Monday, March 3, 2008

Getting to Know a Rival: Texas Rangers

Time for another one of these. I just wanted to make note, that you can help me make this a better blog with your comments, suggestions, votes in the polls, and whatever else. I can be reached at marinerscentral"at"

Next up, are the Texas Rangers.

Manager: Ron Washington
2007: 75-87 3rd place
Coming In: OF Milton Bradley, 1B Ben Broussard, RHP Kazuo Fukumori, CF Josh Hamilton, RHP Jason Jennings, LHP Eddie Guardado, INF Edgardo Alfonzo
Packed Their Bags: DH Sammy Sosa, OF Brad Wilkerson, RHP Akinori Otsuka, RHP Edinson Volquez, INF Jerry Hairston

Projected Lineup:

C: Jarrod Saltalamacchia
1B: Ben Broussard
2B: Ian Kinsler
3B: Hank Blalock
SS: Michael Young
LF: Marlon Byrd
CF: Josh Hamilton
RF: Milton Bradley
DH: Frank Catalanotto

Projected Rotation:

1. Kevin Millwood
2. Vicente Padilla
3. Jason Jennings
4. Brandon McCarthy
5. Kason Gabbard

Projected Bullpen:

LRP: Jamey Wright
LRP: John Rheinecker
MRP: Kazuo Fukumori
SU: Joaquin Benoit
SU: Eddie Guardado
CP: C.J. Wilson

Offensive Outlook: This wouldn't be that bad of a lineup with Hank Blalock, Ian Kinsler, and Micheal Young all healthy and producing, but the rest of the lineup doesn't offer much support. Miton Bradley and Ben Broussard are your power threats? Byrd, Hamilton and Catalanotto aren't bad hitters, but they arent't going to strike much fear into opposing pitchers. Salty is a great prospect, but as of right now, I would rather have Mark Teixera in this offense. Fice years from now we can talk about it. I don't see this offense as being too much of a problem, but as always, the variable known as health comes in to play here. Literally. If a few of these guys can step it up, than we might be in for a surprise.

Rotation Outlook: Just not that interesting. Kevin Millwood and Vicente Padilla are both good, and occaisonally great pitchers, but their nasty contracts have made us forget about their abilities. I would like to see...actually I wouldn't as a Mariners fan...what these two guys can do without the pressure of their contracts on them. Who knows. Underneath the millions of dollars, there may be a pair of great pitchers here. Jason Jennings also isn't a bad pitcher, but he isn't great. He doesn't have any large salary pressure on him, and Texas isn't a must win environment right now, so maybe this guy could have a good first half and be flipped for something nice at the deadline if the Rangers are out of it. I don't have much to say about McCarthy or Gabbard as of right now. These are a pair of solid young pitching prospects, with nowhere to go but up. I don't see these guys ripping it up yet.

Bullpen Outlook: Hmmmmmm. What to say. Not much to say really. CJ Wilson could be a decent closer, if the team around him performs. Seems that anyone could close if the team around them was good. Guardado was good with the M's a while back if my memory was right, but like most pitchers, injuries tore down his career. Wright and Benoit are alright pitchers I guess. Fukumori could be a decent pitcher once he adjusts to the MLB. Rheinecker is a new name to me, but I'd say that he could be alright. I wouldn't expect much from this bullpen, but like most rebuilding teams, it could be alright.

Prognosis: Much like Oakland, this team probably won't be much competition for the M's in the standings, but will be a pain in the you know what for the Mariners for no apparent reason. Once the younger players on this team get a bit of expierience, and some of the veterans either leave or play like their contracts say they should, this team will be alright. What this team needs is a bona fide All-Star. A-Rod would bring fans in to the park, I'd guess that Soriano would bring in a few as well, but other than his family and friends, I don't see too many people coming to watch Milton Bradley.

No comments: