Evan Grant did a chat session today, and you can read the replay here. Some excerpts and thoughts:
Comment from B Kile: When will it be time to fire the hitting coach?
I'd like to remind B Kile that the Rangers are currently first in the A.L. in runs, hits, triples, average, OBP, OPS wOBA and total bases, second in slugging and wRC+, third in OPS+ doubles and steals, and fourth in home runs. And as Evan mentions in his response to the question, if Scott Coolbaugh were fired, that would mean the Rangers would be on their fifth hitting coach in less than four seasons.
Comment from Bennie: Do you think Feliz has any chance whatsoever to get his rotation spot back if Oswalt continues to struggle? Would they consider putting the second coming of Rich Harden otherwise known as Roy Oswalt in the pen if he keeps this up or will they simply release him?
Evan Grant: Yeah, I do. The Rangers have said in the last week they plan to prepare Feliz as if he would start - at least for the time being. Oswalt makes an important start against Minnesota on Sunday. If he allows the TWINS a dozen hits, there are real issues. And given the team's delicate trading position (want to hold on to the prospects/doesn't have much budget room to take on salary), Feliz might be the best replacement option.
Comment from Greg: Hey Evan, so just how worried do you think the Rangers should be at this point about Roy Oswalt?
Evan Grant: There is legitimate concern. 13 hits in back to back games would worry anybody. The 13 hits the White Sox piled up against him on Tuesday were all struck solidly. Again, Minnesota is a real test. If he gives up bunches of hits to the Twins, then you can more safely assume it's not the hitters, but the pitcher.
Comment from Wonkothesane: If the Rangers were to deal for a starter like Greinke or Hamels, does Oswlt go to long relief or get released?
Evan Grant: If the Rangers go for Greinke or Hamels, my guess is it is because Oswalt is a flop. Considering the Rangers are paying him $100,000 per start for his next nine starts, cutting ties with him at that point might be more financially sound.
Evan Grant had been one of the biggest proponents of the Rangers getting Oswalt, dating back to when Houston was dealing Oswalt in 2010, so his lack of optimism right now about Oswalt is noteworthy. That said, his mention in the first question about the Rangers' lack of budget room to add Hamels or Greinke highlights an issue...the decision to sign Oswalt likely knocked the Rangers out of contention to deal for either Hamels or Greinke. They seemingly made the decision they'd rather spend the money to add someone that I think even they thought profiled as a mid-rotation starter, rather than spend the money (and the prospects) to add a legit TORP. And that's one of the reasons I thought at the time that signing Oswalt was a questionable move.
Comment from EvanCurtis: Looking at the long-term. What do you do with Profar?
Evan Grant: Unless, I make progress with Andrus on a long-term deal, which I think is unlikely, I hold on to Profar for dear life and find him a spot on the big league roster sometime next year. Whether it's as the utility guy or the second baseman (with Kinsler moving to OF), I'm not sure, but I hold him.
I think Profar in 2013 is either 1) the starting 2B, with Kinsler going to left field, 2) the starting SS, with Elvis Andrus traded (and it makes me sad to even type that possibility), or 3) in AAA. I don't think there is any chance in the world that the Rangers are going to have a 19 year old phenom in the major leagues riding the bench as a guy who would play once or twice a week.
Comment from Mick: Evan, I twittered you this the other day and didn't hear back from you, but what about Oswalt and Feldman for Cole Hamels?
Someone needs to tell Mick those questions are only appropriate for T.R. Sullivan's Inbox column.
Anyway, there's a lot more there, probably another 30-35 questions, that are worth checking out. So, uh, check it out.