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Texas Rangers MLB News - Rangers Baseball Blog » 2008 » February

The Texas Rangers are in good shape at catcher for the 2008 season

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 19 February 2008 at 4:49 pm

The Rangers are set up well at catcher for the 2008 season with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Gerald Laird. 23-year old switch hitting Jarrod Saltalamacchia was one of the keys to the Mark Teixeira trade with the Braves and he will get every opportunity to win the starting job in Texas. Saltalamacchia played in 93 games last season for the Braves and Rangers and he was 82 for 308 (.266 avg, .732 OPS) with 39 runs scored, 11 homers and 33 RBIs. He only threw out 14% of the runners that tried to steal on him and pitchers had a 4.76 ERA with him behind the plate. Look for him to really improve in his second season in the bigs.

28-year old righty swinging Gerald Laird was handed the starting job for the Rangers behind the plate last season and he lost the job due to his poor hitting. He played in 120 games last season for the Rangers and he was 91 for 407 (.224 avg, .627 OPS) with 48 runs scored, 9 homers and 47 RBIs. Laird was impressive on defense as he threw out 40% of the runners that tried to steal on him and pitchers had a 4.78 ERA when throwing to him. Laird will likely return to his role as the backup catcher on the Rangers.

36-year old switch-hitting Adam Melhuse will be the #3 catcher on the Rangers this season. He can also play some 3B which makes him more valuable off the bench. Melhuse played in 35 games last season with the Rangers & A’s and he was 20 for 94 (.213 avg, .562 OPS) with 8 runs scored, 1 homer and 9 RBIs. He will likely have to start the season in AAA unless one of the catchers ahead of him are injured or traded.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C+

The Texas Rangers lose John Rheinecker

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Injuries by chinmusic on Tuesday 19 February 2008 at 1:22 pm

The Rangers will lose lefty John Rheinecker for the next 3-4 months as he will undergo surgery today to repair the same injury that afflicted Hank Blalock last season. The surgery will alleviate symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. 28-year old lefty John Rheinecker pitched in 23 games (7 starts) last season for the Rangers and he was 4-3 with a 5.36 ERA and a 1.77 WHIP. This will not likely be a big loss for the Rangers in 2008.

The Texas Rangers make a lot of changes for 2008

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 12 February 2008 at 11:17 pm

The Rangers have added a lot of new players in the off season. The biggest move they made was bringing in Josh Hamilton in a trade with the Reds. Hamilton flashed his potential last season for the Reds but he has had problems with drugs in the past and he missed almost half of last season due to injury. If healthy and focused, Hamilton should have a huge season playing his home games in Texas. Milton Bradley is another very talented player but he also has off the field issues and injury concerns. The popular Kevin Mench has been signed and he still appears to have something left which is good with all of the injury prone outfielders on the Rangers roster. Ben Broussard was acquired in a trade with the Mariners and he might platoon with the righty swinging Chris Shelton who was acquired from the Tigers over the winter. Jason Jennings will likely be the #3 starter for the Rangers and he has a nice upside as long as he can stay healthy. Lefty Eddie Guardado and righty Kazuo Fukumori will likely help out late in games for the Rangers pitching out of the bullpen.

FRONT OFFICE GRADE FOR THE OFF SEASON: C

Kevin Mench signs with the Texas Rangers

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Tuesday 12 February 2008 at 11:05 pm

Kevin Mench has signed a minor league deal with the Rangers. The 30-year old righty swinger played in 101 games last season for the Brewers and he was 77 for 288 (.267 avg, .746 OPS) with 39 runs scored, 8 homers and 37 RBIs. Mench has now played in 651 games in his major league career and he is 601 for 2,220 (.271 avg, .791 OPS) with 291 runs scored, 89 homers and 320 RBIs. The Rangers outfield is crowded but Mench is probably as good as most of the players he will be competing against in spring training.

The Texas Rangers trade Armando Galarraga to the Tigers

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Tuesday 5 February 2008 at 2:16 pm

The Rangers have traded 26-year old righty Armando Galarraga to the Detroit Tigers for outfielder Michael Hernandez. The Rangers had no choice but to deal Galarraga after designating him for assignment last week. With that in mind they made a solid trade here as Hernandez flashed some hitting ability last season in the minors. Hernandez is a 24-year old, right swinging outfielder. He played in 134 games between A+AA ball last season and he was 127 for 491 (.259 avg, .797 OPS) with 71 runs scored, 24 homers and 106 RBIs.

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