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Texas Rangers Roster For 2014: State Of The Union

Prince Fielder's 2013 - 3 Slash Line (.279/.362/.819) is far below his Career Mark of .286/.389/.916.  The man has not hit a HR in his last 74 AB in the playoffs either.  Fielder at least had 5 HRs in 1st 70 AB for his playoff Career.  Maybe that will change in Texas, after he clubs his way to be an AL MVP Candidate for the Rangers in 2014.  I expect him to return to the 40+ HR plateau, drive in well over 100+ RBI - and lead his team to a World Series Appearance this year.

Prince Fielder’s 2013 – 3 Slash Line (.279/.362/.457) is far below his Career Mark of .286/.389/.527. The man has not hit a HR in his last 74 AB in the playoffs either. Fielder at least had 5 HRs in 1st 70 AB for his playoff Career. Maybe that will change in Texas, after he clubs his way to be an AL MVP Candidate for the Rangers in 2014. I expect him to return to the 40+ HR plateau, drive in well over 100+ RBI – and lead his team to a World Series Appearance this year.  Fielder will be in Texas for the next 7 years, and the Rangers only have to pay $20 MIL per year, with Detroit eating $4 MIL each season as part of the trade that saw Ian Kinsler go to Motown.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Stay Alive Until Re-Inforcements Arrive

The Texas Rangers bolstered their 2014 offensive lineup with 2 new .400+ OBP Players.

Shin-Soo Choo (.423 OBP in 2013, and a Career .389 OBP), and Prince Fielder (.362 OBP, but was .400 OBP+ in 4 out of the last 5 years and .389 OBP for his lifetime) – will be front and center into the Rangers new lineup.

These gentlemen will be surrounded by Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Alex Rios as guys to help offset their walk totals.

This is not an indictment of the 3 right handed hitters either though, Beltre is a .312 hitter for Texas during his 3 campaigns, while Alex Rios and Andrus should hit anywhere from .280 to .290 this year.

You add Andrus’s speed with Leonys Martin – and these two guys could swipe 40+ bags each.  Even Alex Rios thieved 16 Bags in 2013 – and Choo had 20 SB yet again. Read the rest of this entry

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The Texas Rangers Organizational Depth Charts (All Affiliates) – Spring 2014 (Majors and Minors)

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org Depth Chart + Payroll Expert – find his website here)

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This has been the most successful run in Rangers history in the last 4 years.  2 World Series Appearances (albeit losses) – and the club has 4 straight 90+ Win Seasons.

Nolan Ryan envisioned this kind of progress when he anchored the current regime.  While he has left the nest, many of the players have been stocked up in the Minors and Majors.

The Rangers have many young players like Jurickson Profar, Leonys Martin, Martin Perez and Elvis Andrus that are entering their prime.

The greatest job done by the brass was to assemble a pitching unit of homegrown products, as this has kept the teams payroll within reason – even as some of these guys mature. Read the rest of this entry

Texas Rangers Payroll in 2014 + Contracts Going Forward Part 1

Darvish has provided Texas with ace-like material ever since coming over from Japan.  At his current $10 MIL a year salary, this gives the club a bunch of financial freedom to sign other long term deals.  Darvish finished 2nd in AL CY Young Voting with a 13 - 9 record, a 2.83 ERA and a league leading 277 SO in his 209.2 IP worth of work in 2013.  Darvish's high posting bid was not part of his salary, or converted towards the total team payroll

Darvish has provided Texas with ace-like material ever since coming over from Japan. At his current $10 MIL a year salary, this gives the club a bunch of financial freedom to sign other long term deals. Darvish finished 2nd in AL CY Young Voting with a 13 – 9 record, a 2.83 ERA and a league leading 277 SO in his 209.2 IP worth of work in 2013. Darvish’s high posting bid was not part of his salary prior to 2012, or converted towards the total team payroll.  Texas is lucky his yearly hit is so low – as the team already has $116 MIL towards the Luxury Tax Threshold before Arbitration Players are paid in the next couple of weeks.  The Rangers could still potentially sign more guys to raise this figure even more.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org. Depth Chart/Payroll Expert)

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This is part 1 of our 2 part payroll piece we will do for each club.   The Rangers are entering with the heavy payroll clubs in the game of MLB.

Their salaries after Arbitration Eligibles are paid, could range anywhere from $125 – $140 MIL, and even higher if they are able to land another Free Agent Pitcher or hitter.

They have spoken loud with the checkbook.  With 370 wins over the last 4 seasons, and 4 straight 90+ win campaigns, the Rangers are hoping to cash in with the 2014 squad.

