Rangers set pitching plan for rest of Yankees series

The Rangers announced they will start right-hander Colby Lewis on Wednesday and right-hander Yovani Gallardo on Thursday to finish out a four-game series with the Yankees.

They will not start lefty Wandy Rodriguez despite manager Jeff Banister saying Rodriguez could start if he recovered well after throwing 1 1/3 innings of relief Sunday against the Angels.

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I’m usually optimistic about my beloved Rangers and this rant may or may not be a result of last night’s embarrassing display combined with the Angels going out there with a weak farm system and picking up some key pieces that might just separate them from the rest of the pack.

But this Rangers team has quit. The manager can talk about how hard they work and all that but here is what I’ve seen over the course of this season. No focus. Elvis is consistently inconsistent with his play. The more we get into the season, the more it seems like he can only catch something hit right to him and he doesn’t even catch all of those. Does he not have any range or is he not being properly positioned? Rougned Odor shows that same lack of focus on defense and I wonder how much he is influenced by Elvis’ inconsistent play. Of this I am sure. Ron Washington would’ve been all over Elvis over his play. Bannister is a nice guy but is he too nice? Maybe a week of Adam Rosales at short or even Hanser Alberto might get Elvis’ attention. Or, maybe Elvis has his money and he knows that his job is safe because the team has too much invested in him. Regardless, it is getting sickening to watch his continuing decline. The smile and the goofing off only goes so far. How about taking some extra infield? I get that you are a mediocre hitter and that is all you were projected to be. But, you were supposed to be an above average fielder. Right now, you are below average.

Now for the pitching. When anyone comes in from the bullpen, they look like the early 2000’s Rangers pitchers. They look like they are pitching scared. That never works. I’ve never thought that it was a big deal when Nolan Ryan left, but has anyone noticed the change in culture regarding the pitchers? Who is challenging them to pull up their panties and pitch right? Or, maybe they are just not good enough. Maybe, regarding the starters, JD has pinned his hopes on Injured players (Harrison, Holland, and Perez) only to be let down. Maybe mediocrity or slightly less is all we will ever get out of this bunch. Will Derek Holland ever be more than a fragile goof ball? Will we ever see him pitch again for more than a month? I’m still stumped at how a guy with so much promise can miss two consecutive seasons for tripping over his dog and for a phantom shoulder strain. Can anyone name someone else who has missed most of a season with a shoulder strain? Cole Hamels won’t solve that. And, how to we even have any hope of Yu Darvish returning to his old form? The bullpen has been even worse and they look about as timid as any staff I’ve ever watched as a fan. You can look at guys and see the warriors. Delino is a warrior. Prince is a warrior. Beltre, as ineffective has he’s been pre and post injury is a warrior. His time just may be up though. So, we basically have two championship caliber guys in the lineup. And, how long will young players be pushed back so we can continue to hope that Josh Hamilton can return to form. It’s not looking so good and I’m not so sure there is any reward for having him on this team. I would rather see if Ryan Rua can develop.

And that brings me to this. Where is the hope? In a struggling Joey Gallo? Oh, I know all about Mazara, Alfaro, Brinson, and Williams. Are they much different from the hype we had with Danks, Volquez, and Diamond? Or, Holland, Robbie Ross, Robbie Erlin, Joe Weiland, Neil Ramirez, C.J. Edwards, Mike Olt, Leonys Martin, Julio Borbon etc. Remember Justin Smoak, Chris Davis, Jurikson Profar? Why should any fan believe that any of the current positively projected players will develop into anything of a championship caliber? We are already beginning to see that Alfaro can’t stay healthy. They are not all putting up the numbers in the minors and I continue to see teams develop their own stars all the while the Rangers appear to be developing mediocre players. Chi Chi had some momentum coming out of spring training, but he was sent down and became mediocre. Great that he is fearless and confident but can he pitch? And, will he be anything other than just another middle or back of the rotation guy? We have no prospects that have any “ace” potential. We’ve heard the hype since the Teixiera trade about this strong farm system but so far, it hasn’t developed any real stars and it hasn’t brought us that sustained winning that we heard so much about with “the plan”. Is there an end to this madness?

I really hope what I’m feeling is just an overreaction to that embarrassing display of poorly played baseball by the home team. But, they’ve played poor baseball for the majority of the season. I suppose that it could be worse. We could be Philadelphia….wait…at least they have some championships to cling to. Well, we do have 2011…….now I feel even worse! Meanwhile, the Angels are gearing up for a post season run. That makes me so sick. Maybe this is like Wash’s first year when he was just getting his managerial legs. Maybe Jeff Bannister has not had enough time to put his signature on this franchise. I just hope he has one. He has a great story, but can he manage? Can he get the best out of his guys? We haven’t seen it yet. Frustration!!!!!!!!!! Rant over.

Rodney…I don’t know what to say either. I’m a homer…no apologies…but everyone likes a winner. I thought we could be 8 or 9 games above 500 by the end of the season…even with everything that’s gone on. I thought that would be wild card territory. I’ll give Jon Daniels until the close of the trading period to see if I still think that. At this point we are several pitchers short of even 500. And heart…well I’ve never ever dumped on a manager but Washington or Bogar would be screaming right now…Bannister I don’t heart you! That’s my rant. What is it Rangers? Do I watch baseball the rest of thee season or play slots of gold on my computer?

Two days and two wins later and I find myself feeling much better about this team. We still need to do something about that atrocious bullpen, but things are looking up for this roller coaster season we’re having. This franchise is due for some good fortune. The last 3 have been brutal. I may have just discovered that as a fan, I am bi-polar……but always a fan!

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