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Thursday a.m. Rangers stuff

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Well, that sucked.  Back to 3.5 games out in the A.L. West.  And that's probably been the most frustrating thing about this stretch...the Rangers have been hot and have been winning games, and they are basically spinning their wheels because the Angels just aren't losing.

Jeff Wilson writes that maybe the Rangers were due for a meltdown.  Scott Feldman looked awful yesterday, and maybe put a damper on the "no, really, his peripherals don't matter because he induces weak contact!" silliness that has been peddled vis-a-vis whether he can sustain his current level of success.  His ERA is now 3.99, and we're seeing his FIP and ERA start to converge, as would be expected.

Joaquin Arias was called up yesterday because of Ian Kinsler's tight hamstring.  Kinsler is apparently close to being ready to go, though, and if he is, Arias could be sent down to make room for Warner Madrigal, whose presence will be necessary to supplement a tore-up bullpen today.  The other alternative would be to option Guillermo Moscoso to make room for Madrigal.

Brandon McCarthy is throwing off a mound again, and hopes to be back in Arlington by mid-August.

MJH has some thoughts about the various potential trade targets out there.

There's also a roundtable discussion with Bob Sturm, MJH, and Evan Grant, that includes this interesting theory from MJH about the success of Ryan Drese that I hadn't heard mentioned before:

Mjhindman: Of course, I’m pretty sure that Drese was loading up the ball and got a warning to stop it. It was a poorly kept secret that Orel was a greaser.

Grant also says this about the attitude among the players vis-a-vis Halladay:

Evan: I think the players believe Halladay can change the race and the playoffs. I believe they think Halladay makes them the favorites for the division. I’d hate to see the reaction if Halladay gets traded and it’s to the Angels instead of the Rangers.

The players probably do believe that, and that's great, as it shows that they have confidence and believe in themselves.

But they are also wrong...the Rangers are 3.5 games behind the Angels, and with or without Halladay, they are longshots to pass Anaheim.

Evan says that he'd give the Blue Jays Feliz, Smoak, any minor league pitchers not named Martin Perez, and any minor league hitter to get Halladay.  Presumably, that means Feliz, Smoak, Borbon, and Kiker, Main or Beavan.  Too much, particularly given that it is a move being made for 2010, I think, not 2009, when adding Halladay still leaves the Rangers' playoff chances pretty remote.

It is hard to see how, after an 18 strikeout night where the offense once again looked like it was hitting with bags over its heads, Halladay is the difference maker on this team.

Robbie Erlin, a third round lefty high school pitcher out of Cali, signed yesterday.