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries Posts that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

Yu Darvish Highlights Mature Lyrics So parental guidance is advised

By the time this offseason ends, the Rangers may have acquired the two best players for it.  Placing Choo at the top of the lineup - as the OBP machine that he ends, followed by Adrian Beltre hitting 3rd - and Prince Fielder 4th, all of a sudden the Texas Rangers are looking like their vintage "offensive" selves.  Based on this, go and pick up their World Series ODD win at +1100 (3rd favorite in the AL) anywhere you can as they should be the favorite.  Choo signed for a 7 Year Deal worth $130 MIL this winter

By the time this offseason ends, the Rangers may have acquired the two best players for it. Placing Choo at the top of the lineup – as the OBP machine that he ends, followed by Adrian Beltre hitting 3rd – and Prince Fielder 4th, all of a sudden the Texas Rangers are looking like their vintage “offensive” selves. Based on this, go and pick up their World Series ODD win at +1100 (3rd favorite in the AL) anywhere you can as they should be the favorite. Choo signed for a 7 Year Deal worth $130 MIL this winter. It is an annual average contract of $18.43 MIL, but the man will only pocket $14 MIL for his services in 2014 and 2015 as well..

Texas Rangers Payroll in 2014 – 2016

POS  Name  LG  XP  AGE 2014 2015 2016
SP1- Yu Darvish ML 0 x $10,000,000 $10,000,000 $10,000,000
SP2- Derek Holland ML 3 27 $5,400,000 $7,400,000 $10,000,000
SP3- Matt Garza ML 3 30 FA
SP4- Martin Perez ML 3 22 $750,000 $1,000,000 $2,900,000
SP5- Matt Harrison ML 6 28 $8,000,000 $13,000,000 $13,200,000
SP6- Nicholas Tepesch ML 0 25 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3 ARB1
SPS- Alexi Ogando ML 6 30 ARB1 ARB2 ARB3
RHMR-
LHMR- Michael Kirkman ML 5 27 NON-ARB3 ARB1 ARB2
RHSU- Jason Frasor ML 5 36 $1,750,000 FA
RHSU- Tanner Scheppers ML 1 26 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3 ARB1
RHSU- Chaz Roe ML 6 27 NON-ARB1 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3
RHSU- Shawn Tolleson ML 1 25 NON-ARB3 ARB1 ARB2
LHSU- Robert Ross ML 2 24 NON-ARB3 ARB1 ARB2
LHSU- Joseph Ortiz ML 3 23 NON-ARB1 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3
CL- Cory Burns ML 2 26 NON-ARB1 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3
CL- Joakim Soria ML 3 30 $5,500,000 $7,000,000
CL- Neftali Feliz ML 5 25 ARB2 ARB3 FA
13 $21,400,000 $28,400,000 $26,100,000
POSITION PLAYERS LEV MiL AGE 2014 SALARY 2015 SALARY 2016 SALARY
C- Geovany Soto ML 7 30 $3,050,000 FA
1B- Prince Fielder ML 3 29 $24,000,000 $24,000,000 $24,000,000
2B- Jurickson Profar ML 1 20 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3 ARB1
SS- Elvis Andrus ML 4 25 $6,750,000 $15,250,000 $15,250,000
3B- Adrian Beltre ML 4 34 $17,000,000 $18,000,000 $16,000,000
LF- Mitchell Moreland ML 4 28 ARB1 ARB2 ARB3
CF- Shin-Soo Choo ML 7 31 $14,000,000 $14,000,000 $20,000,000
RF- Alex Rios ML 5 32 $13,000,000 $13,500,000
DH- Lance Berkman ML 4 37 FA
C- J.P. Arencibia ML 4 27 $1,800,000 ARB2 ARB3
C- Robinson Chirinos ML 10 29 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3 ARB1
1B-
3B-
UTL-
UTL-
OF- Leonys Martin ML 0 25 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3 ARB1
OF- Engel Beltre ML 4 24 NON-ARB1 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3
OF- Nelson Cruz ML 11 33 FA
OF- Michael Choice ML 1 24 NON-ARB1 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3
10 $79,600,000 $84,750,000 $75,250,000
Prince Fielder was signed to a 9 YR/$214 MIL contract before the start of the 2013 season.  He is not Slugging as much as his Brewers days, however his OBP is just slightly lower in the regular season.  Fielder has a chance to have a Hall of Fame Career.  If he can bring a World Series to Detroit, he will enhance his chances.  The Big man has to step up in 2014, or the team may fail to capitalize on the World Series Caliber team they have built over the last half a dozen years.

Prince Fielder was signed to a 9 YR/$214 MIL contract before the start of the 2012 season. He is not Slugging as much as his Brewers days, however his OBP is just slightly lower in the regular season. Fielder has a chance to have a Hall of Fame Career. If he can bring a World Series to Texas, he will enhance his chances. The Big man has to step up in 2014, or the team may fail to capitalize on the World Series Caliber team they have built over the last half a dozen years.  After a few years with Detroit, that club will be on the hook to the big man for $76 MIL out of the deal, leaving Texas to pay $138 MIL over the 7 seasons he is signed with the club.

Note From Chuck Booth:

You guys are all in for a treat.  Jeff Kleiner has developed a site (prosportsrosters.comthat covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs. 

