Not much out there today, after yesterday's rainout. The Rangers have 2 games in Cleveland and 3 in Toronto the rest of the week. I'm not feeling overwhelmingly confident about this little stretch.
Dave Sessions talks about Brandon McCarthy getting bumped back, saying that, according to Mark Connor, McCarthy's mechanics aren't really out of whack, but he just needs to relax and stop trying to "rush" the ball up there.
Also, according to Sessions, we have this quote from Ron Washington about the lineup for today:
And according to Evan Grant, the "normal lineup" includes Matt Kata and Jerry Hairston Jr., but not Brad Wilkerson.
This is really starting to irritate me. I was fine with Kata making the team because I thought he was going to be the 25th man, a guy who could play anywhere while sitting on the bench.
He should never, ever be left field starter against lefties, particularly when you have Wilkerson -- whom Washington acknowledges hits lefties well available. Washington's current alignment appears to have consigned Wilkerson to the 25th man role, with Kata taking his place in the outfield rotation.
This is asinine. Kata cannot hit. And I don't want to hear about how Wilkerson didn't hit last year, and Kata can't be any worse...Wilkerson had a 728 OPS last season. Kata had a 747 OPS...in the International League. Wilkerson had a .253 EQA last year. Kata has a career .241 EQA.
Kata cannot hit. If you want to play him occasionally against lefties, let him play third base. Hank Blalock's history of fading late, and of struggling against lefties, certainly suggests that he could use an occasional day off against lefties, rather than playing every single day.
And if Kata cannot play third base well enough to spell Blalock occasionally, then there's something very wrong with the roster construction of this team. In essence, you don't really have a legitimate backup infielder, but you've got a bench that consists of 3 backup outfielders (none of which are apparently good enough to ever pinch hit) and a backup catcher.
And I'm at a loss as to figure out how you can end up with a lefthanded hitting centerfielder who needs to sit against lefties, a lefthanded hitting DH who needs to sit against lefties, and a bench consisting of 3 backup outfielders, only one of whom -- Wilkerson -- can hit lefties. And then, to top it off, you don't even play that guy against lefties, or use him to pinch hit against lefties. Instead, the guy you use as your "lefty masher" is a switch-hitting utility infielder with a career minor league 748 OPS, and a career major league OPS of 710 (722 against lefties).
This is a combination of poor roster construction by Jon Daniels, in putting together the bench, and poor roster management by Ron Washington, in utilizing the players he has available. And it is going to cost the team games if they don't get it straightened out.