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Rangers Newsbeat

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Passan: How macho baseball culture wants to ruin Yu Darvish’s arm

It’s Texas. Even the "baseball writer" is the Cowboys beat guy.

Earlier in the month, [Yu] Darvish’s right elbow hurt. An MRI showed inflammation, which was about the best-case scenario. The Rangers should celebrate the fact that one of baseball’s five best pitchers isn’t so myopic to think he alone can solve the woes of an injury-destroyed team that owns the game’s worst record at 52-80. Pride has killed too many arms to count.

And yet it’s still one of the prevailing currencies in baseball – in sports, really – and somehow gets conflated with wanting to win. Take Rangers manager Ron Washington, a man whose candidness is one of his greatest qualities but, on occasion, exposes his weaknesses. At one point, he lamented Darvish’s slow recovery time, saying: “So he’s got inflammation. I’ve got inflammation.”

It got a chuckle, Wash being Wash, and he later apologized for it in a radio interview with 103.3 FM in Dallas. During that same interview, of course, Washington said he wanted Darvish to come back so “he doesn’t quit on his teammates; that’s all there is to me.” And then he suggested what Darvish felt in his arm differed from the diagnosis. And the entire thing spiraled down a wormhole of ignorance to a fetid place where dogmatism and machismo foster every last bit of this nonsense…

even as sources say Darvish’s elbow has improved, and were this a different circumstance he probably would pitch, it’s important to understand this is not a different circumstance. He would need to build up arm strength, pitch a simulated game in Arizona and maybe, just maybe, make it back at the end of September for a start or two. The Rangers aren’t going to tempt Darvish’s elbow, not with the rotten team they field on a nightly basis, not with him making it past his 28th birthday sans a scar on his arm, not with his contract running through 2017.

The District Attorney Posted: August 28, 2014 at 12:28 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, rangers, ron washington, yu darvish

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

C.J. Wilson on Spin Rate, Arm Angles and Exploiting Weaknesses

Man, the Diamondbacks would trade him for talking all this crap.

You’re trying to create the illusion of a white baseball. The faster it spins, the whiter it’s going to look. Most hitters assume that if it’s white, it’s a fastball. Therefore they’re going to swing at the very top of where that ball is going to go – in their mind, where they think the ball is going to go. A perfect curveball is going to have exactly the opposite spin of a fastball, but if it comes out white the hitter is going to react to it like it’s a fastball.

Some guys will throw a changeup that has side spin. Good hitters, once they recognize the ball has a little side spin, kind of freeze… you want all of your spin axis to be as parallel as possible.

My data is harder to get information from than other guys’.

I throw five or six pitches and it’s all shades. Literally, my spin axis is… I cover something like 270 degrees. I don’t have under spin, because I don’t throw underhand, but I create different kinds of spin from different types of angles. I’ll throw a sidearm curveball and an overhand curveball. Those are 90 degrees away from each other. If someone is trying to scout me off my spin data, they’ll be like ‘aah, I don’t know.’ One thing I’ve seen is that my offspeed pitches spin harder than my fastball does. It has a higher RPM. That’s what the data showed when I looked at it a month and a half ago.

PITCHf/x sometimes doesn’t read my pitches accurately.

I’ve been filming my side sessions with my GoPro to make sure my body position is the same with everything. Earlier this year I was tipping my pitches. I found that out by watching video… If you have guys who have walk rates that are preposterously low and all of a sudden they’re in 3-2 counts and taking super-close pitches, they know what’s coming. There’s no other explanation. You don’t spontaneously get a Ted Williams concept of the strike zone, mid-season, when you were basically swinging at the rosin bag before that. I looked at video and thought, ‘there’s no way that guy should have taken that pitch.’ Then I watched the video again with a more analytical mind and saw I was doing something different with my changeup.

I throw everything. I’ve thrown everything in a game, now that I’ve thrown a knuckleball. I’ve thrown a screwball this year. I learned it from watching a Pedro Martinez video on YouTube. He threw an opposite side spin changeup. If you watch his arm angle, it was low enough that he could curve over the top of the ball, and flick the top of the ball. He threw a changeup with topspin, which is a screwball by definition.

You practice every day. This is my life.

The District Attorney Posted: August 27, 2014 at 07:35 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: c.j. wilson, rangers

Monday, August 25, 2014

Choo, Darvish out for season

Capping off a disappointing first year with the Rangers, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is headed for season-ending surgery to remove a bone spur from his left elbow.