We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams. 

Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective. 

If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at http://www.prosportsrosters.com.

In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball.  He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job. 

Jeff updates this page below on a daily basis.  After you click on it….Bookmark it.  There is a 3 year salary forecast and stats not listed here on this page.  Jeff updates these pages daily and these changes include any Roster moves!

Authors for this post:

Jeff Kleiner:  “I have been a sports fan since the first Baseball game I went to at Comisky Park in Chicago in 1959, when baseball for me turned from black and white to color.

I have attended or watched thousands of games, always paying attention to statistics, rosters and salaries of all professional sports.

Luckily I had the advantage of watching WGN TV and seeing hundreds of games in the 60′s. Collecting Baseball Cards and then later dealing them gave me an extra sense of the sport, both good and bad.”

For all of your Salaries, Roster and Depth Charts for all 4 Major Sports (entire organization – Minors and Majors) click here or Follow Me on twitter 

prosportsrosters.com is the best source for following entire organizations in all 4 Major Sports

prosportsrosters.com is the best source for following entire organizations in all 4 Major Sports.

Chuck Booth - Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner and author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames:   To learn more about my  “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book” and how to purchase it, click here .

You can also follow my Guinness Book of World Record Successful Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 Days - click here

I am happy to be part of such an awesome Magazine-Style Baseball Website and am looking forward to talking to all of the fans of the MLB. 

You can reach me on Twitter here

Chuck At Arlington April.11/2012

Chuck At Arlington April.11/2012

Please e-mail me  at: mlbreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.   To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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Texas GM’ Jon Daniels Needs To Step His Game Up! Rangers State Of The Union Fall 2013

The Rangers have cobbled together 370 wins over the last four years, however they are now 2 years withdrawn from being a solitary strike away from winning the World Series.  They have done a great job assessing their club over the last few campaigns, and with a great winter, the club's competition window should be reset for many years to come.  With Nolan Ryan leaving the franchise, the heat will be on Jon Daniels to administer such a daunting task.  The Rangers have great attendance, so more National TV dollars are also being kicked their way for 2014, it is time to go and lure the top Free Agents in the game of MLB towards The Ballpark in Arlington!

The Rangers have cobbled together 370 wins over the last four years, however they are now 2 years withdrawn from being a solitary strike away from winning the World Series. They have done a great job assessing their club over the last few campaigns, and with a great winter, the club’s competition window should be reset for many years to come. With Nolan Ryan leaving the franchise, the heat will be on Jon Daniels to administer such a daunting task. The Rangers have great attendance, and more National TV dollars are also being kicked their way for 2014, it is time to go and lure the top Free Agents in the game of MLB towards The Ballpark in Arlington!

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Jon Daniels is more like the “Lone Ranger” now with the brass over in Arlington being astonishingly diminished by Texas native Nolan Ryan leaving.

He is effectively on the “hot seat” now.

His team is now 2 years removed from back to back World Series Appearances, followed up with an epic collapse down the stretch in 2012, and just falling short of the playoff bar in 2012.

The Rangers actually had a pretty decent season in 2013 at 91 – 72 (losing the play in game to Tampa Bay), when you consider they lost Mike Napoli and Josh Hamilton‘s services – and really only replaced them with “Fat Elvis” AKA Lance Berkman, who like Presley, has eaten themselves out of their careers at times.

Nelson Cruz Highlights Before Suspension 2013

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Texas Rangers Payroll In 2013: Rangers Organizational Rosters + Depth Charts – (MLB + MiLB)

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Saturday, Apr.27/2013

The Texas Rangers have been the most consistent American League Franchise since Nolan Ryan took over as CEO of the club midway through 2010.  They made the World Series in 2010 and 2011 - losing to the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco in back to back years.  The club has done a great job assembling a Minor League system full of talent - and a great amount of talent via Free Agency.

The Texas Rangers have been the most consistent American League Franchise since Nolan Ryan took over as CEO of the club midway through 2010. They made the World Series in 2010 and 2011 – losing to the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco in back to back years. The club has done a great job assembling a Minor League system full of talent – and a great amount of talent via Free Agency.  Will the Rangers be able to finally win a World Series in the coming years?

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

You guys are all in for a treat.  Jeff Kleiner recently contacted me about a partnership merge for the website.  He has developed a site (prosportsrosters.com) that covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs.  We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams. 

Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective.  If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at http://www.prosportsrosters.com.

In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball.  He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job.  So after the usual Video Clip and READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY button, you will find some serious &*!@?!#!

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Rangers Organization click here

2010 ALCS Highlight Video

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All-Star Studded Injury Report + Chipper Jones Retirement Effect On The Braves

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Monday, April 1/2013

Chipper had a lifetime slash line of .303/.401/.529 with 2726 Hits and 468 HRs. He played the game the way it was supposed to be played, with class and all out effort.

