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Monday a.m. things

With camp having kicked off, we are suddenly getting bursts of Rangers stuff on the interwebs...

Jeff Wilson writes about the Rangers' need to get off to a better start this year than they have the past couple of years.  Nolan Ryan says that he thinks the Rangers should be able to win 87 games this season, which seems a bit...optimistic, to me.

Wilson also has some notes up on Willie Eyre, Derrick Turnbow, Eddie Guardado, and Brendan Donnelly, along with some comments from Travis Metcalf, whose status (and, likely, his 40 man roster spot) is in limbo.

Jim Reeves has some blog notes from Surprise, including, at the end, the hypothesis that maybe the Rangers moved Michael Young to third base because they wanted to improve the infield defense.  You think?

T.R. Sullivan has blog notes from Sunday as well, with Donnelly and Vicente Padilla impressing early.

Sullivan says that, despite having a bunch of former closers in camp, Frankie Francisco is expected to be the closer in 2009.  Kason Gabbard has been informed that he'll be in the bullpen, rather than the rotation, this season.

Richard Durrett thinks Andruw Jones makes the Opening Day roster, which would likely mean Marlon Byrd getting moved.

Reeves also has some Nolan Ryan anecdotes, including a story from Ryan about hitting Norm Cash after three Angels were hit by Tiger pitchers, and him leaving the game as a result.  Checking Retrosheet, the one time Cash was hit by a pitch by Ryan, he was removed from the game, but it was the 2nd inning, and Tiger pitcher Mickey Lolich hadn't hit anyone (and didn't, allowing just 3 baserunners, all on base hits, that whole game).  It was also Jeff Torborg behind the plate, rather than Art Kuysner.