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2nd place Texas Rangers news...

Well, it is Friday, and the Rangers are sitting in 2nd place in the A.L. West. Yesterday featured another ugly bullpen meltdown, but it all came out okay, and we're now tied for 2nd place in the A.L. West with Oakland, one game behind Anaheim.

I want to say that yesterday's win was huge, although in the big scheme of things, I know it really wasn't. One game in April, against a team that isn't supposed to be good, isn't a huge game. There's a lot of time left.

But emotionally and psychologically, for me, anyway, it seemed huge. I feel a lot better about this team being 7-9 than I would be feeling if they were 6-10. And I feel a whole lot better about the roadtrip ending at 5-4 than I would have if it ended at 4-5, particularly if the last two losses were due to bullpen meltdowns.

So I'm feeling not half-bad about being a Rangers fan today.

Even before yesterday's save, Buck Showalter was saying that Francisco Cordero was still the closer, and that there was nothing wrong with his pitch selection (although, as Evan Grant suggests, even if Cordero has been throwing too many sliders, Showalter isn't likely to say so publicly).

Kat O'Brien does say, however, that Mark Conner thinks Cordero has been relying too much on his slider (something echoed by the media of late), and Grant points out that every hit Cordero allowed on Wednesday came off of a slider.

Cordero says that he's fine physically, though, and that his problem has just been that he hasn't been making the pitches he needs to make.

The Laynce Nix situation seems to be coming to a head. Evan Grant says the Rangers are looking at GMJ as the regular centerfielder, even against righthanders, which puts Nix (who has started only 2 of the last 6 games) in a backup role with Adrian Brown. Given Nix's age and lack of at bats the last couple of years, I can't imagine that the team is going to want that to continue, and T.R. Sullivan indicates that Nix could be heading down to AAA soon, with Adam Hyzdu replacing him on the roster.

Personally, I'd rather see a decent lefty bat who can split time with Nevin at DH and pinch hit than Hyzdu, whose presence seems to be superfluous with Adrian Brown and Drew Meyer here. And yes, David Dellucci could fit that role, but I'd rather have Rob Tejeda than Dellucci. Maybe Erubiel Durazo, if he has his swing back.

Rick Bauer's appearance yesterday apparently has put Tejeda back in the mix as a possible starter on Saturday, although given that Bauer didn't throw many pitches, I'd guess that he'll be going.