There were big expectations when the Rangers signed Choo to a seven-year, $130 million contract over the winter, but he ended up posting career-worsts across the board, with a .242/.340/.374 batting line to go along with 13 home runs and 40 RBI over 123 games.

And previously on Rangers General Hospital:

No official announcement has been made yet, but during a radio appearance today Rangers general manager Jon Daniels indicated that Yu Darvish is unlikely to pitch again this season because of an elbow injury.

Darvish was placed on the disabled list with elbow inflammation on August 13 and here’s what Daniels said this afternoon (via Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News):

By the calendar and how close to the end of the season we are, I don’t know that it will allow him to pitch again. I think it’s critical going into next year for us to put all these injury issues and concerns behind us as we possibly can. It doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense to me to take a risk when the MRI clearly shows there is something going on in there.

There is a difference between playing when you are tired or a sore ankle vs a pitcher when he’s got an elbow issue. They are two very different things. That’s why medical staff and people like myself make these decisions. This not an emotional thing about quitting on the team. Yu has an elbow issue that fortunately looks like it won’t have a long-term impact and we’re not going to let it.

If he’s done, Darvish will finish his third MLB season with a 3.06 ERA in 22 starts, leading the league in strikeout rate for the second year in a row at 11.3 per nine innings.

The District Attorney Posted: August 25, 2014 at 09:05 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, rangers, shin-soo choo, yu darvish

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Athletics Acquire Geovany Soto

TIL Geovany Soto has played okay at times in the past six years.

The Athletics have acquired catcher Geovany Soto from the Rangers, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish tweets, confirming a tweet from Mark Madson. The Rangers will receive cash considerations for Soto, Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan tweets... Soto is making $3.05MM and will be a free agent this winter.

The Athletics already have two good catchers in Derek Norris and John Jaso on their active roster, but Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that Jaso has recently experienced worsening concussion symptoms and will likely need a stay on the disabled list. And as ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets, Stephen Vogt, another catcher on the active roster, is currently dealing with a foot issue that makes catching difficult.

The District Attorney Posted: August 24, 2014 at 05:01 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, geovany soto, rangers, trades, transactions

Friday, August 22, 2014

Reddit AMA: Thad Levine (Rangers assistant GM)

Look at your team. Now back at me. Your players are now injured.

How difficult has social media made it to keep trade or signing negotiations private? Has this impacted your approach to these things?

You identified one of our biggest challenges. This has impacted us unfortunately quite negatively. Used to be that we could tell all the players involved in trades before it became public. Now, that is extremely difficult to do. Last year, Ian Kinsler found out through the media that he had been traded. We felt awful, but someone called the media literally before we were able to complete a call to Ian.

That being said, at the trade deadline, we are all on twitter, because you may be surprised how many trade discussions are inspired or refined by tweets

How much information do teams have access to beyond what we have as fans through sites like B-Ref, Fangraphs, and so on?

Those sites, and others, have done such a phenomenal job. I believe that is why you see so many clubs hiring their employees. Really the only thing that we have access to that they do not is an extensive database from our scouts. We use those sites extensively in our analysis.

What do you think will be the biggest changes/points of discussion with the next CBA?...

...I believe that the next CBA will be centered around discussions about a World Wide Draft and further means to keep payrolls in check on the high end and competitive on the low end.

...How do the Rangers feel about the way Michael Young and Ian Kinsler were handled in the public eye? Those two were incredibly passionate for the Rangers and it looked like they loved this city and team, but it felt very unceremonious when both of them were traded away. Some people observe loyalty as quality in a franchise over winning. How do you balance the wins and keeping the leaders of the clubhouse around?...

I think that you have identified one of our biggest challenges. We have always aspired to have as many impact players year to year, but never aspired to have the same players. That being said, we have learned from every move that we have made and especially those two.

Do you like the “blocking the home plate” rule?

I do not, More importantly, none of our catchers do either. I would expect that it will be modified this off season.

Seems as if the Rangers have always favored the high ceiling flawed player over the lower floor lower ceiling types. Any truth to that?

That is a very accurate assessment

The District Attorney Posted: August 22, 2014 at 05:54 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, thad levine

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Minor League manager undresses during epic home plate tirade

Would a robot ump have vaporized him with its heat ray?

Joe Mikulik, the manager of the Single-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans is arguably the most fiery managers in all of Minor League Baseball.

On Sunday, the bombastic skipper lost his mind, and part of his uniform during an epic tirade with the home plate umpire during his team’s game against the Salem Red Sox.

