The Texas Rangers are in solid shape at 1B for 2012

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 27 February 2012 at 4:25 pm

26-year old lefty swinging Mitch Moreland is going to start against righties in 2012 with Mike Napoli likely starting against lefties. Moreland played in 134 games for the Rangers last year and he was 120 for 464 (.259 avg, .733 OPS) with 60 runs scored, 16 homers, 51 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. He has now played in 181 games in his first 2 years in the majors and he is 157 for 609 (.258 avg, .758 OPS) with 80 runs scored, 25 homers, 76 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Moreland had 4 errors in 99 games at 1B last year for the Rangers as he is a pretty decent defensive player.

Mike Napoli shares time at 1B with Mitch Moreland and he has turned himself into a decent defensive player there. He only had 1 error in 35 games for the Rangers at 1B last year. He will split his P.T. between catcher and 1B in 2012.

32-year old Brad Hawpe and 29-year old Conor Jackson can both play the outfield corners and 1B. Hawpe played in 44 games at 1B for the Padres last year and he had 4 errors. He’s not a good defensive 1B as he is a natural outfielder. Conor Jackson only made 1 error in 53 games at 1B for the A’s & Red Sox last year. He is a rock solid defensive 1B.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 1B IN 2012: B

The Texas Rangers have a nice pairing behind the plate set up for 2012

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Thursday 23 February 2012 at 3:44 pm

30-year old righty swinging Mike Napoli and 33-year old righty swinging Yorvit Torrealba are going to share the catcher job for the Rangers once again in 2012. They were a very effective pairing in 2011. Mike Napoli played in 113 games for the Rangers last year and he was 118 of 369 (.320 avg, 1.046 OPS) with 72 runs scored, 30 homers, 75 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. He has now played in 619 games in his first six years in the majors and he is 507 of 1,918 (.264 avg, .873 OPS) with 318 runs scored, 122 homers, 324 RBIs and 25 stolen bases. Napoli was also much better than advertised last year defensively. Napoli played in 61 games behind the plate for the Rangers last year and he had 2 errors and 1 passed ball. He also threw out 10 of 33 (30.3%) base stealers last year and Rangers’ pitchers had a 3.16 ERA with him behind the dish. The Rangers hope that Napoli keeps ripping the ball like he did last year. He will also see a lot of P.T. at 1B in 2012.

Yorvit Torrealba played in 113 games for the Rangers last year and he was 108 of 396 (.273 avg, .705 OPS) with 40 runs scored, 7 homers and 37 RBIs. He has now played in 782 games in his first 11 years in the majors and he is 650 for 2,502 (.260 avg, .708 OPS) with 277 runs scored, 52 homers, 309 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. He played in 98 games behind the plate for the Rangers last year and he had 9 errors and 7 passed balls. He also threw out 21 of 83 (25.3%) base stealers while Rangers’ pitchers had a 4.31 ERA with him behind the plate. Torrealba will once again be the Rangers’ catcher the majority of time in 2012.

26-year old Luis Martinez will be a nice little insurance policy in AAA for the Rangers in 2012. He played in 22 games for the Rangers last year and he was 12 for 59 (.203 avg, .614 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 1 homer, 10 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Martinez also played in 58 games in AAA-ball last year in which he was 64 for 198 (.323 avg, .813 OPS) with 24 runs scored, 1 homer, 28 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Martinez played in 19 games behind the plate for the Padres last year and he didn’t have any errors or passed balls. He threw out 3 of 19 (15.8%) base stealers and Padres’ pitchers had a 3.34 ERA with him behind the dish.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE CATCHERS IN 2012: B+

The Texas Rangers acquire Kelvin De La Cruz from the Indians

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Tuesday 21 February 2012 at 5:05 pm

The Rangers have acquired 23-year old lefty starter/reliever Kelvin De La Cruz from the Indians for a player to be named later. De La Cruz pitched in 23 games (16 starts) in AA-ball last year for the Indians and he was 5-6 with 2 saves, a 4.19 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. He has now pitched in 105 games (93 starts) in his first six years in the minors and he is 32-28 with 2 saves, a 4.21 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. De La Cruz might start the 2012 season in AAA-ball for the Rangers if he looks good this spring.

UPDATE: (3/16/2012) – The Rangers have deal Kelvin De La Cruz back to the Indians for cash considerations.

UPDATE: (3/19/2012) – The Rangers have dealt 27-year old right swinging 2B/SS Davis Stoneburner to the Indians to complete the first deal involving Kelvin De La Cruz. Stoneburner played in 116 games in AA-ball last year and he was 118 of 438 (.269 avg, .755 OPS) with 64 runs scored, 9 homers, 47 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. He’s past the prospect stage, so the Rangers won’t miss him.

The Texas Rangers sign Neal Cotts

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Monday 20 February 2012 at 11:19 am

The Rangers have signed 31-year old lefty reliever Neal Cotts to a minor league deal. Cotts has not pitched in a game since the 2009 season due to Tommy John Surgery. Cotts pitched for the Cubs in 2009. He has now pitched in 284 games (5 starts) in his first 7 years in the majors and he is 10-12 with 1 save, a 4.63 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. Cotts will have a good shot of winning a job in the Rangers’ bullpen if he proves his elbow is sound in spring training.

