Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mid-Season Adjusted Ex-Men Rangers Roster

As a follow-up to yesterday's post (which was a follow up to a series of posts in April), here's a look at my team of recently-departed, still-active ex-Rangers, after some mid-season adjustments to the bullpen, and picking up recently made available additions to the impressive list of talented ex-Rangers (Teixeira, Lofton, Mahay & Gagne).

Lineup (with stats to date for this season: OBP/SLG/AVG):

1. Kenny Lofton OF L (.369/.416/.296, 7hr, 25rbi, 67r, 21sb)
2. Alfonso Soriano LF R (.336/.511/.297; 18hr; 42rbi; 74r; 18sb)
3. Carlos Lee RF R (.356/.536/.302; 24hr; 95rbi; 68r)
4. Alex Rodriguez S/3 R (.407/.633/.300; 39hr; 114rbi; 107r; 14sb)
5. Mark Teixeira 1B S (.388/.535/.291, 17hr, 61rbi, 56r)
6. Adrian Gonzalez DH/1B L (.339/.477/.265; 19hr; 68rbi; 64r)
7. Mark DeRosa 2B/U R (.363/.418/.288; 7hr; 54rbi; 40r)
8. Ivan Rodriguez C R (.289/.426/.279; 9hr; 50rbi; 39r)
9. Esteban German 3/I R (.372/.399/.284; 3hr; 29rbi; 36r; 8sb)

Rod Barajas C R (.343/.376/.214; 4hr; 9rbi; 15r)
Mike Lamb INF L (.375/.478/.296; 11hr; 34rbi; 40r)
Travis Hafner DH/1 L (.380/.438/.254; 18hr; 70rbi; 58r)
Gary Matthews, Jr. OF S (.338/.448/.275; 14hr; 65rbi; 67r, 12sb)

Starting Rotation
Chris Young R (9-4; 2.02era; 119k; 44bb; 124.2ip)
Kenny Rodgers L (3-2; 5.23era; 17k; 12bb; 32.2ip)
Doug Davis L (9-10; 3.81era; 101k; 76bb; 146.1ip)
John Danks L (6-10; 5.22era; 22GS; 122.1ip; 96k; 46bb)
Adam Eaton R (9-8; 6.36era; 82k; 57bb; 133ip)

CL: Francisco Cordero R (36sv; 0-4; 3.14era; 66k; 17bb; 48.2ip)
SU: Eric Gagne R (16sv, 2-0, 3.62era, 39G, 37.1ip. 14bb, 34k)
Ron Mahay L (3-0, 2.53era, 34G, 46.1ip)
Doug Brocail R (4-1, 3.88era, 44G, 53.1ip)
Brian Shouse L (1-1; 2.60era; 52G; 34.2ip)
Ryan Bukvich R (1-0, 2.96era, 31G, 27.1ip)
Aaron Fultz L (3-2, 3.28era, 36G, 24.2ip)

Question: Could any other team put together a better 25-man roster consisting of players that have left their organization but are still playing?

The Marlins leap to mind as they'd have a great rotation of former Marlins, but just off the top of my head, I think there offense would be very weak.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ex-Men Texas Rangers Roster

Probably the most fun I’ve had in drafting a blog post was in April when I looked at the team that could be formed using just recently departed, still active former Texas Rangers.

The point of that series of posts was to show clearly how bad the Rangers have bled talent out of their organization. To me, doing so is a clear indicator of Hicks’ terrible ownership and lack of commitment to winning.

It’s really almost magical the way Hicks and his front offices have run the Texas Rangers into the ground over the years.

Consider this magical disappearing act: Hicks managed to turn ARod into Soriano and then turn Soriano into Wilkerson (while still paying $7 million a year to the richest team in sports for ARod’s contract). That takes some real talent to in effect turn probably the most productive hitter into one of the worst!

Anyway, I thought I’d look back at the team of former Rangers I composed back in April and see how they’re doing (keep in mind that you have to grant me some dramatic license here as the salary of this team would be very unrealistic, but that’s not the point).

