News And Links
By Eric Reining
— T.R. Sullivan has a well-crafted narrative vis a vis the starting rotation up at the main team site, of which I enjoyed this little pocket of brilliance:
"Actually it seems to fall on Holland, Harrison, Yu Darvish, Alexi Ogando and a fifth starter to be named. In an ironic and unexpected turn of events for the Rangers, they go into a season looking at their starting rotation as being the No. 1 asset on the team, something they haven’t been able to claim since maybe the mid-1970s."
And, when you really think about it, it’s true. The Rangers have generations of fans who are pretty damn accustomed to great hitting and putrid pitching. Recently, with this current influx of Rangers fans — many who blossomed up from the obsolete when Texas made the World Series in 2010 (and, conveniently, 2011 as well) — are being indoctrinated into a completely different philosophy: pitching and defense first, offense later.
— Evan Grant of the DMN spoke to Jon Daniels who “put a rest to some confusion over comments” he made last week about Jurickson Profar’s potential role on the team:
"General manager Jon Daniels acknowledged Tuesday that the club has no plans to play Profar in the outfield. That should put a rest to some confusion over comments Daniels made last week. While emphasizing versatility, Daniels was asked about Profar possibly getting work in the outfield. At the time, Daniels said “why not?” and went on to discuss the need for more versatility."
However, later on, Grant mentions that “Daniels also held out the caveat that he wouldn’t be surprised if at some point in time Profar does get some work in the outfield, but stressed that is not a priority.” So I don’t really know what you are supposed to do with that. My rational side tends to gravitate in the direction of starting Profar in AAA, and that he will only play SS and 2B. This way, the Rangers will maintain their six years of control with him, and could still bring him up at some point in May or June with a more clearly-defined role in mind.
— ESPN Dallas’ Richard Durrett also speaks to Jon Daniels, touching on various topics:
"Daniels said the bullpen is his biggest thing he’s keeping an eye on this spring. Joe Nathan is the closer and Jason Frasor has a spot, according to manager Ron Washington. The rest of it? Up for grabs. The club has some good arms in camp and some guys hoping to prove they are healthy. Now they have to find out where it all slots.I feel good that we’re going to put together a good bullpen based on the options we have,” Daniels said. “We trust our scouts and we trust our staff here to put guys in the right roles.”"
From a perception standpoint, it’s good he is taking the “nothing is guaranteed” route, because that just adds to the bullpen competition. Overall, however, I think there is less for grabs than Daniels’ says. We need to see Michael Kirkman and Tanner Scheppers legitimize themselves, using Wilmer Font in low-leverage situations.