Not surprisingly, the headlines on the Rangers today are all about how Sammy Sosa homered yesterday...everything else from yesterday's game seems to be treated as a footnote...
Which is unfortunate, because Brandon McCarthy made his spring debut as a Ranger yesterday, and pitched two shutout innings, with 4 strikeouts.
It is just spring, of course, and early in the spring, at that...but McCarthy is a hell of a lot more important to the Rangers in 2007 than Sosa is, and it is a little disappointing to me that his performance is being overshadowed by a home run from a guy who, most likely, isn't going to have much relevance to the 2007 Rangers.
Randy Galloway has a column this morning on McCarthy, although it is nothing that folks here aren't familiar with, and really, focuses as much on Jon Daniels' willingness to pull the trigger on risky deals as on McCarthy.
Evan Grant's notes section this morning mentions that McCarthy's stint in the pen last year means he had to learn to give up his "maniacal" routine that he used to go through prior to starts.
The more I hear and read about McCarthy, the more I think that he's going to be better in the rotation than last year's bullpen numbers suggest. He's talked a lot about how uncomfortable he was pitching out of the bullpen, and pitchers who have several quality pitches -- such as McCarthy -- oftentimes don't fare as well out there as guys with one dominant pitch backed up by a serviceable second pitch. A lot of folks cooled on McCarthy because of a middling ERA out of the pen last year, but he appears to have the profile of a pitcher who is going to be a lot better suited to starting than to pitching in relief.
Dave Sessions has an article on Sosa homering, although Luke Hudson, the Royal pitcher who gave up the homer, didn't sound that impressed:
Grant also has a Sosa story in the DMN.
Also from Sessions, Bruce Chen impressed with his performance yesterday, and Mark Connor is continuing to rave about Jamey Wright's stuff this spring.
T.R. Sullivan has some minor league notes up, with the first segment being on Nate Gold. I think the original headline the Ranger website had up for this piece -- which suggested that Gold was the Ranger DH of the future -- was rather misleading, since Sullivan just says that a year in AAA like the one Gold had last year in AA could put him in the mix for the DH job in 2008. Gold is the same age as Mark Teixeira, Jason Botts, and Hank Blalock, and still hasn't played above AA...he is someone to keep an eye on, and may be a late bloomer, but the chances of him ever being a legit major league regular are very slim.