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Friday a.m. stuff

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A win yesterday afternoon to keep from being swept by the Padres, and the Rangers are now just a half game back of Oakland, and 6.5 games up on last place Anaheim.

The Rangers start a six game road trip today, playing three at Colorado and three at San Fran, before coming home for nine games against Houston, Toronto and Minnesota leading into the All-Star Break. With the exception of Minnesota, these are all teams that are basically .500 or a little better...if the Rangers are serious about contending, they need to post a winning record from now until the ASB.

There are apparently discussions about jiggling the lineup, moving Mark DeRosa to the #2 slot, with Young, Teixeira and Blalock hitting 3-4-5.

I like the idea of that 3-4-5 grouping, although slotting DeRosa in at #2 does cause some concern. Buck Showalter is saying that DeRosa is now in the same category as Young, Teixeira and Blalock, as a guy who is going to be in the lineup 99% of the time.

And while DeRosa has been great so far this season, the fact remains that he's a guy over 30 with a long track record of mediocrity, and I have some serious doubts about whether he is going to continue to hit like this. As a point of reference, last year's 30-something career-mediocrity who broke out early, David Dellucci, had a .265/.409/.519 line as of June 23, 2005, before slumping in the second half of the season.

DeRosa's line right now is .341/.399/.514, with less than 200 plate appearances on the season. He's not walking a lot, but rather, seems to be doing a Mike Young imitation, getting a ton of hits and racking up doubles. The question is whether this is a sustainable change, or whether the second half DeRosa is going to be more along the lines of his career .273/.330/.399 line.

Personally, I tend towards the latter point of view...and while I don't have a problem with DeRosa being in the lineup every day while he's posting a 900+ OPS, if and when he starts hitting like the old DeRosa, Buck is going to have to be quick to put him back in a utility role.

Evan Grant's chat transcript from yesterday is up. The most interesting items, to me, are Grant saying that the Rangers couldn't have gotten Akinori Otsuka for just Adrian Gonzalez and Terrmel Sledge, and that the Rangers would be willing to consider moving Kevin Mench in a deal this summer. Grant also doesn't sound optimistic about Fabio Castro sticking on the 25 man roster...

Kat O'Brien says that Robinson Tejeda feels he's got things turned around, and has fixed some mechanical issues that were contributing to his wildness. If Tejeda can come back up and pitch like he did for the Phillies last year, he'd be a huge addition for the rotation...