Monday Morning Manager…

Late, as I rang’d the crystal wilds of air, 
In the clear Mirror of thy ruling Star 
I saw, alas! some dread event impend, 
Ere to the main this morning sun descend,…….. 
But heav’n reveals not what, or how, or where:  

So the Rangers lost two of three to the Blue Jays this weekend in the Truth North Strong and Free but came away with not one but two relievers to pitch the eighth inning: Koji Uehara and Mike Adams.

There is only one mound but that’s just a trivial matter, kind of like shipping off two pitchers to San Diego that nobody has really seen and what is a 1.80 ERA when talking about Myrtle Beach, Frisco and the Alamo. How many pitchers named Robbie can one franchise need?

Maybe they’ll become Robb as in Robb Nen, the closer for the 1997 World Series champion Florida Marlins.

 Chris Davis is happy, he gets to play everyday in Baltimore in a ballpark where Rafael Palmeiro became a Hall of Famer until…never mind. Tommy Hunter isn’t happy but he gets to pitch every fifth day supposedly.

Then there are two kids that get to go to San Diego and eventually pitch in the Dogfood Park, where it is really good to be a pitcher. By the time they get there, the Rangers will know if it was all worth it or not.

Even Carl Schurzer can only wonder at this point. But if you’re standing inside the fire, as Garth Brooks put it, you have to decide now and the Rangers are all in. George Allen would approve, he wouldn’t know the difference between a Robb or a Robbie or if he was getting robbed. He would have trade that 1.80 ERA to Baltimore and San Diego, and had Martin Perez on his way to Kansas City for Jeff Francoeur.

The future is now is what he kept saying in Washington and it turns out the Rangers weren’t the only thing imported from the banks of the Potomac River.

But what was it Captain Kirk said in Star Trek IV when getting ready to whip around the sun?

“May fortune favor the…”

1. Do you approve of the Koji Uehara for Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis trade?

2. Do you approve of the Mike Adams for Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin trade?

3. Do the Rangers need to reach the World Series to validate these trades?

4. Do you think Derek Holland has finally put it all  together?

5. Do you have any concerns about the Rangers going into the final two months of the season.

 

21 Comments

1. Absolutely. Chris Davis still hasn’t returned to his 2008 form and I have to wonder if the league has just adjusted to him to the point that he won’t become Adrian Gonzales. Tommy Hunter, as much as I love what he did last season,wasn’t able to fulfill the role he is ultimately best suited for because he was blocked by five other pitchers. A starter can get away with getting touched for four runs in an outing… a reliever can’t. At the end of the day, we traded a guy who isn’t living up to his potential and a guy we didn’t “need” to acquire someone we really, really did… textbook personnel move.

2. For Erlin? Yes. Too many homeruns to be anything but chewed up in Arlington. Wieland? That one hurts. I think the Rangers are banking on the idea of being able to either move Feliz into the rotation next year (and Adams closes) or on being able to resign Adams after next year. If either works out, I will be a happy camper with this trade.

3. Not necessarily this year, but having it happen sometime before both of these contracts expire would make giving up Wieland a lot easier to swallow. The Rangers are in great position this year to make another run at the WS (remembering that we swept Boston to open the season before having a lights out bullpen and the Yankees played us before Holland proved he could pitch again), and will be in even better position next year when Feldman, Feliz, O’Day and the closer role are sorted out. So we will see.

4. Depending on what you mean, I would give a cautious no. 3 shutouts in one month is hard to argue with, but the last one happened because Washington had to rip into Holland to get him back to center. Until Holland can actually get himself fired up to make his pitches and get out of tight spots, he is always going to be one bad pitch from a 4 run inning.

5. Yes… What has gotten into CJ Wilson? Two bad starts in a row… it isn’t like him.

1. Unequivocally.
2. Most indubitably.
3. No.
4. Evidently.
5. Health.

1. Great trade. A proven 8th inning presence for a player with great potential but would have been lost this year anway and a good pitcher who keeps getting dropped lower nd lower in the depth charts. Even if Chris and Tommy go on to be stars, this is a good trade.
2. Would have hurt for Bell, but a great move for Adams. Potentail closer in case Feliz moves to the rotation or falters as a closer.
3. Winning the series is always the goal, but not needed to validate these trades. They stand on their own as good trades.
4. I hope so, but as of right now, he’s still the odd amn out for the post season rotation.
5. getting everyone on the field healthy at the sa,e time.

