After 3 consecutive losses, you would think Texas’s 4-0 deficit to Toronto on Sunday would have wound up hopeless; to the contrary.
– Aside spotting the Blue Jays a 4-0 lead in the 3rd inning, Justin Grimm was again his solid self. He finished having gone 5.2 innings, allowing 6 hits and 3 walks, striking out 6 Toronto bats. Essentially, he was very Grimm-like: He executed with unassuming “stuff,” showed quick flashes of brilliance, and was haunted by a poor sequence of hitters. Had the 3rd inning gone differently, Grimm’s final line likely would have looked a bit shinier, but as it stands he did pick up the win. Which is cool if you’re into that sort of thing.
– After a deflating 18 innings of baseball on Saturday afternoon, the Rangers offense performed like it wasn’t trying to get swept out of Canada;
– Prospect Chris McGuiness, who was recently recalled in wake of Mitch Moreland‘s hamstring issue, contributed with his first 2 Major League hits, one of which being a rocket RBI double to left-center.
– The Rangers stole 2 bases on Sunday, upping their team total to 40 on the season — tied for 9th in MLB. In 2012 the Rangers were 25th in baseball with 91 SB’s.
– The bullpen was again solid, as Neal Cotts (1.0 IP), Kyle McClellan (0.1 IP), Tanner Scheppers (1.0 IP) and Joe Nathan (1.0) combined to throw 3.1 shutout innings, though it wasn’t without a little drama. In the 9th inning Nathan allowed Toronto’s number 8 and 9 hitters to reach base, though Melky Cabrera (bunt), Jose Batista (strikeout) and Edwin Encarnacion (pop out) followed by being set down in succession.
Through everything the 2013 season has presented the Rangers from a health-related standpoint, in totality, they remain MLB’s 2nd-best pitching staff (+10.9 fWAR) next to the daunting Detroit Tigers (+14.5 fWAR).
– David Murphy remains a sub-replacement-level starting outfielder (-0.2 fWAR), though the alternatives are looking pretty bleak at the moment. If we submit to the fact that the Rangers’ starting rotation is the unequivocal strength of the team, then it’s also fair to say the 4 primary outfielders (not including Jeff Baker, who’s been impressive), have not been very pretty; less in a Well She’s Kind Of Cute But Not Really sort of way, and more like a We Seriously Have To Start Considering Contingency Plans.
Here is how our 4 outfielders stack up in terms of triple slash, wRC+, and total WAR according to FanGraphs:
David Murphy — .218/.270/.393; 71 wRC+; -0.2 fWAR
Leonys Martin — .258/.314/.391; 86 wRC+; +0.1 fWAR
Nelson Cruz — .261/.321/.505; 115 wRC+; +0.5 fWAR
Craig Gentry — .231/.328/.337; 75 wRC+; +1.1 fWAR
All things considered, we’re getting a pretty decent bat from Nellie, exquisite defense from Gentry (+8.8 UZR), and in my opinion we’ve seen enough from Leonys to make me comfortable in how he projects later on this season. He’s due for a breakout anytime now.
– The Rangers now head home, thankfully, and will now take on Cleveland, Toronto (again) and Oakland in their next 11 games.