Monday Morning Manager…The Finals

So they have won six of seven on the road and the Mavericks are down 2-1 in the playoffs.

Nowitzki missed the shot but the  Rangers have thrown six shutouts in their last 20 games. Everything would be perfect with their starting rotation if not for Matt Harrison’s kidney stone.

Everything would be perfect with the Mavericks if they had one more dependable scorer but Jason Terry seems as fickle as….whatever.

There are those who think that the Rangers will run and hide with this division and if the kidney stone passes, that may be the case.

But we have a draft on Monday and it is a big deal even if the Rangers don’t have a first round pick on their roster right now. Asked a club official about Kasey Kiker, the No. 1 pick from 2006, and he said, “No bueno.”

That means he is still struggling at Class A Myrtle Beach if you are scoring at home.

But no doubt they will hit a home run on Monday. And the Mavericks will take this thing back to Miami.

1. What is your biggest concern about the Rangers right now?

2. Are the Athletics fading from view?

3. Who is the Rangers best starting pitcher right now?

4. Do you feel better about Neftali Feliz?

5. What is Julio Borbon’s future with the Rangers?

21 Comments

1. The bullpen
2. No
3. Alexi Ogando
4. No
5. Hopefully tradebait.

1. Have to agree bullpen is a concern. However it is getting better.
2. The A’s pitching will keep them viable.
3. Never thought I would have to think very long to answer that question. Ogando is very good. Wilson and Lewis are battlers, I feel like the Rangers have a chance to win every time those three pitch.
4. Borbon has more potential (with speed and offense) than tradebait. The Rangers are however loaded with capable outfielders including Moreland (their best all around firstbaseman). So something must give. And then there is Chris Davis who probably could find his potential in a trade as in Gonzales and Pena.

Just off top of my head: Go to the Mets, offer Borbon, Davis for K-Rod and make K-Rod the setup man so you don’t have to pay the bonus for next year. K-Rod signed thru next year, insurance in case Feliz blows up, plus you can get the Mets to pay most of the salary for this year. If you have to use him as a closer this year and he gets next years bonus just trade him over the winter.

1. There’s no way the bullpen’s going to hold up with two 40-somethings bridging the game to Feliz. Every time I see Oliver come in I feel the Rangers have lost the game. His 1-5 record speaks for itself.

2. I dont see the A’s contending without any legit sluggers. Josh Willingham is their only hitter with more than 3 homers. Seriously.

3. Ogando. He’s the only rangers starter that he’s planning on bringing to the all-star game. Plus, he’s just insane, and a gift from the heavens.

4. Never doubted him. He’s too talented. He should be the Rangers ace right now. i don’t see why daniels traded away frankie and added the 41-year-old Arthur Rhodes in the twilight of his career on a multiyear deal for more than 3 million a year. Unbelievable. The bullpen is collapsing because Daniels failed to address it. Simple as that. Obviously, he doesn’t know how to put together a bullpen, so he has to use his bona fide ace as the closer. sad. And a waste of ace potential.

5. With Leonys Martin coming up, Borbon’s going to be shown the door pretty soon.

3.

1. Honestly, my main concern is the team defense. The bullpen is getting a lot better with the re-emergence of Mark Lowe and Michael Kirkman, plus the surprise that has been Yoshinori Tateyama. These errors are going to kill the team in the long run, and it just isn’t going to look good on the stats sheet. So far, though, the errors haven’t been at a time to cost them the game.

2. Fading from view? Not yet. Their pitching staff will keep them in a lot of games. My baseball senses tell me that the A’s are going to look for immediate offense near the trade deadline–the success of that experiment will be what determines if the A’s are done this year or not.

3. Right now? Ogando and Lewis are fighting for that honor. If we are talking about the entire season, Ogando takes it hands down. Part of me is still waiting for the other shoe to drop, but for right now, I’m more impressed by the five “legitimate aces” that Ogando has matched/outpitched.

4. Neftali seems to be finally coming back around. I think he is getting over the fear of his own shoulder–slowly but surely. As he gets that confidence back in his arm, he will start to round out into the guy we remember from the second-half last year. I’ll be interested to see what happens if the Rangers do go out to get K-Rod.

5. Unless Borbon can finally put it all together by the end of this season, I would say that his future is quickly coming to a close. Why? Chavez and Gentry are doing a more than serviceable job of holding down center field, and Leonys Martin looks poised to get promoted to AAA by the All Star Break. With that being true, Borbon’s chief value is to bring in somebody else. Unless something disastrous happens to someone in the outfield, I think Borbon is finally shifted out.

When the Rangers are on a winning streak in June it makes you feel all tingly inside….remember the last 2 Junes?
1. I wish they were’nt last in fielding and that we had another solid bullpen arm…not Krod
2. The A’s pitching is solid…the whole division will be tere for our party.
3. Hard not to like Ogando…he just get’s it done. They’ve all been great.
4. Feliz got his confidence back after being shut down. It’s what we really knew would happen.
5. No over reacting but if someone want him I say “sold”….Gentry and Chavez are doing just fine.