Chipper had a lifetime slash line of .303/.401/.529 with 2726 Hits and 468 HRs. He played the game the way it was supposed to be played, with class and all out effort.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer): 

The start of the 2013 Major League Baseball season is upon us. While that is beyond awesome, unfortunately there is a list of really good players who will likely not start the season playing for a Major League team. Most of these players are out due to injury, but there are also a few others I would like to mention that are out due to retirement, suspension, or the fact that they have still yet to sign with a team.

It will be a bittersweet Opening Day for the Atlanta Braves who will be without Chipper Jones this season. He spent his entire 19 years of Major League service time with the Braves, and after an MVP season in 1999, a 1995 World Series Championship, and 8 All-Star appearances, Chipper has decided to call it a career. Jones was one of, if not the best, switch hitter of all time.

Chipper Jones Highlights

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The Texas Rangers Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Saturday, January.19th,  2013

Texas has doubled their total team payroll since the new ownership group took over.  As good as they are doing right now for Payroll - the Angels still have them beat by 35-40 Million Dollars

Texas has doubled their total team payroll since the new ownership group took over. As good as they are doing right now for Payroll – the Angels still have them beat by 35-40 Million Dollars.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent):

It is easy to equate a big market team’s success with merely a willingness to overspend on free agents and use their superior earning power to dominate the sport. While the Rangers certainly are not afraid of spending all that money that playing the Dallas/Fort Worth area provides, it would be inaccurate to equate the team’s recent string of success with only their ability to outspend a fair portion of their competitors. As we enter the 2013 season, the Rangers have built a very strong base – while managing to not tie themselves to any back-breaking, future altering contracts. That is a testament to the organization’s belief in its system – and its refusal to spend on player just because they are able to. With that being said, let’s take a look at the Rangers 2013 payroll as of now and see where Texas will be spending its money next season.

Rangers 2011 ALCS Clincher:

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The 2013 Texas Rangers Roster: State of The Union

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Monday January 14th, 2013

The Rangers had back to back World Series Appearances in 2010 and 2011 - does this club have another run in them without Josh Hamilton?

The Rangers had back to back World Series Appearances in 2010 and 2011 – does this club have another run in them without Josh Hamilton and Michael Young?  They regressed in the 2012 Season – losing a 13 Game Division Lead in the AL West before barely capturing a Wild Card Spot.  They eventually lost the Play In Wild Card-Game to the Baltimore Orioles.

By Brooke Robinson (Rangers Correspondent): 

Looking back on the end of the 2012 season, and how the AL West lead was given up in a matter of days to Oakland, it’s clear the Texas front office wanted change in the clubhouse for 2013. It seems as though GM Jon Daniels’ motto for the offseason is “out with the old, in with the new….er”. Daniels is eager to bring a World Series victory to Arlington and has pieced together a team of new players with old postseason successes. There is also a chance that the Rangers will also bring up some of their promising prospects that they protected throughout the offseason trade frenzy. This makes for some very interesting lineup possibilities for the upcoming season, especially with the major roles needing to be filled by former Ranger departures such as 1B/C Mike Napoli, U Michael Young, OF Josh Hamilton, and P Ryan Dempster.

Ian Kinsler Highlights for 2012:

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Robert Whitmer’s 2012 MLB Playoff Predictions: Wild Cards to the World Series

Monday September 24th, 2012

   

Robert Whitmer: There comes a point in everyone’s life when they must choose path that they will go down.  I am a firm believer in the fact that everyone on the Earth has a fate awaiting them based on the decisions that they make while they are alive.  There are some that think that no matter what you do, the fate that was intended for you is what you will receive and that everything is pre-determined.  I don’t necessarily prescribe to this thought because that would take away, to some degree, our ability to choose our own path.  Today, my friends, is my day.  I must, as it has been imposed on me by the higher-ups here at MLB reports, must make a choice.  That’s right my friends….  Today is playoffs prediction day. 

Now there are obviously some teams that have already determined their playoff fate either for good or bad, but what I have been tasked with today is to take us from the wild card playoff game all the way through the World Series and tell you who is going to win it all.  Now just so I don’t get put on the ropes here, I am not liable for any losses that are to be had at the hands of Las Vegas or your local backstreet bookie.  Please don’t come after me if you lose your shirt, or some fingers, based off of one of my predictions. If you win some money, however, please feel free to send some of it my way.  So here we go.  My predictions will start with the obvious division winners and then the Wild Card teams.  We will proceed with the American League followed by the National League.  To wrap it all up I will give you your World Series winner.  Like Ron Burgundy said in “Anchorman”, “60% of the time, I’m right all the time.” Read the rest of this entry

Should The Reds Convert Aroldis Chapman Into A Starter?

Sunday September 23rd, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: When people discuss dominant pitchers, usually Aroldis Chapman enters that discussion rather quickly. And for good reason. His zipping fastball and wicked slider to back it have paved a path of success for Chapman in 2012. The southpaw owns a 1.60 ERA and has picked up 35 saves in 40 chances. It’s safe to say that he’s been all of what the Reds thought he was going to be to-date…and more.