The Texas Rangers’ bullpen will have a different look in 2012

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Sunday 12 February 2012 at 6:11 pm

The Rangers’ bullpen is going to have a different look in 2012. Joe Nathan has been signed on to close for the team, replacing Neftali Feliz who is moving into the starting rotation. Alexi Ogando is moving back to the bullpen to give the Rangers another live arm late in games. But, the Rangers will be auditioning lefty relievers to replace Darren Oliver and Mike Gonzalez. Here is a look at the bullpen as of right now:

Closer: Joe Nathan: 37-year old righty Joe Nathan will be the new closer for the Rangers. He pitched in 48 games (0 starts) for the Twins last year and he was 2-1 with 14 saves, a 4.84 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. Nathan started out last season slow as he missed the 2010 season due to Tommy John Surgery, but he pitched well late in the year. Nathan has now pitched in 581 games (29 starts) in his first 11 years in the majors and he is 48-23 with 261 saves, a 2.87 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. I have a feeling that Nathan is going to have a solid year for the Rangers in 2012.

Set-Up Man: 33-year old righty Mike Adams is going to be the set-up man for the Rangers in 2012. He pitched in 27 games (0 starts) for the Rangers last year and he was 2-3 with 1 save, a 2.10 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP. Adams pitched in 75 games (0 starts) overall last year for the Padres & Rangers and he was 5-4 with 2 saves, a 1.47 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP. He has now pitched in 297 games (0 starts) in his first seven years in the majors and he is 13-12 with 3 saves, a 2.11 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. I look for Adams to have another really solid year in 2012.

Righties: 28-year old Alexi Ogando is moving back to the bullpen in 2012 and he will likely be dominating there. He pitched in 31 games (29 starts) for the Rangers last year and he was 13-8 with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Ogando has now pitched in 75 games (29 starts) in his first two years in the majors and he is 17-9 with a 3.08 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.

Koji Uehara: 36-year old Koji Uehara pitched in 22 games (0 starts) for the Rangers last year and he was 1-2 with a 4.00 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP. He was also awful in the playoffs for the Rangers, who are actively trying to trade him as we speak. Uehara pitched in 65 games (0 starts) overall for the Rangers & Orioles last year and he was 5-9 with 13 saves, a 3.13 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. I think Uehara will be pitching for a different team on opening day.

Mark Lowe: 28-year old Mark Lowe is a fireballer. He pitched in 52 games (0 starts) for the Rangers last year and he was 2-3 with 1 save, a 3.80 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Lowe has now pitched in 217 games (0 starts) in his first six years in the majors and he is 7-18 with 5 saves, a 4.03 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. I have a feeling that Lowe could have a true breakout year in 2012 for the Rangers, if he can just stay healthy.

Yoshinori Tateyama: 36-year old Yoshinori Tateyama comes into games pounding the strike zone with his so-so stuff. He pitched in 39 games (0 starts) for the Rangers last year and he was 2-0 with 1 save, a 4.50 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. I think he will be a little bit better in 2012 for the Rangers.

Scott Feldman: 28-year old Scott Feldman will likely be the long man in the pen, but he has the stuff to pitch decent later in games if he’s needed there. Feldman pitched in 11 games (2 starts) for the Rangers last year and he was 2-1 with a 3.94 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. He has now pitched in 175 games (80 starts) in his first 7 years in the majors and he is 33-33 with a 4.75 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.

Lefties: 34-year old Joe Beimel is going to make the Rangers’ bullpen as long as he is healthy. He pitched in 35 games (0 starts) for the Pirates last year and he was 1-1 with a 5.33 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP. Beimel has now pitched in 567 games (23 starts) in his first 11 years in the majors and he is 24-32 with 4 saves, a 4.21 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP. Beimel is a decent pitcher when healthy, but he’s no Darren Oliver.

31-year old Mitch Stetter has never really gotten a chance to really show what he can do in the majors. He pitched in 16 games (0 starts) for the Brewers last year and he was 0-0 with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. Stetter has now pitched in 132 games (0 starts) in his first five years in the majors and he is 8-2 with 1 save, a 4.08 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.

25-year old Michael Kirkman pitched in 15 games (0 starts) for the Rangers last year and he was 1-1 with a 6.59 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. He has now pitched in 29 games (0 starts) in his first two years with the Rangers and he is 1-1 with a 4.74 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. The Rangers would like Kirkman to win a job in the pen for 2012 as he is a home grown prospect.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE BULLPEN IN 2012: B

The Texas Rangers sign Joe Beimel

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by admin on Monday 6 February 2012 at 4:47 pm

The Rangers have signed 34-year old lefty reliever Joe Beimel to a minor league deal.  Beimel pitched in 35 games (0 starts) for the Pirates last year and he was 1-1 with a 5.33 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP.  He has now pitched in 567 games (23 starts) in his first 11 years in the majors and he is 24-32 with 4 saves, a 4.21 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP.  Beimel will have a good shot to make the Rangers’ bullpen in 2012.

UPDATE: (3/27/2012) – The Rangers have released Joe Beimel.

The Texas Rangers sign Conor Jackson

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by admin on Monday 6 February 2012 at 4:40 pm

The Rangers have signed 29-year old righty swinging 1B/OF Conor Jackson to a minor league deal.  Jackson played in 114 games for the Red Sox & A’s last year and he was 86 for 352 (.244 avg, .651 OPS) with 32 runs scored, 5 homers, 43 RBIs and 3 stolen bases.  He has now played in 658 games in his first 7 years in the majors and he is 591 for 2,184 (.271 avg, .757 OPS) with 291 runs scored, 52 homers, 295 RBIs and 27 stolen bases.  Jackson’s versatility in the field will give him a really good shot to make the Rangers’ opening day roster this spring.

UPDATE: (3/27/2012) – The Rangers release Conor Jackson.

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