Send Ogando back to the pen with plans to put him back at a later date.

2. Do you have a different opinion of Julio Borbon than you did at the end of Spring Training?

No. He’s a AAA outfielder at best and a pretender at the Major League level.

3. Are there changes that need to be made in the bullpen?

Oliver or Rhodes, they don’t need both.

4. What is the biggest problem with the Rangers offense?

Hamilton changes everything. Once he gets back, EVERYONE will be pitched to differently.

5. Would you call this a pivotal week for the Rangers?

Only psychologically. It’s the 2nd week in May. Lots can happen. You can bet JD is already working on trade possibilities that will have major impacts on this club.

1. Harrison ideally, but maybe Ogando so that he can back to the bullpen where he is sorely needed.

2. Not really. Hasn’t shown anything better or worse than before.

3. Yes. Havent replaced Francisco or O’Day. Rhodes hasn’t been as good as he has been the past few years.

4. Without your (arguably) 2 best power bats, any lineup would struggle. Overall, scoring runs has not been the biggest problem this year. Offense will pick back up once Ham and Nellie are back.

5. I dont think it would do anything for morale to go 2-5 or 1-6 on the rest of the homestand and fall 5-7 games back of the leaders.

1. Harrison appears to be reverting back to form
2. the guy can play
3. Bring up the Japanese reliever
4. Kinsler looks lifeless at the plate
5. They are all big games

1. As much I want Alexi Ogando to stay in the rotation I think the bullpen is in dire need of another great quailty right handed arm in the bullpen. I do not know if Tommy Hunter can be that guy in the bullpen because he doesn’t have expience coming out of the bullpen. This also depends on how Matt Harrison and Derek Holland are pitching when Hunter gets back. But they need to do something out in the bullpen before the season gets away from us. The bullpen has been killing us lately and doesn’t matter who has been doing the pitching. It was nice to see Nefy close out that game the other night he looked great.
2. Julio Borbon just had to get comfortable in the big leagues that is it. He has the skills to be a great player on the Rangers for long time. Why we still worry about his defense from time to time he has good range and his arm is improving. But his best asset to the Rangers is being a good hitter. And you are seeing Julio finally have some solid games at the plate and we are seeing just how dangerous a player he can be when can hit and get on base. Julio has some great weapons at his disposal and when he puts his game together he can be a great player and hopefully this is just the tip of the iceberg for Julio I hope so any way.
3. As much as I hate saying this I think Ogando needs to be put back in the bullpen when Tommy Hunter gets back although I have loved every minute watching him pitch as a starter so far this year. If he pitches yesterday that whole game might have been different I was looking forward to seeing Ogando pitch against the Yankess to see if he learned from the last time he pitched agasinst them. But that is what I think the should do. The Rangers need to do something quick before they get buried in this division. they need to play well against the A’s and the Angel’s this week. That would get the season back on track real quickly.
4. I have been impressed with only Michael. He has single handedly kept the offense a float since Josh went down. I think a lot of the problem has been the absense of Josh. Nelly was struggling aready before his injury. I think once we get Josh back in the lineup and Nelly also they will take off again because everyone we get pitched to differently because Josh is in the lineup.
5. Yes, This is an early test in the season I would like to see the Rangers go 5-1 over these 6 games against the A’s and Angels. The Rangers need to start fighting back. I will be at the ballpark Tuesday night this week. Go Rangers.

1. I put Tommy Hunter i the rotation in place of Harrison. Harrison goes down if he has options to work it out. (familiar territory isn’t it.) I think Dave Bush takes Ogando’s place right now because we need a 7th and 8th inning guy. When Feldman and Webb are ready we’ll see.
2. I would rather lose a little in Center with Murphy . When Hamilton is ready play Hamilton and Murphy… I think BOrbon has a concentration problem.
3. The bullpen we have cobbled together is not working. Too much of Rhodes and Oliver. I don’t see Eppley and Tucker as answers….see #1 above.
4. Under Hurdle the guys were trained to be selective…under Bosley it’s drive….the emphasis now is all wrong. If it weren’t for Michael we’d have no O at all!
5. Too early in the season…save that for August.

By the way…Milton Bradley was DFA’ed….Don’t give “sweat” for him but he wouldn’t be a bad pickup iIF he’d agree to get help and we supplied him with a minder like we did Josh. First outburst and he’s gone.

1. I’m not sure I would put Hunter in the rotation immediately. I would start by calling up Hunter to replace Dave Bush who is either optioned to the minors or traded altogether. Holland and Harrison have a history of being successful in the ‘pen, so if it becomes clear in the next round or two of the rotation that one of them is on the wrong path, Hunter steps in to their shoes while they go the ‘pen.

2. My opinion hasn’t changed that much. Borbon has flashes of brilliance and a lot of boneheaded decisions. The improvement at the plate is encouraging, my only question is if this is “turning the corner” or just a sign that his defense is about to start regressing again.

3. Honestly, we have talented pitchers who just aren’t producing up to their own standards of performance. Admittedly, Tucker and Eppley are young guys and need some time to figure themselves out. Oliver is still trying to find his consistency (which is understandable… he isn’t really a closer) and Rhodes looks like he took a bit of a physical hit after the playoff run of the Reds. If Lowe has finally pulled himself together and Tucker and Eppley pan out, it will take a lot of pressure off of Oliver and Rhodes–which will greatly stabilize the relief core. Feliz is a beast.

4. I think this offense has been psychologically damaged with Hamilton going down for two months with injuries. A lot of people will yell about Thad Bosley vs. Clint Hurdle, but being a “patient hitting club” isn’t going to help that much when Derek Holland gives up a 4-spot in the third inning. Because Hamilton–and Cruz, to a lesser degree–is so disruptive to opponent pitching, opposing pitchers aren’t as scared to throw the ball.

5. Any time you have a week of division rivals at home, it is a pivotal week. Especially after the debacle that was the road trip, the Rangers need to demolish the A’s and take a pair from the Angels… just for the psychological boost if nothing more. I’m hoping for at least a 4-2 stretch on this next week. I’m also not holding my breath.

1. Tommy should start, and Ogando should go back to the set up role.

2. I’ve always had faith in Borbon.

3. Get Ogando in there for the 8th and Feliz healthy for the 9th, and that will make out bullpen exponentially better.

4. Not having Clint Hurdle and by not batting Kinsler 5th or 6th

5. Every week is pivotal

Forget what I said about Ogando in the Bullpen….clearly I didn’t know what I was talking about! He really looked sharp last night!

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