T.R. Sullivan has his "Morning Nine from Surprise" up at his blog at the Rangers' website, and while all nine items are worth perusing, there are two that caught my eye that I thought were worth commenting on:
Julio Borbon – Great person, substantial talent. Could be time to trade him. The Rangers know their best outfield includes David Murphy in left, Josh Hamilton in center and Nelson Cruz in right. They know Craig Gentry offers a right-handed hitting alternative to Murphy even though he has not had a good spring. They know Leonys Martin is their center fielder of the future. Right now Borbon just isn’t a comfortable fit. It could be time to give him a chance to play elsewhere and get something that they need now in return. The guy can play, it just doesn’t feel like Texas is right for him anymore.
The problem with the Murphy/Hamilton/Cruz outfield, of course, is that David Murphy can't hit lefthanders. Given that he's also not a well-above-average defender in left field, there's simply no reason to ever start him against a lefty. If Craig Gentry isn't going to play against lefties, the Rangers need to find someone else who can fill that role. Of course, they are supposedly looking for a righthanded hitter, but as I mentioned this morning, it makes me wonder why they weren't doing that this offseason, when the need was just as apparent.
That being said, I also agree with Sullivan that Borbon needs to go elsewhere. The Rangers might hold onto him as depth, and stash him in AAA, but he'll be out of options in 2013 and in such a scenario would almost certainly be gone by then anyway. The ideal situation would probably be to move Borbon in a deal that would bring back a righthanded bench bat.
8. Robbie Ross – Looks like the Rangers are falling in love again based on Spring Training performance.
Hopefully, if Ross makes the team, he'll justify the decision, and show that he really is major league ready and able to contribute meaningfully to a playoff team out of the pen, right now. My fear is that this is a repeat of what we seem to run into every year, where the apple cart gets upturned the last week of camp because of someone who had a couple of hot weeks, resulting in a questionable decision vis-a-vis the major league roster.