With the Rangers entering the Oakland series, and five series in a row that will test their toughness as a team (Oakland, Boston, New York, Tampa, and Toronto) I would like to know your opinion on some issues.
Would you extend Ron Washington's contact as the Rangers appear about to do?
My answer is yes, but I have to admit RW drives me up the wall sometimes with his decisions. The most recent outfield rotation and substitution (J Borbon pinch running for Vlad?) drove me nuts last night. And I personally don't mind bunting, as long as it is not the big bats bunting. With the exception of some of his moment by moment decisions, I think he does a pretty good job for setting an overall tone with the club in the dugout.
The Rangers are facing two lefties in a row in Oakland. What do you think the best lineup is for the Rangers right now for the next two games in the righty versus lefty situation? Do you want to have your best defensive line up behind Lee, or do you try to get him some extra pop?
I think here is the lineup I would go with against Dallas B on Friday night.
- Michael Young (ok I really don't like him here but habit is habit)
- Cantu (1B)
- Teagarden (I believe he is the scheduled catcher tonight)
- Guzman (better average against lefties)
As much as I would like to put Borbon in for this game, I can't take Murphy out even though he is hitting against a lefty. I would consider taking Murph out on Saturday against Gonzales and putting in Borbon in Center, Josh in left. Did I mention Saturday is a day game after a night game? Molina will be back for the remaining two games.
Do you change up the lineups much for the Saturday game?
I probably put Borbon in Center, give Murph (or if Josh is hurting) a day off, and put Borbon in the 9th spot, moving Cantu up to 6, Teagarden up to 7 and Guzman up to 8.
I am pleasantly surprised by Mooreland who has a good compact swing. Do you do a straight righty-lefty platoon with Cantu?
Until Mooreland starts to struggle, I run him out there every game against right handed pitching.
Nobody on this board likes Teagarden that I know of. But considering that Treanor could be back in a week, and Teagarden will probably go down, do you bring back Teagarden for expanded rosters?
Yes, he may be the best defensive catcher of the three catches available and having only two catchers on a roster is not desirable during the late pennant run.
What do you do with Borbon?
Well, he's not in my doghouse, and I would definitely put him in late defensively. But until Murphy goes cold, or else he has a bad average against individual lefties, I play Murphy. In big ball parks like Oakland, having as much speed as possible late is an advantage if you have a lead. And I wonder if you can protect Josh in left considering all the foul space there is in Oakland.
The Molina strategy: I hate to see the guy on base. You get the feeling he will clog your team out of a run or two. So what is your strategy on him hitting?
Well, whenever possible you have him sacrificing, and hope they don't get the lead runner because that's a guaranteed double play. OK, the sacrifice fly works because he is not on base and he just moved a runner up. You bring in Pedro Borbon to pinch run for him in crucial situations and late in the game. OK, I don't know what to do with him. I just hold my nose and hope something bad doesn't happen.
Guzman or Blanco?
This is why Wash gets paid the big bucks. I like the way Blanco has been swinging the bat lately. Guzman is probably a bit better int he field. They are both switch hitters. I guess I can live with either one of them in the lineup until Kinsler gets back, and anything positive from them is a bonus. I probably split them almost 50% of the time at second base.
Mainly I just wanted to see your answers to the questions.