The District Attorney Posted: August 19, 2014 at 11:46 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: ecdysiasm, joe mikulik, minor leagues, rangers

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

FG: Shin-Soo Choo’s Lost Season

A fan has gotten more press than him lately, never mind Hyun-jin Ryu…

The Rangers signed [Shin-soo] Choo to a seven-year, $130 million contract in the offseason, expecting 4-win player for at least a couple more years. What they’ve gotten is exactly replacement level production. Choo’s WAR is currently 0.0…

Choo’s batting average on balls in play this year is .309. That’s pretty normal, even a little high compared to the league average. But Choo has never been average when it comes to turning balls in play into hits. His career .346 BABIP over 4,000 plate appearances is one of the highest in MLB history…

The District Attorney Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:40 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, sabermetrics, shin-soo choo

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The 1994 strike cost us a terrible playoff team

CONSPIRACY THEORY: Bud Selig cancelled the World Series to avoid this embarrassing failure!

When the strike hit on August 12, 1994, the AL West had four teams with a losing record out of four, with the first-place Rangers sitting at 52-62.

That alone is bad enough, but let’s slap some context on this to drive home how absurd it would have been for the 1994 Rangers or one of the teams trailing them—after all, the last-place Angels were just 5.5 back of Texas at the time of the strike—to make the playoffs. Were the Rangers playing in a division that had even one half-decent team in it, they would have been chasing the newly introduced wild card instead of the division. Except their .451 winning percentage would have put them behind eight other teams gunning for the wild card—another way to say that is the Rangers trailed every single team in the American League for a playoff spot, except for their three pals in the AL West who were somehow worse….

What’s especially odd is where all this poor production came to be a problem. The Rangers went 21-20 against the far superior AL East, and posted a 23-20 mark against the Central, but had all of eight wins in 30 tries against their AL West opponents. They were 20-19 against teams over .500 and 32-43 against teams under that threshold, and their complete inability to beat teams that they theoretically should have was their undoing.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 02:48 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs, rangers, strike, work stoppage

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Chirinos Leads Rangers to 16-0 rout of ChiSox [and Adam Dunn Pitches]

The laugher ended with designated hitter Adam Dunn on the mound in the ninth inning. The 6-foot-6, 280-pounder allowed one run on two hits and a walk. He did not speak with reporters afterward.

“If (Dunn) hits someone, we can’t charge him—he’s too big,” joked Beltre, who added, “He was throwing power sinkers. Obviously, they were too nasty for J.P.” Arencibia fouled out.

My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 06, 2014 at 11:47 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: big donkey, rangers, white sox

Padres said to have chosen A.J. Preller for GM

Good hire. He’s pretty funny in those Sprint Framily commercials.

The Padres are expected to introduce Rangers assistant general manager A.J. Preller as their GM on Wednesday at a news conference at Petco Park, according to a Major League source. The club has not confirmed the news….

Preller was in his 10th season in the Rangers organization, where his current duties have him overseeing the team’s player-development and scouting departments, though it’s in the international market—Latin America, specifically—where Preller has distinguished himself.

The Rangers’ international program—populated by players like Yu Darvish, Rougned Odor, Leonys Martin and Jurickson Profar—ranks among the best in all of baseball. In fact, the Rangers’ 40-man roster has Preller’s fingerprints all over it.

Two of the elements the Padres were looking for in a GM were a top talent evaluator and someone who can make inroads in the international market. Preller fits the bill on both counts….

Preller, 36, was a roommate of Rangers GM Jon Daniels at Cornell University. He got his start in baseball as an intern with the Phillies.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 06, 2014 at 09:32 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. preller, padres, rangers

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tigers Display Focus on 2014; acquire Joakim Soria

The Tigers acquired closer Joakim Soria from the Texas Rangers for two highly regarded right-handed pitching prospects: starter Jake Thompson and reliever Corey Knebel.

You may believe Thompson and Knebel represent a slight overpay for Soria’s services through the end of 2015. A number of executives with other major-league teams would agree. But if you consider the context, you will see the Tigers made an excellent trade, at the right time, in a manner that harmonizes completely with the organizational mandate to win the World Series this year.
How could you find fault with that?

My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: July 26, 2014 at 10:02 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, tigers

Friday, July 25, 2014

Kemp’s agent Stewart on trade talks: ‘Sometimes change is good’

“Eight years is a long time to be in one place,” Kemp’s agent Dave Stewart, the former star pitcher, said by phone. “Sometimes change is good. This might be the time to change.”

