Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE
Sunday morning Rangers news and links
I stumbled upon this piece from Jeric Griffin, Director of Content for Rant Sports, who has a Hot Sports Opinion about the Rangers:
On Tuesday, Texas Rangers general manger Jon Daniels said over and over that the club’s top prospect, Jurickson Profar, could play in the big leagues this season. If you know anything about Profar, you know that’s a crock because he will definitely play MLB in 2013, whether it’s with the Rangers or another team.
That’s not to say that Profar will certainly be traded, but it’s a strong possibility. Regardless, Profar will definitely play in the big leagues for the Rangers and it will undoubtedly be at least half the season. Before the trade deadline, either he or shortstop Elvis Andrus will be moved and Texas can’t show Profar off as trade bait or evaluate him as a starter if he’s yawning while setting records at Triple-A Round Rock. (That’s not a shot at the Express; I’m a huge fan).
Why Daniels is pretending like Profar will stay in the minors is puzzling because even if this is just smoke he’s blowing, it’s not going to benefit Texas at all. Other clubs that are interested in trading for Profar need to know that they will be able to evaluate him. Even if the Rangers already know they’re going to keep Profar and trade Andrus, why would they hinder the youngster’s growth? That makes no sense, so pay no attention to Daniels’ strange statement. Profar may start the season in Round Rock, but he’ll play at least 100 games with the Rangers or some other big league team in 2013 and you can bet on that.
The absolute confidence that the Rangers WILL -- not just should, but WILL -- trade Profar or Andrus by the trade deadline is remarkable.
Jeff Wilson has a story about the Jurickson Profar situation, talking about the Rangers' dilemma about what to do with him, and including this quote from Don Welke:
"He's not a complete tool-shed player, but he's an extremely instinctive player," said Don Welke, a senior special assistant to general manager Jon Daniels. "He loves challenges and can meet the challenges. He's done it wherever he's been."
Put me in the group of people who think Profar starts the season in the minors.
Richard Durrett writes that David Murphy is expected to play against lefties this season, and showed last year he could hit them. We'll see how that goes. With Craig Gentry presumably playing against lefties, either Leonys Martin or Murphy will have to sit against lefthanders.
T.R. Sullivan has a story about the Rangers' outfield situation, with Ron Washington saying that David Murphy is his everyday leftfielder, while Leonys Martin, Julio Borbon and Craig Gentry are all battling for the centerfield job.
Anthony Andro writes that the focus of yesterday's team meeting was on team unity.
Durrett has a blog post about the Maddux Brothers working together with the team's pitchers.
Speaking of team's pitchers, Andro writes that there are questions about the Rangers' bullpen after Joe Nathan and Jason Frasor, but that Nathan and Frasor have confidence in the rest of the relievers. When Jason Frasor is one of your two proven locks in the bullpen, that puts the bullpen in the "kinda concernin', you guys" category.
Also speaking of pitchers, we've discussed the primary challenge Alexi Ogando has in being a successful starting pitcher -- the fact that he's basically a two-pitch pitcher. Going back to a starting role this year, Ogando is not just working on his changeup, but is also looking to add a pitch he can throw inside to righthanders.
Also on pitchers, Rick Gosselin has a column on Robbie Ross, and how he learned on the job last season to become one of the team's most effective relievers.
Joey Gallo is experiencing his first professional spring training, and is enjoying it.
Drew Davison has notes, which include stuff on David Murphy hitting lefties, Lance Berkman getting ready at his own pace, and the team having put last season's collapse behind them.
The DMN blog has a collection of links from yesterday's day in camp.
Sullivan's notes have Jake Brigham talking about how he's healthy and happy to be back with Texas, Washington talking to the team, and Lance Berkman.