Lineup (with stats to date for this season: OBP/SLG/AVG):

1. Esteban German 3B/INF R (.372/.399/.284; 3hr; 29rbi; 36r; 8sb)
2. Gary Matthews, Jr. CF S (.338/.448/.275; 14hr; 65rbi; 67r, 12sb)
3. Alfonso Soriano LF R (.336/.511/.297; 18hr; 42rbi; 74r; 18sb)
4. Alex Rodriguez SS/3B R (.407/.633/.300; 39hr; 114rbi; 107r; 14sb)
5. Travis Hafner DH/1B L (.380/.438/.254; 18hr; 70rbi; 58r)
6. Carlos Lee RF R (.356/.536/.302; 24hr; 95rbi; 68r)
7. Adrian Gonzalez 1B/DH L (.339/.477/.265; 19hr; 68rbi; 64r)
8. Ivan Rodriguez C R (.289/.426/.279; 9hr; 50rbi; 39r)
9. Mark DeRosa 2B/U R (.363/.418/.288; 7hr; 54rbi; 40r)

Rod Barajas C R (.343/.376/.214; 4hr; 9rbi; 15r)
Mike Lamb INF L (.375/.478/.296; 11hr; 34rbi; 40r)
David Dellucci OF L (.301/.389/.234; 4hr; 20rbi; 25r)

Starting Rotation
Kenny Rodgers L (3-2; 5.23era; 17k; 12bb; 32.2ip)
Chris Young R (9-4; 2.02era; 119k; 44bb; 124.2ip)
Estaban Loaiza R Injured all season
Doug Davis L (9-10; 3.81era; 101k; 76bb; 146.1ip)
Adam Eaton R (9-8; 6.36era; 82k; 57bb; 133ip)


CL: Francisco Cordero R (36sv; 0-4; 3.14era; 66k; 17bb; 48.2ip)
SU Bryan Corey R Did not make an MLB roster
LR Chan Ho Park R (0-1; 15.75era; 1GS)
MR Fabio Castro L (12.27era; 5G; 3.2ip)
MR Darren Oliver L (4.39era; 43G; 41ip; 31k; 15bb)
MR Brian Shouse L (2.60era; 52G; 34.2ip; 20k; 11bb)
MR Aaron Sele R (3-1; 4.12era; 25G; 43.2ip; 26k; 18bb)
MR Dan Kolb R (9.00era; 3G; 3ip)

As with any team, I would have needed to make some early season adjustments.

Loaiza’s injury would have forced me to call on Danks (LHP; 6-10; 5.22era; 22GS; 122.1ip; 96k; 46bb) to fill his spot. Doug Davis’ surprising performance would be a plus. And with the offense and defense on this team, it’s safe to assume that each pitcher (maybe even Danks) would have several more wins based on their era’s. For the post-season, Young, Rogers and Davis would likely be more than enough to get the team through.

The bullpen would have needed some major retooling, but there aren’t as many former Rangers out there to choose from for the bullpen as you might think. Nick Masset is one guy who probably would have been added to the ‘pen. Still, with Cordero closing, and Oliver, Shouse and Sele contributing, there’s a solid core to build around.

The lineup would have been shuffled. Lamb and German would be platooning at 3B. Hafner, Lee and Gonzalez might have been shuffled around the order, and Dellucci would likely have been demoted and replaced.

But still, wouldn’t this be some team!

Now imagine adding in Teixeira, Gagne, Lofton and Mahay at the trade deadline!

How many games do you think this team wins for the season?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Should the Rangers Sign a Free Agent Pitcher This Winter, or Not?

Similar to early-season views on Torii Hunter, I and many others expected the Rangers sign a Free Agent starting pitcher this next Winter to add to the rotation for 2008. But with the upsides of failing fast now in full effect at the Ballpark, I'm not sure they should.

The earliest the Rangers window for being a true contender will open is 2009. So why not let all the young arms in the Rangers organization get every chance they can with as many innings as possible in the “Bigs” to become winning pitchers for '09 and beyond?

Millwood and Padilla are the only pitchers (and 2 of only 5 Rangers total) under contract past this season. And, with one of the league's 5 lowest team salaries after dumping Teixeira, Gagne, Lofton and Mahay's salaries ($22.2 million annualized), the Rangers certainly have all the flexibility and tons of money available to rebuild their rotation and fill holes in their lineup and bench.

But the Rangers also have a large collection of highly touted prospect young arms. While I'm not at all confident in the Rangers’ ability to turn prospects into winning major league starters, the law of averages has to kick in sometime. Doesn't it? I mean, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every so often.

So would it be better for the Rangers to let the remaining 3 spots in their rotation be filled by those prospects, instead of filling one with a free agent signing? (Of course, Millwood and Padilla’s seasons make them less than surefire long-term locks for any rotation and they could be traded away, but that’s a discussion for another time.)

I include McCarthy and Gabbard on the Rangers’ prospects list, as they still haven't completed a successful transition to the majors and are not bona fide winning starters. Then there's Tejeda, Loe and Wood who've had plenty of chances to get some traction already (not to mention Rheinecker – who’s about out of chances). Are they worth more time in the rotation to see what could happen? Or are they meant for the bullpen? And then there's Volquez, Hurley, Rupe, Harrison, Galarraga and Mendoza coming up from the minors.

That’s at least 12 pitchers who are touted to have various levels of major league potential. At least two or three of them should become major league winners, right? Again, the law of averages has to work in the Rangers’ favor at some point, doesn’t it.

Plus, the list of pitchers who’ll be free agents this winter doesn’t look too exciting and looks pretty old (source MLB Trade Rumors):

Carlos Zambrano (27)
Curt Schilling (41)
Jason Jennings (29)
Koji Uehara (33)
Freddy Garcia (32)
Kenny Rogers (43)
Jon Lieber (38)
Bartolo Colon (35)
Joe Kennedy (29)
Tomo Ohka (32)
John Thomson (34)
Kip Wells (31)
Wade Miller (31)
Livan Hernandez (33)*
Randy Wolf (31) - $9MM club option for '08
Paul Byrd (37) - $8MM club option for '08
Jeff Weaver (31)
Tom Glavine (42) - $9MM player option for '08
Kris Benson (33) - $7.5MM club option for '08
Jaret Wright (32)
David Wells (45)
Eric Milton (32)
Kyle Lohse (29)
Matt Clement (33)
Rodrigo Lopez (32)
Josh Fogg (31)
Byung-Hyun Kim (29)
Odalis Perez (31) - $9MM club option for '08
Brett Tomko (35) - $4.5MM mutual option for '08

If the Rangers can sign Carlos Zambrano, they should. He’s a true ace who could at 27 could anchor the Rangers’ rotation for years. But like so many aces before him, why would he come to the Ballpark and the Rangers? It would take crazy money for him to pass on the numerous great offers he’ll get from teams who will be contending for years to come.

So, short of a miracle signing of Zambrano, I think the Rangers best move may be to stick with the arms they have and see how these prospects play out. Then they’ll have the trade deadlines next season and the winter of ’08-’09 – when they’ll have a more clear picture of what they have in the guys they have – to shore up any holes in the rotation.

The problem there is that they’ll likely still have several large holes. But we’ve got time to wait and see.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

About to Move "Rangers or Robbers" to Blogger from Wordpress - Thoughts?

I'm building this site as the future home of Rangers or Robbers, currently on Wordpress, because I find blogger much easier to work with.

The basic layout is complete. Any thoughts about the look, sidebar features and content, the Sitepal talking head intro., etc.? Would love input via comments from people reading the blog so I can complete it with reader feedback in mind.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Rangers Evidence: Great Game Tonight! & It’s a Plane, It’s Superman, It’s a Byrd!

Hats off to McCarthy for a solid start and Benoit for 3 innings of 1 hit ball! That would have been plenty to be excited about.

But then the bottom of the order (which makes it extra phenomenal) starts a 2-out, bottom-of-the-ninth rally against former teammate and recently unhittable Francisco Cordero in which six consecutive batters - Wilkerson, Vazquez, Laird, Lofton, Byrd and Young - all hit singles to cap a 4-run comeback and win 4-3! That’s awesome!

The other thing that’s awesome is Marlon Byrd of late! His AB tonight saw him foul off 3 pitches after falling behind 0-2, and then singling to right off Cordero to drive in the game-tying run! In 14 games played this season since getting the nod May 26, Byrd has a hit in all but 2 games, has a .377 average with 5 multi-hit games, and a .514 OBP through 8 games in June. And this has generally been against teams with solid pitching - DET, OAK, BOS, MIL, SEA. That and an outstanding defensive play tonight and in general are looking like the brightest spot for this team right now.

But, more importantly, a win like this is the type of win this team needs. Younger guys stepped up to get it done. Underachievers contributed to scratch out a win. Finally, the team caught some breaks, and they did it with Tex out.

That means the team has a chance on Sunday to tie a season-high win streak of 3 games. Maybe tonight’s gritty performance will motivate Padilla to get into the bulldog mindset he needs to find to succees Sunday. And if they do, don’t look now, but the Rangers will have a winning record for June (5-4) after having won two consecutive series against two tough teams - DET & MIL.

Go Rangers!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

WordPress Was Driving Me Nuts!

The original version of the Rangers or Robbers blog was built on Wordpress. But Wordpress was driving me completely nuts. There is more I want to do with this blogsite, that I can't figure out how to do on WordPress. So I'm considering migrating my blog over to blogger. Thoughts?