Who spring matters for. 26 comments

There players who are helping their cause this spring:

Hunter Pence:

Pence went 1-for-3 with a double yesterday to raise his OBP to.421 and his OPS to a really nice .909. He came into the spring fighting for a spot as the fourth outfielder and just might wind up winning the starting left fielder job. Pence is the opposite of what the Rangers are trying to accomplish, which is a youth movement. But it would be a great story, if not for Texas then for someone else.

Nolan Fontana:

Fontana is having a good spring, batting .412 with an OPS of .919 over eight games. But this is a guy with an .065 batting average as a major leaguer in twenty games played over the past two seasons. He’s a middle infielder, which the Rangers sorely need. He’s one of those guys whose fate was sealed before he came into camp, so spring numbers won’t matter. But he is having a great spring which might help for later.

Ronald Guzman:

Guzman is leading the team in home runs this spring, along with Matt Davidson, with three. Over fourteen spring at-bats, Guzman is hitting .429 with an incredible 1.643 OPS. Even if he didn’t get a single hit in the spring,  he is the Rangers starting first baseman. But if the confidence of a strong spring can carry over into the season, it would bode well for this young core that the Rangers are putting all their hope on.

Three players who aren’t helping their cause:

Tim Dillard:

He’s pitched appeared in two games, logging just 1.2 innings, He’s won one game and lost one game, but his ERA is a whopping 21.60 after giving up two runs in the eighth to tie the game yesterday.

Edinson Volquez:

It’s a small sample size but he gave up four earned runs in his first and only inning so far. There’s absolutely no way he doesn’t end up in the rotation if he arm is still intact. But he still has a lot to prove and the Rangers have other major-league veterans ready to step into his place.

Eli White:

He’s had the second-most at-bats of any Rangers hitter this spring (behind Calhoun), so he is definitely getting a fair shake. He’s just not making the most of it with just one hit, a single, in eighteen tries, for a .056 average. According to reports, White came into camp with a legitimate shot at being a reserve infielder. He needs to step it up if it’s going to indeed happen.

  • CrazyEd

    Some good assessments Kevin. I think Dillard will be more than happy to go to Nashville, where he belongs, in more ways than one. He can play baseball, be with his family and sleep in his own bed. Playing baseball in your home town can’t be a bad thing. White is on the Frisco team roster so even a bad spring isn’t going to do him any harm.

    I’ve been thinking about the outfield situation. Took a quick look at DD’s stats just to be sure that I wasn’t going on emotions, or bad personal observations. I think we’ve seen the best of DD. To keep it short, I’ll just use the owar and dwar from “Baseball Reference.”

    OWar DWar
    2015 2,1 0.9
    2016 -0.2 -0.1
    2017 1.5 0.5
    2018 0.2 1.3
    Even in his good years he was barely above replacement value. IMO it’s time for him to go to Nashville for a year, maybe permanently. Or trade him for a low level pitching prospect or two. Based on his numbers he would not be that hard to replace.

    • JacobMcCandles

      I love Dillards fresh approach to life in BB….”Hey I can’t make the team I will play where my home and family are and collect a check playing this wonderful game!”

  • Mr.C

    Hi Kevin

    Good rundown of these players. A couple of observations:

    There is a team competition for a middle infielder to backup Elvis and Odor. Fontana is in that competition which includes Andy Ibanez and Woodward favorite, Forsythe. I think at the end of the day Forsythe will make the team.

    Volquez is clocking 97 mph !!!
    Yesterday he pitched 2 innings vs the Rockies and allowed only 1 single in 2 innings. Volquez will make the team.

    • dearmidol

      There’s no way Vólquez doesn’t make it.

  • Nathan Whitten

    You’ve mentioned Davidson quite a bit…and in a positive light. You said he could be the Ranger 3B for several years. I don’t think that was hyperbole, although I would not put it past you. Are you thinking that he could be the starting 3B over Cabrera? Regardless of your response on that, can they both make the 25 man roster? Cabrera has played much more middle IF than 3B, if I am not mistaken. So he’d be a good reserve if not starting, or so I’m thinking.
    On another matter, I’ve noticed that Gallo has been playing CF some, if not most of the time. Tocci in LF. Not sure I get that. If Tocci finally hits, isn’t he the better defensive CF? That’s just a question. Mazara is in RF because of his arm. Perhaps he learns to play the position better with coaching. If so, the Rangers OF defense should be better this year. That’s not saying much. But it does seem that the team’s attitude has shifted toward having better defense everywhere.

    • Mr.C

      Nobody knows 1st time manager Woodward; but based on the things he says, this is how I see it as of today.

      Regular Season Lineup:
      1. Choo (DH),
      2. Odor (2B),
      3. Andrus (SS),
      4. Gallo (CF),
      5. Mazara (RF),
      6. Cabrera (3B),
      7. Guzman (1B),
      8. Pence (LF),
      9. Mathis (C)

      Bench players:
      Kiner-F (C),
      Davidson (Corner infielder / RH reliever)
      DeShields (4th outfielder)
      Forsythe (Middle infielder)

      • Nathan Whitten

        Yours looks better than what was posted on MLB.com
        Absence of Calhoun is interesting.
        If Davidson is really going to pitch, hadn’t he better get some innings in? He would save a roster spot. That would be nice.
        Gallo in CF. He has the ability, but no experience.