“One of the advantages of being a captain is being able to ask for advice without necessarily having to take it.”

– Captain Kirk (“Daggers of the Mind” – Star Trek Season 1 1966)

1. — I think the Rangers gave up too much. If the trade had been Chris Davis for Uehara then I could live with it. But as TR pointed out in his story on the trade: Uehara is 36 and has been on the DL four times in the past 2 season, with hamstring problems (think Hunter and Cruz) and elbow problems with his pitching arm – that’s a red flag in my book – we’ve had such good luck with older relievers this year (think Arthur Rhodes). Also, with Hunter gone who is the long man/spot starter/fall back pitcher if one of the starters is hurt: Scott Feldman? Michael Kirkman? Eric Hurley (who hasn’t pitched in a major league game since 2008) Brett Tomko? How do you feel about those options ? I’m not feeling really confident.

2. — Yes, I don’t have a problem with trading “potential” – plus Adams is younger, although he too has had some injury problems.

3. — Probably – I still have my doubts about the Rangers getting past the Angels at this point (with 10 games left against LAA facing the top of their rotation for possibly 6 of those games- Weaver, Haren and Santana – really scares me).

4. — Maybe. I hope so.

5. — This year’s team is not as good as last year’s, which is my biggest concern. The defense is bad and hasn’t gotten any better as the season progressed – that doesn’t help the starting pitching. The starting pitching is inconsistent: Colby Lewis and CJ Wilson seem to have taken a step back instead of forward. Matt Harrison and Derek Holland are sometimes brilliant and sometimes just awful. Alexi Ogando has been very good – but how is he going to hold up towards the end of a long season since he hasn’t been a starting pitcher since his time in the minors? The bullpen has been bad, and we really don’t know what the new additions will do – will they shore things up or will they be Eric Gagne after he was traded to the Red Sox in 2007?And which Neftali Feliz is going to show up for the rest of the season? The offense is okay, not as dependable as last year’s team. It would be nice to get a little more consistency from: Nelson Cruz (very streaky .262 BA) David Murphy (.257 BA – .673 OPS) Mitch Moreland (another very streaky .267) and whoever is playing CF.

1. Yes – addressed a need. Personal feelings cannot trump smart baseball personnel moves (I like Hunter and Davis). I will say I was initially a bit surprised the Orioles were able to get both these players for Uehara. What people need to understand that the reason the Rangers sent both was to create leverage in the San Diego talks. They were willing to part with Davis, Hunter, Wieland and Erlin – they didn’t care which players went where, and you have to look at it that way.
2. Yes – when taken with the previous trade, this move turned a team weakness into a team strength
3. No they do not. They needed to make them to put themselves in a *position* to reach the WS again. Anything can happen, but success of trades is not evaluated in that way, or at least it should not be.
4. I wouldn’t say he has “finally put it all together,” but there can be no question that a) when he is on he is very, very good and b) he has made huge strides this season – major steps forward.
5. Staying healthy appears to be the biggest concern at this point. When they have had their guys, they have played great baseball (starting the season, recent win streak). It has been while key players have been injured that the Rangers have not played well.

1. We addressed a need, but We should of been able to get more out of the deal

2. The Mike Adams trade is a great deal. We didn’t even have to touch any of our top prospects to pull off the trade for a guy that everybody wanted more than Heath Bell

3. no. They just need to win the World Series.

4. Nope, but he’s on the right track. You start winning against teams with lesser offenses and work you way up to dominating better offenses. It’s great to see that Holland is showing the progression to becoming a front line starter.

5. Yes. Their defense isn’t playing up to it’s potential yet, Colby Lewis has yet to be consistent and Neftali Feliz’s lack of pitch variation (which may be the catcher’s fault).

