The old editor of this site used to hate it when I used one-word titles. He wanted something spicier, more attention-grabbing. ONE WORD TITLES ARE STUPID.
Well, I’m the editor now. So I can write what I want, and sometimes less is more.
From everything I’ve been hearing, Lance Berkman will assume the 3rd spot in the lineup, the one vacated by Josh Hamilton. Despite all the “competition” you may or may not be reading about, Spring Training only figures to decide 3-4 spots on the roster. The primary lineup should look like this:
Kinsler – 2B
Andrus – SS
Berkman – DH
Beltre – 3B
Cruz – RF
Murphy – LF
Pierzynski – C
Moreland – 1B
Martin – CF
Also, in a recent interview Richard Durrett had with Buster Olney, Durrett suggested it’s the Rangers’ hope that Martin Perez seizes the 5th rotation spot. Using language like “seize” and “hope” — the same type of description being given to Leonys Martin in center field — sort of makes you believe what they are really saying is “Martin Perez is going to be our 5th starter until Colby Lewis is healthy,” and “Leonys Martin starts every day against righties.”
Of course, they won’t just come out and say this. It’s a competition, after all, though it’s probably time to see what Perez has. Objectively, one could easily rationalize an argument that the Rangers have one of the best 1-4’s in the American League. If Colby Lewis — who was a better than 2.0 FIP-win pitcher before succumbing to forearm problems last June — can come back and pitch at a reasonable level, we will have the best rotation in a division that right now looks tastily up for grabs.
Jon Daniels said something interesting in a radio interview the other day, setting the benchmark at 350 for how many at bats Jurickson Profar would have to accumulate in the big leagues to justify him being on the roster to start the year. Again, this is all speculation, but dropping little hints like that could be worth revisiting in a few weeks. 350 at bats would probably mean Ian Kinsler would play 1B when a lefty was pitching — and then some — or that they have plans on using him in the outfield at some point. Right now, the latter part seems unlikely.
Yesterday the Rangers won their first spring training game, over the Indians, 10-0. Derek Holland threw four scoreless innings in what will be his final appearance before the World Baseball Classic.