The over/under for the Texas Rangers is 74.5 wins

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 31 March 2008 at 11:55 am

The Texas Rangers have the look of a poor baseball team. They have an underachieving pitching staff and they will not score enough runs to win a lot of games this season. Take the under with the Rangers but at least they won’t finish in last place this season….that will be the A’s.

The Texas Rangers need innings from their starting rotation in 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 31 March 2008 at 9:44 am

The Rangers starting rotation was a disaster area last season. 33-year old Kevin Millwood was a big disappointment for the Rangers last season. He started 31 games for them last season and he was 10-14 with a 5.16 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. The Rangers need him to pitch more like his career norms which is why they gave him the big money two years ago. Millwood has a career record of 133-101 with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.

30-year old righty Vicente Padilla also needs to rebound after a pathetic showing last season. He started 23 games for the Rangers last year and he was 6-10 with a 5.76 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. Look for him to rebound somewhat as he’s a much better pitcher than he showed last season.

29-year old righty Jason Jennings was signed in the off-season to serve as the #3 starter for the Rangers this year. Much like Millwood and Padilla, he has good stuff but the results have not looked pretty lately. He pitched in 19 games (18 starts) for the Astros last season and he was 2-9 with a 6.45 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP.

26-year old lefty Kason Gabbard will be the #4 starter for the Rangers this season. He started 15 games for the Rangers & Red Sox last season and he was 6-1 with a 4.65 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. He doesn’t miss many bats so he will have to be fine with his stuff to have success in 2008.

24-year old righty Luis Mendoza won the #5 starting job in spring training. He pitched in 6 games (3 starts) for the Rangers last season and he was 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. Mendoza was solid in AA last season as he pitched in 26 games (25 starts) and he was 15-4 with a 3.93 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

Failed starters Robinson Tejada and Jamey Wright will be in the Rangers’ bullpen waiting for another shot to start. And, Cameron Loe will start the season in AAA ball.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: D+

RF will likely be a platoon for the Texas Rangers in 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 24 March 2008 at 10:46 am

34-year old lefty swinging Frank Catalanotto and 27-year old righty swinging Nelson Cruz will likely platoon in RF for the Rangers. Catalanotto played in 103 games for the Rangers last season and he was 86 for 331 (.260 avg, .781 OPS) with 52 runs scored, 11 homers and 44 RBIs. He didn’t play in RF last season for the Rangers but he played in 64 games in LF and he didn’t make any errors while showing slightly below average range.

Nelson Cruz played in 96 games for the Rangers last season and he was 72 for 307 (.235 avg, .671 OPS) with 35 runs scored, 9 homers and 34 RBIs. He played in 82 games in RF last season and he made 5 errors while showing above average range.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C-

Josh Hamilton to be the man in CF for the Texas Rangers

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 24 March 2008 at 10:41 am

27-year old lefty swinging Cf Josh Hamilton exploded on the scene for the Reds as a rookie last season and the Rangers hope the good vibes continue in 2008 for them. He played in 90 games for the Reds last season and he was 87 for 298 (.292 avg, .922 OPS) with 52 runs scored, 19 homers and 47 RBIs. He also played a solid CF for the Reds as he made 4 errors in 71 games while showing good range. Look for Hamilton to have an outstanding season as long as he can stay healthy.

26-year old lefty swinging David Murphy will be Hamilton’s backup this season. He was acquired in the Eric Gagne trade with the Red Sox last July. He played in 46 games for the Rangers & Red Sox last season and he was 36 for 105 (.343 avg, .936 OPS) with 17 runs scored, 2 homers and 14 RBIs. Murphy played in 10 games in CF last season and he didn’t make an error while showing slightly below average range.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: B+

Byrd will man LF for the Texas Rangers in 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 24 March 2008 at 10:35 am

30-year old righty swinging Marlon Byrd finally broke out in 2007 for the Rangers and it earned him a starting job in 2008. He played in 109 games for the Rangers last season and he was 127 for 414 (.307 avg, .814 OPS) with 60 runs scored, 10 homers and 70 RBIs. He also played in 18 error-less games in LF while showing outstanding range. Look for the good times to continue in 2008 for Byrd.

