Two significant items worth commenting on from tonight...
First, T.R. Sullivan reports that Adam Eaton contract talks have been tabled. It was reported a little while back that Eaton and the Rangers were discussing a long-term deal, but Sullivan says that the two sides aren't close, and aren't likely to open discussions back up until after the season.
That's good news. To lock up Adam Eaton, they were likely going to have to moneywhip him, to pay him like a #2 starter, when he's really been a #4/#5 starter throughout his career. Given his mediocre performance in the majors and his injury history, there was no point in paying him what he'd have wanted to forego free agency.
Sullivan also mentions in that same piece that Joaquin Arias and Travis Metcalf have been sent back to the minor league camp, and says that, although it still isn't official, Ian Kinsler has won the second base job.
Second, just in case anyone still is suffering from the delusion that Buck Showalter and Mark Connor are going to give Juan Dominguez a fair shake this spring, check out their reactions after his outing from Friday:
The Rangers wanted to see right-handed pitcher Juan Dominguez show he was serious about seizing the fifth spot in the starting rotation.
So did giving up two runs in four innings against mostly starters for the defending world champion Chicago White Sox on Friday convince the Rangers coaches?
Well, kind of.
Rangers manager Buck Showalter said he didn't see a significant improvement. Pitching coach Mark Connor said it was "a little bit better." Both said they want to see Dominguez build off it for the rest of the spring.
3 baserunners in 4 2/3 IP, and Buck says there's no significant improvement. Of course, if R.A. Dickey or C.J. Wilson had had an outing like that today, Buck would be anointing them the #5 starter.
Bottom line, I don't think Buck particularly cares whether Juan Dominguez can pitch well or not, just like he didn't particularly care if Alex Rodriguez was the best player in the American League. He wants a certain type of player playing for him, and if someone doesn't toe his line and march to Buck's beat, Buck doesn't want him here. He'd rather have a lousy pitcher with the good face in the rotation than someone who can get the job done but who is different, who is a flake, who is irresponsible and doesn't always do everything the way Buck wants.
The Buck Showalter Way isn't about getting the best ballplayers...it is about getting players who fit a certain template. And this is why I have harped in the past on the arrogance of Buck Showalter...it seems like he thinks his way of doing things is so superior, he'll go with a guy who isn't that good fits the Buck Showalter Way over a guy who doesn't fit Buck's cookie cutter but who can get the job done.