Whoever invented the phrase “Hope SPRINGS eternal” must have been a baseball fan, right? Or am I the only fan of homonyms?
Your Texas Rangers’ pitchers and catchers officially reported to Spring Training today with some already seeing action. As with any club, this spring camp starts with a few unanswered questions.
I think the biggest questions here are with the pitching staff. I was thinking that Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, Martin Perez, and Alexi Ogando have four of the five rotation spots in hand and that only the fifth starter is in question, with the loss of Derek Holland.
But actually, the Rangers reported today on their team website that a group of seven starters are competing for five rotation spots: Darvish, Harrison, Lewis, Ogando, Perez, Nick Tepesch, and the newly acquired Tommy Hanson. Of course you assume that given that they are healthy, Darvish, Harrison, and Perez are a given to make the rotation. But because the Rangers have had more than their share of experience with how tenuous health can be, they are also stretching out Robbie Ross, Michael Kirkman, and Tanner Scheppers, according to that same article. Considering Darvish is coming off of some back issues and that Harrison and Lewis are both coming off of surgery, this is definitely the best way to go. It’s also reassuring to remind yourself that Derek Holland will be back in the rotation at some point during the season (hopefully by the All-Star Break), and, as I read today, arriving in spring camp in two weeks.
The closer spot is also up for grabs. Going into the post-Joe Nathan off-season, I almost just assumed that Joakim Soria would hop right into that role; with Neftali Feliz being a second option. And then today, The Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant reported that Feliz “…intends to be the closer”.
Nothing wrong with friendly competition, right? This should give us plenty to look forward to this spring.
On the other side of the ball, the lineup is not looking bad at this point. Ben Dieter has your lineup looking as such:
- Choo, LF
- Andrus, SS
- Fielder, 1B
- Beltre, 3B
- Rios, RF
- Moreland, DH
- Soto, C
- Profar, 2B
- Martin, CF
Now I, for one, was hoping for another bat in the DH spot, with Moreland mostly spelling Fielder during the dog days of July/August, and I might even flip-flop Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre, but overall the top of that lineup is pretty solid. Of course, we may still get a surprise off the bench in the form of Michael Choice, whom I’m also anxious to see in the outfield. I think we could all use a hometown-kid-makes-good story, couldn’t we?
But your friends here at Nolan Writin’ will elaborate on the bats and so much more as this springs continues, so stay tuned.
Happy Spring Training Everyone!
Tags: Texas Rangers