1) My biggest concern is still the bullpen…I think that daniels should still consider adding another piece and maybe borbon or davis or a pitcher needs to be sacrificed for that move.

2) I believe the A’s are not legit despite their pitching. They just dont have the firepower with the bats to contend for 162 games.

3) Although Ogando is dominating currently, I am going with CJ still. He pitches against the best pitchers for opposing teams and if he doesnt win he gives the rangers in the game everytime out. CJ has really impressed me this year despite not having “wow” numbers. Every pitcher we have currently in the starting rotation is giving us a chance to win and competing.

4) Nefti will be fine, I still think he is a future starter and stud for us.

5) Borbon played ok while in the majors (was hitting well, Defense was acceptable) , but we are a loaded team and people are playing better than him. He deserves to be in AAA currently (that isnt a slap to him, just saying). If he develops his Defense and hits the cover off the ball or an injury occurs he will earn the opportunity to come back up. He has to see the writing on the wall….Martin is playing well and is in the mix, gentry and Chavez are playing well, Murphy is on par with Borbon in terms of D as a CF and is leaps and bounds above him as a hitter, and lets not forget that Josh Hamilton is still the best CF in the game who just happens to be playing LF. He can’t just be a serviceable OF and be here, he has to e a stud.

Case in point is Murphy, that guy can hit 20-30 homers and drive in 80-100 RBI’s if given 600 ABs. We just don’t have a spot for him to do that with this squad.

1. Still worried about the bullpen, that 4 game sweep in Cleveland was mainly due to the starting pitching facing a team that was playing over their heads for a couple of months. There’s going to be a stretch when the starters won’t be able to go deep into games and it will be back to nail biting time with the bullpen. Also, the defense is still suspect. I’d prefer that that the infielders (I’m looking at you Elvis and Ian) would forget about the fancy/difficult plays and start concentrating on making the routine play everytime.

2. What is the Rangers record the last 2 seasons against less talented Oakland squads? (It’s 16-18). Because of the unbalanced schedule, I am not counting any AL West team out of the race right now.

3. CJ Wilson. Yes, Ogando has been very good – but let’s see what happens when teams start seeing him the second and third time. CJ’s already been there done that and is definitely the best starter the Rangers have going right now.

4. He’s pitching well , hope he keeps it up.

5. I have to chuckle at all the Endy Chavez love I’m reading. Everyone does realize that he’s 33 years old, has never played more than 133 games in a season, and has bounced around (the Rangers are his 6th team). If he’s so valuable why hasn’t he had an everyday postion? Chavez is a career .272 hitter with a .684 OPS in 836 AB’s. Borbon has had a grand total of 215 major league AB’s – and he’s hit .284 with a .681 OPS – I don’t see a significant difference, except that Borbon is still only 25 years old. By the way, in the first season that Chavez got significant AB’s – with Montreal in 2003 – he batted.251 with a .648 OPS. That’s a long way to get to my answer: yeah, Chavez is the hot hand right now, and it’s fine if the Rangers continue to play him – until he comes back to his career avg – which isn’t any better than Julio’s. I hope the Rangers show a little more patience with Julio, I think he has the potential to be a better player than Chavez.

1. Set up and middle relief. A healthy Darren O’Day would cure a lot of what is ailing this bullpen. Anyone pining for Frank Francisco isn’t paying attention. He’s been worse that Rhodes this season, when he’s not on the disabled list.
2. I feel like their starting pitching will keep them from becoming a complete non-factor, but they are scuffling as a team right now, no doubt.
3. Good question. It’s hard to argue with what Ogando’s done all season long, but CJ was been at the absolute top of his game the last 3 times out, holding opponents to a .164 batting average and Colby has been utterly dominant in his last 7 starts, making his rough beginning a distant memory. Matt Harrison hasn’t allowed a run in his last 16.2 innings and has a 1.65 ERA since his 2 disastrous outings a few weeks ago. I guess the short answer is that I’m not sure, I just know it’s fun to watch. And, oh yeah, there’s a 24 year old at the back of the rotation with a 3.31 ERA in his last 5 starts.
4. Yes. He looking better every time out recently. I’m not sure how anybody could look at how he pitched the first 2 months of the season and say he should’ve been in the starting rotation, though.
5. Battling Leonys Martin for the CF job in 2012 if he’s not used as deadline trade bait.

I have no doubt that Bourbon will last longer than Gentry and Chavez but “right now” Chavez and Gentry are getting it done….for whatever reason….I play them and dispose of Bourbon and hope Martin is going to be ready in September…….if that makes Bourbon,, Davis and Murphy available oh well….what can we get??? It’s got to be something that makes sense….and right now that’s the bull pen

1. The bullpen. I don’t think I have to explain that one, nor is there an issue that concerns me more.

2. Somehow I think they are going to come back. This division is really tight, and even though the Angels will over-perform and Seattle and Oakland will make a showing, the Rangers will have what it takes.