However, rumors have been floating around for quite some time now that he could make the transition into a starter in the future. This would be foolish on the Reds’ behalf. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Tommy John Surgery Updates

Thursday August 16th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky:  Over the course of this year, there have been more pitchers going in for Tommy John surgery than I can ever remember. And make no mistake, it is mostly pitchers that are falling victim. According to our TJ Tracker, there have been 39 pitchers (including Michael Pineda who had arthroscopic surgery) that had the surgery since March. In the month of August alone, there have already been two pitchers to go under the knife and one that most likely will. Neftali Feliz had the surgery on the first of the month after trying to come back from an arm injury, and he was then being shut down in a rehab assignment. Drew Hutchison of the Blue Jays also had this surgery. It seems like every pitcher will eventually need this surgery in his career. It is becoming the reality of modern day baseball.

Before the surgery, pitchers’ careers were much shorter, some just 7-8 years long. Now with this new technology, careers are prolonged. It’s been said that Tommy John surgery can even strengthen an arm. The ligament is replaced with a tendon (usually from the leg) and the arm is made stronger. Sometimes pitchers are said to throw even harder after the surgery. This may or may not be true; there is some debate. It could be that pitchers are taking more time to condition, but it could also be that they are given a stronger arm. Some pitchers have had the surgery multiple times. One that comes to mind is Brian Wilson of the Giants. Wilson had his first surgery in college. He fully recovered and was converted from a starter to a reliever in the minors. Upon arriving to the majors, Wilson was a fireballer and became the closer. He threw in the upper 90’s even after a surgery like this. It will be interesting to see how he recovers from his second surgery and if he can retain the closers’ role. Read the rest of this entry

Roy Oswalt: The Rangers Are Hoping That He Has Enough Gas Left For One More Playoff Run

Wednesday August 1st, 2012

Jake Dal Porto:  Roy Oswalt has been one of baseball’s best and most consistent pitchers over the past decade. He’s finished top five in Cy Young voting five times, is a three-time All-Star, and has even received MVP votes throughout his career. However, his return to the major leagues with Texas has been everything BUT impressive. Oswalt is aging. He has a bad back, his arm seems to be dead, and both of those things are effecting his ability to pitch.

Why did the Rangers shock the baseball world by pulling off a last-minute deal for Ryan Dempster? Partly because they knew Neftali Feliz was going to need Tommy John surgery and would not be returning. Partly because they felt that they did not have enough pitching depth to compete with the Angels. And Partly because they aren’t sold on Oswalt as a dependable playoff starter. Oswalt, who made his first start with Texas on June 22nd, has a racked up a few good outings and a few extremely bad ones. Unfortunately for the Rangers and their fans, the bad outings have outweighed the good ones. This is a very concerning pattern that the veteran Oswalt continues to follow. Read the rest of this entry

Texas Rangers: Best Team in the Majors?

Tuesday May 1, 2012

Ryan Ritchey: Are the Texas Rangers the best team in baseball? In my eyes they are. They are the most balanced team I have seen in this short period of the season. Going out and getting Yu Darvish was a huge part of the winter for the Rangers. Darvish a Japanese phenom, has come over the United States and gone 4-0 in 5 starts. He has changed his windup 4 times since the first pitch on opening day. Starting with his hands going over his head, to now just pitching from the stretch the whole game.

Darvish isn’t the only stud pitcher on this team. Derek Holland can also throw over 200 innings for this Rangers team. With a team focused around pitching, they sure do get the job done. Add Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan watching every pitch from the first row the pitchers have to succeed. Rangers starters have combined for a 13-4 record, with Darvish and Colby Lewis going 7-0. The Rangers starting pitching is in my opinion what is going to get them a World Series championship this season. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – April 15th, 2012

Sunday April 15th, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, message us on Twitter and post on our Facebook Wall!

Let’s get to your top questions of the week: (there are MANY great ones this week…better jump right in!)

 

Q:  How many triple plays were turned last year?  Wayne

MLB reports: Nice way to start off ATR Wayne. Four. Can you believe it? Four triple plays turned last year. Three in 2010, five in 2009, two in 2008 and four in 2007. Surprised? Me too. I thought they were more rare! Last year’s triple plays took place as follows:

(1) Indians turned a 3P against the White Sox on April 3rd

(2) Brewers turned a 3p against the Dodgers on August 15th

(3) Red Sox turned a 3p against the Rays in the 2nd game of a DH on August 16th (a day later!)

(4) The miracle Rays came back on September 27th to turn their own 3p against the Yankees.

