Morning Nine From Surprise…the Awards Wrapup Show
Tomorrow is the last day in the desert. After the Rangers play the Padres, it’s back to Texas where they will play three games against Triple A Round Rock, Triple A Mexico City and Double A Frisco. Day off on Thursday and then Opening Day.
Still five shopping days left to get those contract extensions done although only Ian Kinsler appears to be in play right now. Five more days left to clear up all those tight muscles. Lots of tight muscles this spring in camp. A lot of viruses. Otherwise it has been a healthy camp.
Some decisions left…those will likely be made in Texas. Why rush to judgment when there are still five games left to play. Still time, as Julio Borbon put it, for the winds to change. And they do have a tendency to change around here.
1. Player of the Spring – Ian Kinsler. Michael Young just keeps on hitting and Elvis Andrus had a terrific spring. But Kinsler looks ready to go and ready to have a huge season. Maybe those contract talks are driving him. Or more likely he was just born to play baseball and play it at a high level.
2. Pitcher of the Spring – Matt Harrison. The Rangers had seven candidates for the rotation and they all pitched well. But Harrison was particularly outstanding. If he can have a good April, he could end up having a big season as well. He really looks good.
3. Rookie of the Spring – Robbie Ross. He is nailing down a job as a left-handed reliever in the Rangers bullpen. He is definitely the biggest surprise in camp.
4. Harold McKinney Good Guy Award – Brad Hawpe. Class act to the end. Stinks that the Rangers couldn’t find a spot for him.
5. Biggest concern – Josh Hamilton? Nelson Cruz? Take your pick. Neither one has really turned on the power this spring.
6. Comeback Player of the Spring – Reliever Mike Adams and first baseman Mitch Moreland. They both started off slow while coming back from off-season surgery. But they have been coming on strong in the last couple of weeks of camp. Moreland looks locked in at the plate.
7. Most Overblown Topic of Conversation – The media coverage of Yu Darvish and what a distraction it would be. There were quite a few members of the media here from Japan but they were professional, diligent, courteous and great fun to have around. Or as Michael Young would say, “An absolute blast.” They also have a difficult job considering multiple of obstacles in their path but it is great having them around.
8. Deserves Better Award – Scott Feldman and Alexi Ogando. Other teams have to be shaking their heads with absolute envy when they see these two go to the bullpen.
9. Catch-22 Award – The weather. It was absolutely great and absolutely terrible every day this spring. Seriously. Just about every day it was sunny and warm. Almost no rain except one rainout against the Brewers. But it just seems the air quality in the Valley of the Sun is just not vey good and there were a lot of allergy and respiratory problems this spring.