I'm back, to a quiet Monday, with pitchers and catchers reporting later this week...I'm ready for spring training to start...
T.R. Sullivan says that a big focus this spring will be determining who the starting catcher is, with Ron Washington having said that both Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden will have a chance to win the starting job. Sullivan also says that the Rangers want to install a winning mindset, and need to improve their defense, which, he says, was 12th in fielding last year.
This highlights the problems with using fielding percentage as a measure of quality of defense...the Rangers were one of the best defensive teams in baseball last year, in terms of converting balls in play into outs. The Rangers weren't the 12th best defensive team in the A.L. in 2009...they were one of the top 3 or 4. While reducing errors would be a good thing, it is important to remember that this was a strong defensive club in 2009.
Richard Durrett takes a look at the Rangers' centerfield situation, which is primarily Julio Borbon, who will be asked to replace Marlon Byrd. Borbon should be better than Byrd, range-wise, but has a weaker arm, which I know has some folks concerned about runners taking liberties on him.
And David Brown takes a look at what the Rangers will be running out there against LHPs in 2010, and thinks that the Rangers' performance against lefties could go from a weakness to a strength this year.