 

Q:  Is it worth picking up Aroldis Chapman as a third reliever?!?  William

MLB reports:  Without a doubt. Yes. Are you kidding me? Grab him. Right now. Don’t wait. Now. Right now! As you can tell, I am high on Chapman. Long term, I see him as a starter. But for now, he is a reliever. I see him having some great save opportunities this year. Madson is done for the year. A ton of money is invested in Chapman and he has been nothing short of brilliant this season. In 4 games he has a 0.00 ERA. 11 strikeouts. 0 walks in 6 innings. Yes. As a third relieve, you cannot go wrong with Chapman. He has already vultured 2 wins. He can help you in so many ways. There will be ups-and-downs this year with Chapman, no doubts. But with pitchers around baseball dropping like flies, when you have a talented pitcher with huge upside, make sure he can find his way onto your team. (more…)

Daniel Bard: Future Red Sox Ace?

Thursday March 15, 2012

Rob Bland (Baseball Writer):  With most of Red Sox Nation knowing that big time closer Jonathan Papelbon would be leaving the team via free agency after the 2011 season, many thought that it would be a seamless transition to throw Daniel Bard into the mix as the closer for the foreseeable future.  However, new Red Sox GM Ben Cherington surprised many when he announced that Bard would be stretched out as a starter in the spring.

Now, it’s not the first time a good reliever has been turned into a starter, and many of them have turned into useful starters.  C.J. Wilson is just one of these successful conversions, having been the Texas Rangers’ closer from 2007-2009, then shifting into the rotation for 2010 and 2011.  Wilson earned 46 saves in those 3 seasons, and after his move to the rotation, he went 31-15 and accumulated 10.5 WAR, putting him in the upper echelon of starters.

This year, another closer for the Rangers will be shifting to the rotation in Neftali Feliz.  Many believe that he will struggle. But if C.J. Wilson, who was a decent reliever can do it, why not Feliz?  Why not Bard?

Bard has an electric fastball, averaging over 97 mph over his MLB career.  He also has a solid slider that sits around 84 mph.  Bard has induced ground balls at an extremely high rate; 48.6% over 197 IP.  Bard has lowered his walk rate, as well as HR/FB while maintaining an extremely low BABIP over the last two seasons, .215 and .224, respectively.

Bard hasn’t started a game since 2007 when he was in single-A ball.  He threw 75 innings of 7.08 ERA, striking out 47 and walking 78.  Obviously a lot of those control issues are behind him, as evidenced by his shrinking BB/9; 4.01, 3.62, and 2.96 in 2009, 2010, and 2011, respectively.  Bard has been able to get guys out with a fastball that touches 100 mph, and a plus slider.  The problem here is that he only ever threw one inning at a time, and thus rarely needed a third pitch.  According to brooksbaseball.net, in 2011, Bard threw his change-up 83 times, which is only 7.5% of all his pitches, in contrast to 64% on his fastball, and 25% on his slider.  He also threw 46 sinkers, around 4.1%.

In such a small sample size of changeups, one should definitely not get too excited over the results.  However, in 2011, Bard fared pretty well with his change-up.  He was able to induce swings on 48.19% of his changeups, and 25% of those were swing-and-misses.  His changeup was put in play 23% of the time, and had a ground ball rate of 63%.

In no way does this mean it is a good changeup. However, it does seem promising.  It is also possible that Bard just throws them at the most opportune time, and delivers when necessary.  It could also mean that he is incredibly lucky.

With Bard having to throw 6+ innings every 5th day, how will his arm hold up moving to the rotation?  Most relievers have a limit in their first years starting as to how many innings they will throw.

Brandon Morrow was moved to the rotation full time when he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, and was shut down after 146 innings in 2010, and threw only 179 innings in 2011. This year, there will be no limitations on the hard throwing righty, whose profile closely fits that of Bard.  Morrow can get his fastball in the upper 90s as well as having a devastating slider.  His success has been only moderate due to mediocre offerings in his curve ball and changeup.

Bard’s development as a starter rests mostly on the development of his changeup.  If he is able to use it more often and maintain success with it, he could be a solid starter this year and going forward.  The other extremely important thing to look at is whether new manager Bobby Valentine will limit his innings, or let him go for the full season, as the Rangers did with Wilson in 2010 (204 IP).

I see Bard throwing somewhere around 170 innings this year, and performing fairly well, getting acclimated to throwing every 5th day.  His changeup is developing, and if he harnesses it, he could be a deadly addition to a rotation that includes Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and Clay Buchholz.


***Today’s feature was prepared by Baseball Writer, Rob Bland.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Rob on Twitter.***

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Ask the Reports: Your Baseball Questions Answered – Sunday February 5th, 2012

Sunday February 5th, 2012

Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@gmail.com, message us on Twitter and post on our Facebook Wall!

Let’s get to your top questions of the week:

Q: I know you are a Jays fan. What’s your opinion on Joey Bats? How can he go from 15 HRs to leading the league 2 years in a row?  Joe

JH:  I am??!! I have been accused of many things, but a Jays supporter is not one of them. Being based in Toronto, many people naturally assume that I am a Jays fan. Plus we have many Jays readers and followers, so their team often comes up in conversation. Here is the scoop on many Jays fandom. If you have to categorize me a particular “team fan”, then the Tigers will be that pick. Only since AA has taken over the team have I been excited about the Jays prospects. JP did a masterful job of destroying the Jays farm system and creating a mediocre Jays squad for years. AA has swooped in and created a team that looks like they are on the verge of contention for years to come. I am a fan of the game overall (obviously). I like what the Jays are doing and see a bright future ahead…and that’s all I have to say about that.

