Randy Galloway has a column today, in which he is as effusive as I've seen him about the work done by Rangers' management this offseason. He also has high praise for Mark Teixeira and Michael Young for their leadership roles on the team, and for saying publicly last year what a lot of fans were also saying -- that the Rangers' management wasn't doing enough to make this team a contender.
Kat O'Brien has a write-up on the competition for the 5th starter job, noting that Mark Connor has identified the candidates as Josh Rupe, R.A. Dickey, Juan Dominguez, Thomas Diamond, Edison Volquez, Rick Bauer and C.J. Wilson. It is worth pointing out that, for much of the winter, there was at least a pretense that the fourth starter spot was also up for grabs, but it appears that Kameron Loe -- as expected -- has that pretty much locked down.
Evan Grant says that Rupe looked the best of the three contenders who pitched yesterday, with Diamond having control issues and Volquez giving up a triple to Benji Gil, which would seem to be grounds for immediate banishment to the minor league camp. Grant says that each of the contenders for the spot should get two or three appearances before they start winnowing the list down.
As I mentioned in my post last night, I think Rupe, Dominguez and Bauer are the three major candidates for the job -- if any of the other four won the fifth starter spot, I'd be very surprised.
Evan Grant talks about Nevin's home run yesterday, and laments:
If [Nevin] struggles, he could handcuff the lineup or force the Rangers to potentially keep nonroster invitee Erubiel Durazo. If Nevin can recapture the power he displayed in 2004 when he hit 26 homers and drove in 105 runs, he could be the answer at cleanup. He certainly appears to be the Rangers' first option for the spot.
I don't get it. I thought that the stuff this offseason about Nevin being the DH was just spin, just something that the Rangers were putting out there to try to encourage Nevin to dedicate himself this winter and hopefully find a team that would give them a beanpie and a bag of jalapeno cornnuts for Nevin if the Rangers paid most of Nevin's salary.
But more and more, it seems like the Rangers are committed to going with Nevin at DH this season, even though he seemed to show last year that he's done as a productive hitter. For a team that is hoping to contend, that would seem to be a bad idea...I don't see that the Rangers can afford to have a zero at the DH spot, even for the six weeks or so it would take them to finally give up on Nevin.