Last call from the Desert…The Lists
Hanging out on the off-day…and reviewing the Rangers
Five Positive Developments
1. Michael Kirkman is having a terrific spring
3. Early conclusion: Yu Darvish looks even better than last year
4. Nick Tepesch has emerged as a serious candidate for the rotation.
5. Quote from one scout: “Jurickson Profar. I can see why the Rangers like him so much. He’s the real deal. Wow!”
Five Things Not to Like
1. Nolan Ryan’s unresolved, ongoing, attention-consuming situation.
2. Mike Olt struggling at the plate
3. Martin Perez breaking his arm. He was going to be the fifth starter
4. Justin Grimm falling behind early
5. Some right-handed bullpen candidates – Tanner Scheppers, Josh Lindblom, Evan Meek – have not yet really stepped forward.
Five intriguing players
1. Jose Felix. Do the Rangers really have a legitimate catching prospect getting close to the big leagues.
2. Lisalverto Bonilla. The 22-year-old righthander throws hard and has an excellent changeup. But he has also shown a plus breaking ball. Did the Rangers score big in the Michael Young trade?
3. Jim Adduci. This guy is a real mystery. He is 6-foot-2 with a strong body and can really run…an impressive-looking athlete very similar in stature to Josh Hamilton. Seriously. But he averages a home run every 100 at-bats in the Minors. If you just look at him, you think he should be popping a minimum of 25 per season.
4. Joe Ortiz…interesting left-handed bullpen candidate who serves up nothing but ground balls.
5. Engel Beltre…will he show this season that he can replace David Murphy or Nelson Cruz on the corner next season?
Five decisions looming
1. Center field…Will it be Martin? Or Martin and Gentry. And will the Rangers finally free Julio Borbon and get something worthwhile in return.
2. What do the Rangers have in Derek Lowe.
3. Fifth starter…Robbie Ross or are the Rangers ready to roll the dice on Nick Tepesch.
4. What to do with Jurickson Profar.
5. Bullpen, Bullpen, Bullpen
Five things nobody is talking about
1. Jason Frasor. He is having a quiet spring but remains a huge part of the Rangers bullpen.
2. Contracts. For once it’s not a central time-consuming theme in Spring Training but it is curious the Rangers haven’t followed up on their stated intention of approaching David Murphy about an extension.
3. Adrian Beltre’s age. He turns 34 in April and is signed for four more years.
4. Neftali Feliz. He is in the early stages of his throwing program.
5. The Rangers do not have one of their own first-round draft picks in Major League camp. Tanner Scheppers, Colby Lewis, Mike Olt and Julio Borbon were supplemental picks.
1. Joe Nathan
2. Alexi Ogando
3. Lance Berkman
4. A.J. Pierzynski
5. Joakim Soria