As far as your Jose Bautista question, I see where you are going with it. Here are my thoughts. Back in August 2008, I was horrified when the Jays traded Robinson Diaz for Bautista. A young catcher with upside for a limited utility player? No thanks I said. From there, I was mortified when Bautista proceeded to become the home run king. I have heard the whispers of steroids/HGH/PEDs and how Bautista became a star overnight. I also heard the talk that Cito Gaston fixed his swing and got him to become more aggressive instead of swinging late. I think the latter, rather than the former are true. With drug testing in full swing, I would like to think that Bautista would have been caught had he been “juicing”. Can I guarantee? Absolute not, considering the Braun scandal. Some players do figure it out late in life and Jose Bautista appears to be one of the lucky few. Unfortunately, our cynical society does not allow us to be 100% confident in many of our modern athletes, with the amount of PEDs that have apparently flowed in the game. I would like to believe in Bautista. I really do. Let’s stick with the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ mentality and give him his due. Unless proven otherwise, Jose Bautista figured it out and turned into one of the best all-around players in the game. I am prepared to give credit where credit is due.

Q: Arbitration hearings have started. Is there a count of how many have been heard, how many left to hear and winners/losers?  Old Man Mack

JH: A shout-out to the final people over at MLB Trade Rumors, as Tim, Ben and the gang do some fine work in providing the latest transactions in the world of baseball. If you haven’t visited it already, they have a dedicated page called Arbitration Tracker which will answer all your arbitration questions. You will be able to see all the figures submitted by both players and teams, the mid-point and the award amounts. By my count there are still 19 players left with scheduled arbitration cases (who could still settle beforehand). I have seen 2 cases heard and the players are 0-2 (Lannan and Niemann both lost their cases). A fascinating process, in my opinion most of these cases should be settled before arbitration. Likely a lot of hard feelings can be achieved but little else from going through arbitration. But budgets are budgets and money is money. Welcome the business side of baseball.

Q: Is Brett Lawrie in the top 100 (fantasy players)?  Forrest

JH: Now that is interesting. Hmmmm….is Brett Lawrie a top-100 fantasy baseball right now? My answer off the cuff is…no. Maybe one day.  But not today. Reason? There are thirty MLB teams. I can think of the top of my head at least 3-4 players per team that are better than Lawrie in fantasy terms right now. Don’t get me wrong, Lawrie is a stud. He is good and will get better. But we only have a very small sample size for him thus far in the big leagues. With his blazing start in 2011, you have to expect a bit of regression this year. It’s called the “sophomore jinx”.  Will Lawrie fall victim? Maybe. Possibly. It also depends on your league. Lawrie to me is a strong player to have in a keeper league, while being less valuable in a non-keeper league. Right this minute, I would rather have players like Youkilis, Verlander, Fielder, Halladay, Rivera, Strasburg, Cabrera, Avila, Choo, Gallardo, Weaver, Haren, Mauer, Hernandez…and the list goes on. Lawrie is not far off and would make my top 120 or 130.  Give him another year and you could be seeing a top 50 player…or higher!

Q: Do you think the Miami Marlins will Contend in the NL East this upcoming Season?  Marty

JH: Contend- yes. Win- no. The Marlins are definitely improved, no doubt. But they have not done enough in my mind to take them over the top. The Phillies are still the team to beat, with the Braves being close behind. The Nationals? With their improved rotation, I would be very nervous about them. Reyes will bring excitement and Buehrle/Zambrano will help stabilize the rotation and Bell solid as the closer. But I just see some of the other teams being too strong. At best, I see the Marlins in 2nd place. But at worst? A 4th place finish. They are still missing a big bat and need all their key players to stay healthy. Too many if’s for my liking.

ATR: Who will enjoy being stretched out in 2012: Feliz, Sale, or Chapman?  Justin

JH: Looking at the crystal ball, I am seeing clear visions. Neftali Feliz and Chris Sale are both headed back to the bullpens by June at the latest. Both have enjoyed success in the bullpen and I can see each being ok but not great starters. They could develop over time, with the White Sox having more patience than the Rangers. But in a sport with a “win now” mentality, both will be relievers if they cannot succeed early on. Chapman on the other hand, I am seeing a different vision. With Ryan Madson entrenched as the closer, I can see Chapman being needed more in the rotation. With his stuff, he would be a very dangerous starter if he could learn some control. That could come sooner rather than later, as early as 2012. At the very least, Chapman could be a fine 4th or 5th starter. He will go 5-6 innings per start and rack up a ton of K’s.  So yes to Chapman, no to Feliz and Sale right now. Especially Feliz- as he will turn one day (if he hasn’t already) into a Papelbon lock-down closer. But if the Rangers aren’t careful, they could be hurting his long-term growth if they continue this see-saw back and forth like the Mariners did with Brandon Morrow some years ago.