3. A lot of the statsheads will be annoyed by this, but it’s Alexi Ogando. That doesn’t mean that C.J. doesn’t deserve credit, but based on what was expected and what has been the result, Ogando came in and cleaned house. When Hunter comes back, he’s going to have to play in the bullpen at this point (which actually might be good for the bullpen).

4. It is what it is. He’s still a kid, and everybody has a stretch where they just can’t get it done. I think Feliz is past that for now.

5. Starting Center Fielder. Chavez or Gentry is going to find a new home when the deadline comes up.

1. Ian Kinsler….wow is he weak
2. Oakland will come back. They were in Boston this weekend
3. Colby Lewis
4. Do the Rangers play the Royals again?
5. Center fielder….Endy Chavez will come back to earth quick

1. Leadoff hitter. Kinsler needs to be moved to the 6th or 7th spot with Elvis batting 1st in the order.
2. Oakland always seems to play well in the second half, so I wouldn’t count them out until we’re 15 games up.
3. I don’t know if the plan is to keep Ogando in the rotation all year or move him to the bullpen when his innings start to pile up. For only this reason, I think Wilson is still our best starter.
4. As long as he continues to mix up his pitches.
5. Trade bait

I agree with Quoc. Ouor lead-off hitter isn’t a very good lead-off hitter. He’s suffering from an identity crises and thinks that he’s a dead-pull power hitter, when in reality he’s a contact hitter with some gap power.

1. Like everybody else…the BULLPEN. But, it is the easiest to fix all things considered. Brad, your Mets trade would not work with Davis. They already have Wright at 3b and young Ike Davis at 1b right now. Even though Ike is hurt right now, they don’t have room for Chris Davis and I really don’t think K-Rod is the answer here.
2. The A’s play the Rangers well and their pitching is very good. They will hang around.
3. Right now could mean anything. But, if I had to choose, I would say C.J. He has been so good that we might be starting to take him for granted.
4. Yes. I disagree with the above post about him being the “bona fide ace”. Seriously. Is that you D’god under yet another different name?
5. I still think Wash believes in him and he still has good potential. He was really playing well when he got hurt. They are riding Chavez as long as they can. He cannot be optioned and a Borbon/Gentry combo does not fit right now. I think the Rangers bought some time by sending Julio down and it gives him a chance to build some consistency into his play. Maybe he’ll come back for good the next time he is up…..unless he is traded. If that happens, nobody should cry about it if he becomes a stellar player.

1. What is your biggest concern about the Rangers right now? I was spooked about the 8th inning guy, though I think Mark Lowe is IT. I really worry about Rhodes. Rest of bullpen: Tateyama, Oliver, are alright. Please don’t start Dave Bush anymore, keep him for blowouts-either way.
2. Are the Athletics fading from view? No. I think they will be the #2 team, once all the dust settles. I don’t see Seattle staying where they are, and I don’t think LAA is that awesome either. Who really has better pitching than the Rangers (at this point?)

3. Who is the Rangers best starting pitcher right now? Alexi Ogando, closely followed by Matt Harrison, when healthy. CJ, Derek and Colby, in that order.

4. Do you feel better about Neftali Feliz? Yes! I wanted to jump into the TV set, and go and put other fingers up besides a “1″ when he faced and lost leads to KC. Should have mixed in more off speed. They were sitting on his 92 mph……I think he was holding back a bit on his speed, also. Maybe scared to unleash it all after time on DL.

5. What is Julio Borbon’s future with the Rangers? Depends. Let’s see if Endy Chavez is a flash in the pan, or if he has some staying power. Obviously, he can’t keep hitting .500, so he might come back to earth. Borbon is a work in progress, and not sure of his age, but he might “get it” by the time Endy Chavez leaves the Rangers.

Have to laugh at the posters who said Kinsler is a weakness. Kinsler is the best leadoff hitter in the AL and has been for 3 years. Yes the BA is down right now but name another lead off hitter that can give you a 1-0 lead in one pitch. He hits for power, usually average, walks, steals. Borbon is a joke as leadoff and Andrus is not better than Kinsler. Next time your at a game live watch the defense for the opposing team and see where the outfielders are playing when Borbon and Andrus come up and when Kinsler comes up. The outfielders play deeper in my coed league when the woman bat than when Borbon and Andruss bat! As far as the trade I threw out there for Borbon and Davis to the Mets, it was just a thought since the Mets are going to dump Beltran and K-Rod before the trading deadline. I am not saying Chavez is the answer but Borbon is not the answer either and never will be. The best outfield the Rangers start is Murphy, Hamilton, and Cruz and if Washington wasn’t so stubborn to start one of his boys (Borbon) then we would start winning alot more games!

Don’t look now Brad but Bourbon won’t b starting soon and has in fact not started in the last couple of weeks…Just thought you might want to know.

Oh, I know that, but have to laugh at some of these posters who think he should be starting. In case any one hasn’t noticed he is not even starting in CF in Round Rock. They are playing him in LF or RF in Round Rock.

Borbon has played 4 games in center for Round Rock. None in LF or RF.

@Brad – Granderson. I know he isn’t hitting leadoff but that only because the Yankees brass is trying to save face by running Jeter in the 1 hole.

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