Evan Grant has his "mid-spring" roster analysis here and here today. In it he mentions a possible middle reliever for backup catcher trade, the triangle of spareness that is Jerry Hairston, Matt Kata and Marlon Byrd, Joaquin Benoit possibly being a setup man because of his spring relative to Frankie Francisco's and Wes Littleton's, and Jamey Wright looking at the #4 spot because he has more talent than Kam Loe or Bruce Chen and more experience than Rob Tejeda.
Not to harp on the spring training performance as overwhelming decision-maker, and I'm not saying it should have zero sway, but every guy mentioned there has been in pro ball for at least five years, most of them significantly more. None of them qualify for rookie status, and only Littleton can be considered a prospect. I just don't get it. And for that matter, they are going to split Brandon McCarthy and Tejeda up in the rotation because Jamey Wright is so much more reliable? Huh? I would use this plan as evidence that if they wanted to win this year, they should have looked for a higher quality fifth starter, rather than assuming that Loe or Josh Rupe could handle it. If the fifth starter role were so much less significant than the fourth, why is it so easy for them to slide Tejeda back? Grant also regards Sammy Sosa as a success this spring. I think it would probably be best to just avoid any definitive Sosa statements - in either direction - for several more weeks.
On the DMN blog today Richard Durrett calls Tejeda's start a big one.
In his mailbag last night T.R. Sullivan pushed for a rotation that includes Tejeda and Loe, saying "their time has come". I agree with him, although it won't make me completely upset to see if Jamey Wright can get things back together and have Loe still in the holster. I would point out, though, that giving the 33 year old Wright, who has been dreadful for the last two years, a trial run should be met with a similar response to what giving Sammy Sosa a similar trial should get. It doesn't seem to be, though. Sullivan also says that the Rangers have been disappointed with the kinds of offers they've gotten for Akinori Otsuka. That doesn't surprise me either. I think that the perception by Rangers fans of his trade value has been overstated.
And elsewhere, firejoemorgan.com laments Ozzie Guillen's lamebrained scheme of leading off his batting order versus right handed pitchers with two all-time stathead favorites Scott Podsednik and Darin Erstad. I'm starting to think that Ozzie is actually pretty good for baseball in a 'despite their differences everyone can come together and hate the Yankees' sort of way.