1. Yes. Hunter is a good guy and a valuable innings eater, but this team needed a late inning relief boost in the worst way. Chris Davis has no place on this team when Beltre gets back. Losing him hurts the team’s depth, but that loss of depth is not a slight negative whereas adding a dominant reliever is a major positive. If Uehara’s 2012 is even close to his 2011, he’ll be a type A free agent and because of that draft pick compensation, this deal will look even better. His injury issues are a concern, but at this point it’s been over a year since he’s seen DL time. This move will benefit Davis and Hunter’s careers. I’d assume that Tommy goes into the Baltimore rotation and has a solid major league career. Davis will get another chance to prove himself without the specter of his failed attempts to hold down the first base job in Texas multiple times looming over his head.
2. This one I’m more ambivalent about because of the cost, but I love getting Adams, another shut down reliever, transforming the bullpen into an obvious strength for not only this stretch run, but for 2012 as well. Adams, like Uehara, could also yield draft compensation if the winds up leaving after that. Erlin and Wieland shot through the minor leagues because of advanced command and that will serve them well, even if neither possesses the greatest stuff in the world. They, like Hunter and Davis, benefit from this move. A young pitcher getting acclimated to the major leagues couldn’t ask for a better environment in which to do so than Petco. This was an aggressive move and it was made possible by the Rangers incredible minor league depth. Without Martin Perez, Tanner Scheppers, Neil Ramirez, Robbie Ross etc. down on the farm, losing those two promising young arms would be a much bigger blow to the future of the organization.
3. Winning another AL pennant would certainly validate these trades but I don’t feel it’s an absolute necessity being that they should have another chance in 2012. I suppose one can take the viewpoint that these moves are only successful if that happens, but Jon Daniels and the rest of the front office staff don’t have the luxury of operating based on pre-determined outcomes.
4. The stuff has always been there, the execution has gotten better and as with all young pitchers, consistency will be the last piece of the puzzle. I think he’s still a work in progress rather than a finished product, and I’m fine with that.
5. CJ needs to get straightened out, but these dead arm periods happen to every pitcher. What I am most concerned about is Alexi Ogando’s workload being so dramatically increased in combination with his high effort delivery. I hope he can stay healthy.

1. I totally approve the trade for Koji. We gave up Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis who we have kind of made expendable and they were going to have a tough time staying around with the other prospects on the way.

2. I hate giving up the 2 good young pitchers for Mike Adams but from what I hear about Mike adams is one the best setup relievers in the major leagues period. I like hearing things like that.

3. I think these 2 trades make it more managable to pull off now. did I expect the Rangers to make the world series no. I did think they would make the playoffs again. But getting these 2 pitchers give us 2 years to contend for that world series. Because they are under contract next season too.

4. The dutch oven has looked great his last handful of starts. You can see his potential and how good he can be I just hope it can continue. Because lefthanded pitcher like Holland are not easy to find.

5. I am worried about our ace C.J. Wilson. He has looked terrible has last couple starts. We are going to need C.J at his best come October so I hope he can pull out of his funk. I think the Rangers also miss the presence of Adrain Beltre in the middle of the lineup.

1. Yes. I probably would have done that deal if Uehara was a free agent after this year. Davis has never shown he can consistently hit big league pitching despite being given more than ample opportunity. Hunter can’t break into the rotation this year, and he is essentially rotation/long relief insurance. Two starters would have to go down before he would be used in the playoff rotation. We needed bullpen help alot more than rotation insurance.

2. Almost as good if not as good as the Cliff Lee trade because Adams is back next year, possibly as a closer?.

3. No, but the trades gives them a fighting chance. As well as Oliver has done this year, I don’t think they could count on winning in October with Oliver and Lowe as their seventh and eighth inning guys.

4. As soon as I say yes, he’ll go out and give up six runs in his next start, which would be no surprise. I guess that answers the question. But its fun to watch him when he’s on. I have not forgotten that he saved the Rangers in game 4 of the ALCS against the Yankees last year in Yankee Stadium, and he had a huge 4 inning bullpen saving outing against Tampa Bay.