30-year old righty swinging Kevin Mench is back with the Rangers. He played in 101 games for the Brewers last season and he was 77 for 288 (.267 avg, .746 OPS) with 39 runs scored, 8 homers and 37 RBIs. He played in 51 games in LF last season for the Brewers and he didn’t make an error while showing pitiful range.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C

Milton Bradley will likely be the DH for the Texas Rangers in 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Sunday 16 March 2008 at 12:03 pm

30-year old switch hitting Milton Bradley will likely be the full time DH for the Rangers as they attempt to keep him healthy and productive. Bradley played in 61 games last season for the A’s & Padres and he was 64 for 209 (.306 avg, .947 OPS) with 37 runs scored, 13 homers and 37 RBIs. If Bradley can stay healthy (and that’s a big if) he could put up surprising numbers for the Rangers in 2008.

27-year old switch hitting Jason Botts will try to steal some playing time away from Bradley in 2008. He played in 48 games for the Rangers last season and he was 40 for 167 (.240 avg, .661 OPS) with 19 runs scored, 2 homers and 14 RBIs. Botts also whiffed an amazing 59 times last season. Unless Bradley gets injured, Botts probably won’t get much playing time in 2008 for the Rangers.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C

The Texas Rangers are banking on Hank Blalock staying healthy in 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Sunday 16 March 2008 at 11:59 am

The Rangers need 27-year old lefty swinging 3B Hank Blalock to stay healthy in 2008. He played in 58 games for the Rangers last season and he was 61 for 208 (.293 avg, .901 OPS) with 32 runs scored, 10 homers and 33 RBIs. Blalock is not a good defender as he made 6 errors in 39 games at 3B while showing off poor range. In his last 4 seasons prior to 2007, Blalock averaged 88 runs scored, 25.5 homers and 95.3 RBIs per season and the Rangers need him to get back to that.

31-year old lefty swinging Ramon Vazquez was Blalock’s primary backup last season. Vazquez played in 104 games for the Rangers last season and he was 69 for 300 (.230 avg, .673 OPS) with 42 runs scored, 8 homers and 28 RBIs. If nothing else, Vazquez will likely be a late inning defensive replacement for Blalock (if he stays healthy) as he made 7 errors in 71 games at 3B while showing outstanding range.

Young Travis Metcalf will miss the start of the season due to injury. He played in 57 games for the Rangers last season and he was 41 for 161 (.255 avg, .742 OPS) with 25 runs scored, 5 homers and 21 RBIs. Metcalf played in 55 games at 3B for the Rangers last season and he made 7 errors there while showing average range.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: B

Michael Young is one of the most underrated players in the major leagues for the Texas Rangers

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Sunday 16 March 2008 at 11:51 am

31-year old righty swinging Michael Young is one of the best shortstops in the major leagues right now. He played in 156 games for the Rangers last season and he was 201 for 639 (.315 avg, .784 OPS) with 80 runs scored, 9 homers, 94 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. Young also is a good defender despite making 19 errors in 150 games at shortstop as he showed way above average range last season in the field. Young has now had over 200 hits in each of his last 5 seasons with the Rangers. Look for Young to compete for a batting title in 2008.

31-year old Ramon Vazquez is Young’s backup at shortstop. He played 19 error-less games for the Rangers at shortstop while showing outstanding range. But, he’s nowhere near the hitter that Young is.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: A

2008 will be the breakout season for Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Friday 14 March 2008 at 5:24 pm

26-year old righty swinging 2B Ian Kinsler is in line to have a huge breakout season in 2008 for the Rangers. He played in 130 games last season for the Rangers and he was 127 for 483 (.263 avg, .796 OPS) with 96 runs scored, 20 homers, 61 RBIs and 23 stolen bases. Kinsler had the best zone rating of any 2B in all of baseball last season but he made 17 errors in 130 games to go with that range. Look for Kinsler to be one of the best 2B in all of baseball as long as he can stay healthy this season. He could be a 30-30 player this season.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: A

3B Travis Metcalf will miss the next 6-8 weeks for the Texas Rangers

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Injuries by chinmusic on Thursday 13 March 2008 at 9:29 pm

25-year old righty swinging Travis Metcalf will miss the next 6-8 weeks after undergoing surgery on a left hamstring tendon. He played in 57 games as a rookie last season and he was 41 for 161 (.255 avg, .742 OPS) with 25 runs scored, 5 homers and 21 RBIs. Metcalf will likely begin his season in the minors this year as long as Hank Blalock is healthy.

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