Evan Grant has a new newsletter up...and in case you thought the concerns voiced around here about the Dominguez situation with Buck were just paranoia, Grant pounds home the same point:
As each day passes this spring, it's becoming more and more apparent the Rangers are this close (I'm holding my thumb and forefinger only a millimeter apart) to giving up on Juan Dominguez.
He's already fallen behind Josh Rupe in the battle for the fifth spot and may be about dead even with Thomas Diamond. Don't be surprised if Edison Volquez passes him before the end of the spring.
That would all but leave Dominguez out of the Rangers' plans.
Grant handicaps the 5th starter race as being Rupe, Diamond, Dominguez, and then Volquez, and says the Rangers "want Rupe to win the job."
On other things touched on by Grant, he breaks down the option situation for the Rangers' various candidates for pitching jobs, says that the Rangers plan on Phil Nevin hitting cleanup and DHing full-time (ugh) if he makes the team, but also says that whether Nevin and Laynce Nix make the team out of spring training are two of the biggest issues the team has to resolve.
The Nevin-as-cleanup-hitter thing baffles me...when they first got Nevin here last season, they plugged him in the #4 hole, with Buck saying that that was because of all of Nevin's experience hitting cleanup. He sucked, of course, and I don't see that there's much reason to believe that he's going to be that much better in 2006.
But it seems like Buck is locked into the idea of hitting Young and Teixeira 2nd and 3rd, and doesn't want to put Blalock or Mench in the cleanup slot, which means that Nevin is the guy leftover to hit there.