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Monday Afternoon Linkaliciousness

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Some things from around the interwebs...remember, its not a truck, its a series of tubes...

J-JT has some bloggy thoughts up about the Rangers today, a whole bunch of them...this is the one that jumped out at me...

I would keep Neftali Feliz as a reliever long term, where he can affect 60-70 games a year instead of 35.


Richard Durrett also has some of his bloggy thoughts about the Rangers and this past weekend's series up.

John Smoltz has been released, and while the Rangers supposedly have interest in him, I'm guessing he goes back to the N.L.

Bob Nightengale has a story in USA Today about the Rangers being better because the pitchers have been conditioned to work longer into games.

Rob Neyer disagrees with that take, though:

It's easy to overstate the case, though. Especially when it comes to the impact of Nolan Ryan. I'm not saying he hasn't made a difference. The Rangers are pitching better, and Ryan changed some things the pitchers do. So he gets some of that credit, too. But when Nightengale writes, "And the staff was conditioned to pitch deeper and longer into games, going until the opposing hitters let you know you were done" ... well, where's the evidence for that, exactly?

Starting pitchers usually pitch until they start getting hit. Sure, pitchers do sometimes get lifted despite cruising merrily along, but usually they pitch until they get in trouble or they've thrown more than 100 pitches. Or both. I suspect that you'll find a high correlation, for starters, between pitching well and pitching "deeper and longer" into games. The Rangers? Their starters are fourth in the league in ERA ... and sixth in innings pitched. But that's sort of a meaningless sixth, a distinction without a difference. The Rangers' starters are 17 whole innings behind the first-place White Sox and 20 innings ahead of the No. 12 Indians.

Essentially, the Rangers' starters have lasted one batter more, per game, than the Indians' starters. That's not nothing. But it's close.

Neyer also thinks the Rangers will fade down the stretch, because he thinks the pitching isn't as good as it has been, although that ignores the fact that the run prevention has been because of the defense, not the pitching.