        • Mr.C

          Yeap …. Calhoun hasn’t showed he can hit MLB pitching.

          Pence is getting on base, hitting doubles, stealing bases …..
          …. turn out to be the type of baseball player fans love to watch.

          Gallo is very athletic, he will be fine in CF.

          That’s how I see it. I have no idea what Woodward will do!

          • CrazyEd

            Pence doesn’t fit with what the Ranger’s are trying to do, but his on and off field performance and attitude could very well carry the day. Digging around the net I’ve found tidbits here and there that indicate that the players absolutely love the guy and his attitude. That’s big for a young team.

          • Mr.C

            With the absence of Beltre, Pence could be a great addition short term.

    • calntom

      Volquez was signed as a free agent in Feb 2018 after he had TJS. He will win a already determined spot in the rotation to see if he can be a productive piece and if so, possibly traded at some point during the season for prospects to a contender that is hard-up for starting pitching.

      Mazara is young and can learn to play defense better.
      2 years ago, Odor and DD were said to be incapable of playing or learning better defense.

      • Nathan Whitten

        Thanks for information regarding Volquez. It ticks me off that they would trade a good pitcher. They need good pitchers. I fear that Minor is gone. These “prospects” they’ve been getting for trades do not impress me. They are too far away to help any time soon. For Hamels–nothing. Darvish–a 24 year old DH that might be able to hit.
        I have seen the improvement in Odor. He should have won the GG over punk Kinsler. It was foolish to think he was incapable of being better, for he was rushed to MLB directly because of Kinsler. Well, indirectly. Profar was ready to be 2B and Kinsler refused to play 1B. That forced JD to make what all called a bad trade for Fielder. It could have been a good trade. JD is not prescient. He did not know that Fielder was at the end of his career. The guy never missed a game. You know the story–Profar injured, so Odor is brought up. Had he been given more time in minors, I feel that he would have had a much better glove. But if Profar wasn’t hurt, Odor would have been blocked so….who knows? He might have been traded. I’m glad he is a Ranger. I think he will be a solid, if not great player. We are often too quick to judge. I plead guilty.
        DD is good defensively. He has improved. Unfortunately, he can’t hit.
        I feel that Mazara will be a good RF. His arm is already respected.
        I do think Ranger coaches are now doing what they should have done all along. Coach.

        • calntom

          A few of the potential starting pitchers from trades may be closer to MLB ready than you think. One or two will probably grace the mound in the new stadium to start the season in 2020.

  • CrazyEd
  • calntom

    Volquez threw 2 scoreless innings yesterday in his 2nd outing. We will probably see Volquez another 4 times before the season opens.

    • Mr.C

      That means we are in sink and ready for the 2019 season !

      Go Rangers
      clap clap CLAPCLAPCLAP

    • JacobMcCandles

      Minor and Lynn are set……think the rest we will see highs and lows in ST and it will be dartboard…..although I lean towards Smyly and Volquez so far…….lol

  • JacobMcCandles

    Its a lot of fun toying with rosters and predicting who is going to make it..one thing that sometimes is forgotten are options. Sometimes a guy will make it that may not be doing as well but is out of options. And sometimes and rightfully so, ST stats don’t carry the same weight. For example if Elvis,Odor,Maz,Gallo have bad STs it won’t affect their status of making the team.

    • CrazyEd

      Yup! Then there’s usually a surprise guy that nobody saw coming that has a good spring and makes the club. Trying to figure who that might be is a good mental exercise. Probably why I never figure it out.

  • CrazyEd

    Some non-baseball baseball with Jared Sandler, Gallo and Guzman.


  • CrazyEd

    No audio on today’s game????

  • CrazyEd

    The good, the bad and the still unknown of the Cole Hammels trade. Warning, it gets complicated. Some things never end.

    The Rangers won two pennants that they likely would not have won without Hammels.
    In his last year with the Rangers he pitched worse than lousy.
    The change of scenery returned him to front line starter levels.
    In return for him the Rangers received Eddy Butler who pitched lousy and is now in Korea, 18 year old OF Alexander Ovalles who was assigned to the DSL, Rollie Lacey who was packaged with Profar for Brock Burke, Kyle Bird, Eli White and Yoel Espinal. There’s a chance Bird will make the BP out of ST. If not a better than even chance he’ll be called up sometime later in the year. Brock is a year or two away as is White (my opinion only). I have no idea about Espinal. In addition the Cubs sent $5 Mil to the Rangers to cover most of Hammels 6 Mil buyout. Which turns out to be 5 Mil in the Rangers pocket because the Cubs picked up Hammels 2019 contract erasing the need for the buyout. The unknown parts are the future performance of the players received, would Hamels have pitched as well for the Rangers or stayed sub-par, and the future performance of Profar and Rollie Lacey. Not to mention the five million.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Ranger tidbits I had not heard of before: Woodward changed up the locker room before ST…he integrated pitchers and players lockers, which is different. Usually all pitchers are together. Foster more of a team Philosophy. Nice idea I suppose.

    Iview with Hearn was cool. He is a DFW sports enthusiast…………got to meet a lot of past Cowboys and Rangers, told a story of it was his Grandpa’s job to pick up the refs from the airport and bring them to TX Stadium, so he got a bunch of free tickets.

    • CrazyEd

      My guess is that there’s a chance Hearn will make an appearance in Arlington come Sept. call ups.

  • CrazyEd
    • elkaba

      Very good!