5. Their rotation has been solid this year, but they still don’t have that front line shut down starter. I thought CJ might get there, but after the last two starts, you realize he’s a 2 at best or a 3, not a 1. Who did the last four teams standing last year have at the top of their rotations? Philly: Halladay, SF: Lincecum, NYY: Sabathia, Rangers: Cliff Lee. And in 2009, Philly: Halladay and Lee, LAD: Kershaw, NYY: Sabathia and LAA: Weaver. I like CJ, but he’s not quite in that echelon yet.

Has anyone else had the thought that the Rangers are in desperate need of a good leadoff hitter. Finally Wash et al figured out that Mike Young was not a good fit in the two hole, now someone needs to address Kinsler (PopUpKins) as poor choice leading off. He is perfect fit say in six or seven hole. Don’t have anyone who would work for pennant contender….would rather have seen M. Bourne from Houston rather than two eighth inning guys. Perry in Denison

1. Yes. 2 good guys who don’t fit for one dominating guy who does.
2. Yes. Another dominating guy who could be a future closer. You have to pay to get the best. This did not deplete us of our top prospects so it had to be done.
3. No. @EMC: How can you say you don’t think the Rangers can get past the Angels? The last time I checked, they have been trying to get past us since last year. The Angels are the ones who have to get past someone because we are in 1st place! (That was a d’god-like statement and you don’t usually do that.)
4. No, but Dutch is on his way!
5. Like others stay healthy. And, the defense really scares me. Is it a lack of focus or do these guys believe they can simply “kick it in gear” when the playoffs get here? I hope they focus now and don’t stop until the trophy has been raised. Fundamental mistakes bite you every time.

There are only 25 active roster spots and they can only play nine at a time.

Ditto to A Stephens. The magic number (as far as rosters go) is 40. Learn it. A team can’t keep everyone.

As Steven Wright once said, “You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”

Mistakes of impatience were made with Gonzalez and Hafner. They had less than 300 combined appearances before being shipped out. Chris Davis is 25, out of options next year and had 949 big league plate appearances before being traded. If it takes a player 1000 plate appearances to break out, they’re not going to do it with their original team. I’m glad they got something for him now rather than losing him to waiver claim next spring. Anyone who accepts the reality of service time rules and options should be glad as well.

Hafner and Gonzalez both had the same problem in making the team, Mark Texieira. Davis and Hunter really had no true roles on the team and it was best that we got something in return. I think they will both have long careers and I will be happy for them. My guess is the rangers go after a free agent 1st baseman this off season.

Talking about what we did in the past has no place. We’re trying to win now. Surprised Dgod didn’t bring up Galarraga and DVD they were always his Mantra before. This isn’t yesterdays Rangers…they’re serious about winning now and not at some unspecified time (maybe) in the future. Ryan, Daniels, Washington and Maddux are doing a great job.

I agree with the trades. I think Holland is channeling Cliff Lee. My concern is that we still need a right-hand hitting outfielder, preferrably with a bit of power. How about Julio Burbon for Marlon Byrd? Can they clear waivers, and would the Cubs go for the deal? (Alternately, David Murphy).

My understanding is that Borbon is out for the season with ankle surgery…I’m also not sure why we’d need 6 outfielders

My concern is that we don’t have a legitimate lead-off hitter.

It’s dump on Kinsler time because he’s in a slump. Well I did an unscientific study of the AL West leadoff hitters. What do you think I found. Kinsler is 1st in homers, RBI, Walks and Runs. He’s 2nd to Ichiro in stolen bases and hits. He does have more strikeouts…that’s why they call it a slump but he’s a long way from a worthless leadoff hitter.

I’ve been dumping on Kinsler for two years or so. He went from an MVP caliber game chager to what he is now and I know he could be better if he got back to what was making him successful in the first place. He also seems to have forgotten how to advance runners when they’re on base as well. A few years ago, he would put together hit/ on base streaks that rivaled Michael Young’s and he was about as clutch as you could get…..but not anymore.

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