Q: Who do you think will be in the World Series?  Ethan

JH: I was discussing this with a reader the other day. He predicted the Dbacks and Tigers. I have to like those picks. If I had to look at the top-4 teams, I am seeing the Tigers/Angels in the AL and Reds/Dbacks in the NL. The Yankees, Rays and Rangers will still be strong, as will the Red Sox. The Phillies, Cards, Brewers and Giants will provide a challenge in the NL. But I can’t get over the look to the Angels and I am sensing good things coming out of Anaheim this year. The Dbacks look very powerful and have built a team that will contend for the next several years. But the Reds are a strong force and manager Dusty Baker should be able to get the most out of that squad this year. I would like to say Tigers and Dbacks as well- that would be my heart pick. But looking at the crystal ball, I am seeing Angels and Reds right now. I can’t say why. The crystal ball says what it says. If it changes in picture, I will let you know.

Q: What do the Nats gain from banning Phillies fans???  Tammy

JH: If this is not THE dumbest thing I have ever heard, it definitely comes close. For those that are not familiar, the Nationals are trying to block Philadelphia fans from buying tickets to Phillies/Nats games by curbing where you reside when buying single game seats. Silly. Silly. Silly. Firstly, the Nats have enough of an attendance problem as it is, so they certainly should not be limiting ticket sales. Secondly, by discouraging Phillies fans at the stadium, it will create a hatred type mentality for those fans that do make the games. Baseball is about the love of the game. Rather than discouraging certain fans, the Nats should encourage all fans to buy tickets to their park. This new idea will have the effect of creating a bitter rivalry between the two teams every time they play in Washington, which might actually be a good thing. But the issues and conflict that it could create in the stands between opposing fans is a negative one. Let’s not forget what recently happened between Dodgers and Giants fans when hatred becomes spread. People can become injured or even yet, have a risk of life. Let’s spread baseball love- not hatred people.

Q: Are the Tigers done? And not will they do this or not, but your thoughts on Jeff Francis for Detroit’s lefty problem?  J Raddy

JH:  They are not done. The Tigers are never done. With the addition of Prince Fielder, the Tigers are even more serious World Series contenders in 2012, despite the loss of V-Mart. When you have Verlander and Fister in the rotation, Avila behind the plate and Cabrera/Prince in the heart of the lineup- you are going to be winning a ton of baseball games. Jeff Francis, or a Francis type pitcher is not the answer. Firstly, he was already signed by the Reds. But secondly, too many question marks surround him. If the Tigers can score a true #3, like Roy Owalt- they will be unstoppable (if they aren’t already). The more likely scenario is the team going with what they have, with a tweak or two. Turner could be the #5 if he has a strong spring, with the club picking up a Fister type pitcher at the deadline. If no Oswalt, the Tigers could sign 1-2 veteran pitchers to minor league contracts and invite them to spring training. Near the end of spring, come cut time, they could then pick someone up to start the year. Dombrowski is a smart guy and knows what he doing. By the time October rolls around, don’t expect the exact same Tigers roster that you see today.

Q: Realignment 2013 Proposal:  Dennis

al east  nyy, bost , tap b, Miami. and balt

al central  detr . min, chic w, torn, and clevel

al west   tex, oak, sea, laa, and houst

nl east phil, atl,  nym, wash, and pitts

nl central  milw, stl, cin, chic c, and kann

nl west  arz, sd, sf, col, and lad

play 4 divisional teams 18 games each and other 10 league teams 7 games each  and one divisional of the league 4 games each.   would only need to play 2, 2 games series in interleague play against the same team home and away    all other series would be 3 or 4 games series.   Only houst , kann, and miami would change leagues, and only Pittsburgh and Toronto would change divisions.

JH: Very ambitious my friend.  Very ambitious indeed.  I prepared an article on MLB realignment back in May 2011 that you should check out. I caught a ton of flack for it, but many people have a tough time with change. It is interesting the route that you have gone. Currently, only the Astros are moving (to the AL West), with the rest of the teams staying put. I agree that the current divisional alignments don’t work and need a shakeup. Ultimately, I would like to have 2 more expansions, bringing the total amount of teams to 32. I think only upon expansion will you see a true realignment in baseball. It’s not that I don’t like your plan- it has merits. But I am not sure geographically and with team rivalries why some of the changes would be implemented. KC and St. Louis in the same division is a no-brainer, as is Miami and Tampa Bay. We can definitely agree that more realignment is needed, but perhaps a shift in the number of divisions or the format on playoff seeding needs to shift as well. For now, we will have to live with Houston in the AL West in 2013 with 2 more likely added Wild Card teams for now.


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Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan onFacebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports:  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)

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