Stewart hinted at that a week ago, first expressing an openness for Kemp’s to be dealt to another team, preferably one that would play him in center field, a proclamation that mostly surprised Dodgers folks for its timing; he had played 42 of the past 44 games at the time.

Well, the trade talks are on, and if anything, the rhetoric has been bumped up a bit.

It’s clear things aren’t going the way Kemp sees them. It’s just as clear the Dodgers are starting to see it his way in terms of the possibility of a trade; they are no longer saying they won’t deal Kemp (or any of the other four established outfielders), and they are mentioning his name to potentially interested teams, as baseball writer Danny Knobler first said on twitter.

Five teams are said to have shown interest, or at least talked to the Dodgers, and you can be sure L.A. will keep in touch with those teams.

There’s little question Stewart is right. It’s probably time for Kemp to go….

Word is, via FOXsports.com, which first suggested Kemp’s openness for change, is that they’ve checked in with the Mariners, Rangers and Red Sox to gauge interest. Two other teams, one in the NL, is said to have shown interest. Yet, it may not be so easy. He has $117 million to go through 2019.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 25, 2014 at 03:17 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dave stewart, dodgers, mariners, matt kemp, rangers, red sox, trade rumors

Thursday, July 24, 2014

MLB: Tarp problems at Yankee Stadium

It’s a…

 

Repoz Posted: July 24, 2014 at 12:15 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, yankees

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rangers’ Yu Darvish Pushes for a Six-Man Pitching Rotation - NYTimes.com

Why stop there? How about once every two weeks?

Jim Furtado Posted: July 22, 2014 at 01:46 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, yu darvish

Friday, July 18, 2014

Rangers replace Carlos Pena with J.P. Arencibia to play at first

Tell ‘im, Wash.

J.P. Arencibia hit his way back to the majors with the Rangers…  Arencibia replaced first baseman Carlos Pena, who was designated for assignment after hitting only .136 in 59 at-bats.

Arencibia opened the season as the Rangers’ front-line catcher but hit only .133 in 60 at-bats… Arencibia fared better against Pacific Coast League pitching, hitting .279 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs in 190 at-bats…

Arencibia said that while in the minors, he decided to go “back to what makes me J.P’’ and stop worrying about bad at-bats…

The addition of Arencibia created an odd roster in which the Rangers have four players whose primary position is catcher.

Manager Ron Washington said Geovany Soto and Robinson Chirinos will do the majority of the catching. Arencibia and Chris Gimenez could be used at catcher but are more likely to appear at first base and designated hitter.

The District Attorney Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:15 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos pena, j.p. arencibia, rangers, transactions

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Texas Rangers deal Jason Frasor to Kansas City for pitcher

The Royals simply get tossed salad and scrambled eggs.

The Texas Rangers on Wednesday made their first sale of the season, trading RHP Jason Frasor to Kansas City for 26-year-old RHP Spencer Patton.
Related

Patton, 26, will be assigned to Triple-A Round Rock. He was at Triple-A Omaha this year, compiling a 4-3 record and 4.08 ERA with 14 saves in 34 appearances.Patton has 60 strikeouts in 46 innings so far this year, but has also walked 26 and allowed nine homers….

Patton, a 24th round selection in 2011, had a big year in 2013, going 5-2 with a 1.86 ERA between Class A and Double-A. He struck out 103 and walked just 26 in 82.1 innings.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 01:47 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: jason frasor, rangers, relievers, royals, trade

Friday, July 11, 2014

Texas Rangers catcher Geovany Soto arrested Wednesday on marijuana possession charge


Texas Rangers catcher Geovany Soto was arrested Wednesday night in Grapevine on a marijuana possession charge.

Soto, 31, was pulled over for speeding around 10 p.m. in the 3500 block of Ira E. Woods Avenue, said Grapevine police spokesman Sgt. Robert Eberling.

He has been charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana under 2 ounces. Eberling said Soto was cooperative during the arrest.

Soto is free on a $500 bail. The Tarrant County district attorney’s office filed his charges Friday. Soto has not selected a defense attorney.

Texas Rangers officials declined to comment on the arrest.

“We are aware of the situation,” team spokesman John Blake said.

Soto has been recovering from knee surgery and remains on the team’s disabled list.

Maybe it was medicinal?

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 02:38 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: drugs, geovany soto, marijuana, rangers

Adrian Beltre sets a major league record (3B total bases)

1) Yesterday, Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre set the major league record for career total bases by a 3B and he is 8th vs. the league average.

