Tying Up Loose Ends
By Mike Luna
Even though Rangers Spring Training comes to end tomorrow, there are still a few minor question marks that need to be addressed before the start of the season. Though I won’t pretend to know what’s going on in the minds of the Texas decision-makers, I can give you my best guess about who will be playing where on April 6th.
It looks like…
…Julio Borbon may have played himself out of a job. After a rough few days and some very short, perturbed comments from Ron Washington, it seems that Craig Gentry may take center field by default.
…Robbie Ross may be the lefty out of the ‘pen. The 22-year-old has turned a lot of heads this spring, showing off near pin-point control and veteran composure. His only real competition coming into camp was Michael Kirkman, who’s been very shaky this spring.
…Brandon Snyder may stick around. The Rangers have been looking for a right-handed outfielder and Conor Jackson, after failing to impress, was released a few days ago. Snyder, a former Baltimore farmhand, has been good enough and plays 1B, 2B, and 3B, as well as corner outfield. If nothing else, his versatility gives him a decent chance to make the team.
…Andres Blanco won’t return as utility infielder. Blanco was released by the Nationals a couple of days ago and many wondered if the Rangers might try to bring him back. I don’t expect it to happen, though. Blanco comes with injury concerns and isn’t so good that a suitable replacement can’t be found.
…Josh Hamilton is already hurt. Jamilton left last night’s game with tightness in his groin, though no one seems to think that the injury is very serious. Still, if the tightness lingers, Jamilton’s dream of playing a full, healthy season may already be in jeopardy.
…Yu Darvish is ready for his 1st major league start. He struck out 11 Rockies last night in 6 innings of work. These weren’t minor leaguers he was mowing down either. Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, two of baseball’s best hitters, each struck out 3 times. Darvish’s 1st start will be April 9th against the Mariners, in case you hadn’t heard.
Those are the things that I’ve been looking at the last few days and, unless something drastically changes, I expect to hit on most (if not all) of my predictions.
Press on, Rangers fans.
(Leave a comment or find me on Twitter @BleacherSeatsTX. As always, thanks to Baseball Reference for their invaluable resources.)