MOST CAREER TOTAL BASES, 3B

1    Adrian Beltre             4272   Dodgers/Mariners/Red Sox/Rangers
2    Brooks Robinson            4270   Orioles
3    Eddie Mathews             4224   Braves/Astros/Tigers
4    Chipper Jones             4171   Braves
5    Mike Schmidt               4112   Phillies
6    Wade Boggs                3915   Red Sox/Yankees/Rays
7    Gary Gaetti                3881   Twins/Angels/Royals/Cardinals/Cubs/Red Sox
8    Aramis Ramirez             3704   Pirates/Cubs/Brewers
9    Ron Santo                  3667   Cubs/White Sox
10   Graig Nettles             3657   Twins/Indians/Yankees/Padres/Braves/Expos

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 11, 2014 at 11:50 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball is fun dammit, hall of fame, rangers, third basemen

DMN: After 15-6 loss to Angels, Washington gives ‘fire-and-brimstone’ blistering of Rangers

Manager Ron Washington resorted to a fire-and-brimstone blistering of the Rangers after a 15-6 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night at Globe Life Park.

In a post-game clubhouse meeting that lasted about 30 minutes, Washington vented his unhappiness at the way his club has been playing in this current dreadful stretch. The Rangers have lost five consecutive games and 19 of their last 22 games.

“I needed to remind them of some things,” Washington said.

Right-hander Colby Lewis, who allowed a club-record 13 runs in 2 1/3 innings, described Washington’s mood as “pissed.”

Said Lewis: “So am I. For every reason. We don’t lose here, and that’s what’s going on. We have to make changes, and it all happens like Wash said in this locker room.”

Washington said the Rangers have “a big group … that doesn’t know what winning is all about.” He hinted some players have let the losing distract them and used third baseman Adrian Beltre as the example of what is expected.

“It doesn’t matter the situation, he’s locked in,” Washington said. “We’re trying to get a lot of these guys locked in like that. It hasn’t happened yet.”

still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 04:15 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, rangers

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

ESPN: Prince Fielder in the Body Issue

You don’t have to look like an Under Armour mannequin to be an athlete. A lot of people probably think I’m not athletic or don’t even try to work out or whatever, but I do. Just because you’re big doesn’t mean you can’t be an athlete. And just because you work out doesn’t mean you’re going to have a 12-pack. I work out to make sure I can do my job to the best of my ability. Other than that, I’m not going up there trying to be a fitness model.

Prince is looking pretty good.

The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 08, 2014 at 11:13 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: dat booty, espn, prince fielder, rangers

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Adrian Beltre raps 2,500th career hit

Beltre is the sixth player who played the majority of his career at third base to reach the 2,500-hit level. The others are George Brett (3,154), Wade Boggs (3,010), Brooks Robinson (2,848), Chipper Jones (2,726) and Buddy Bell (2,514)

I feel like Beltre is going to have a really interesting HOF case in a few years, especially if he keeps up what he’s been doing for the next couple years. He’ll also make the trivia question of “Who are the four active players in the MLB with 2500 hits” a challenging one.

AADeuce Posted: June 25, 2014 at 01:57 PM | 91 comment(s)
  Beats: adrian beltre, rangers

Friday, June 20, 2014

MLB, the MLBPA announce the creation of the Puerto Rico Summer League

Players from Puerto Rico are subject to the Major League draft, which, kills the incentive for teams and scouts to go there and develop teenage talent like they do in the Dominican Republic or Venezuela. Since the imposition of the draft in Puerto Rico in 1990, the once rich vein of talent heading from there to the big leagues has all but dried up.

But not to worry, this summer league is sure to turn around 25 years of decline.  Problem meet solution.

 

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 20, 2014 at 02:32 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: media, rangers, wtf

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rangers sign Carlos Pena

At age 36 he looks just about done, posting a combined .678 OPS in 249 games since 2012–but if nothing else Pena can still draw plenty of walks and smack some homers.

Put me down for .150/.300/.350

 

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 18, 2014 at 04:03 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos pena, desperation, rangers

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Most Interesting Man in the Minors - Grantland

How does a legend begin?

Jim Furtado Posted: June 12, 2014 at 11:47 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: joey gallo, rangers

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Gallo delivers walk-off in Double-A debut | MiLB.com

Joey Gallo debuts in AA with a big bang.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 10, 2014 at 06:24 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: joey gallo, rangers

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