Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The DMN newsletter 

The DMN's latest edition of Inside the Texas Rangers is out...

Some highlights...

Why did the Rangers let Doug Davis go? (And speaking of Doug Davis, there's a good writeup on him here...and I admit, I was wrong for thinking that losing him on waivers would be no big deal...)

Grant thinks that RicRod and Dominguez will be on the outside looking in when the season starts, as Astacio and the Ho will be in the rotation to begin the season (bleah). And Joaquin Benoit's achy shoulder is making it unlikely he'll make the team...waiving him, I think, would be a mistake, and is yet another reason why I didn't like the Doug Brocail signing. Kam Loe, meanwhile, is identified as a dark horse possibility to make the rotation.

Grant doesn't think the Rangers want Floyd unless the Mets eat most of his contract and take back a low-level prospect in return. I hope that's not correct...I'd hope that the Rangers would take Floyd and his contract, if the Mets were willing to just give him away.

Oh, and some fool throws a question in about Gerald Laird at the end, which draws some praise from Grant for introducing the term "Mench" into folks' vocabulary, while not really answering the question (about why Laird has fallen out of favor)...

theMenchcanMash would not be happy about this. *eyes*
I'm amused that losing Benoit, who has never achieved anything and who appears to be nicked up would be a bad thing, but losing Doug Davis, who every major stathead indicator, ERA+, PRAA, DERA, VORP, etc said was a league average pitcher, wasn't a big deal.

If the Rangers lose Benoit, he may develop into a decent pitcher, but the odds are significantly longer than they ever were for Davis. I wouldn't lose a minutes sleep over losing Benoit, he's shown definitively that the Rangers won't get anything out of him.
Hey, I admitted I was wrong on Davis.

Although, again, his peripherals were never that strong with Texas.
But then why is losing Benoit a concern at all? The guy serves up HRs left and right, and shows no head for the game and no toughness. His peripherals, mostly due to being HR happy (an HR every 5 innings or so), are terrible, and don't suggest a fit with TBiA. I don't see why anyone would give a rat's ass if we lost the spare.
For the past two years, Benoit has been just what was said .. Rangers not getting much out of him.

That ignores more than a couple of nice pieces of relief, and tacitly bypasses the notion he has the best mix of stuff on the roster. He's like having a delinquent kid who's expensive and always in trouble, but is an A student. You keep him, he costs you a roster spot. You let him go, he finally excels, and you get no benefit from it.

I'd keep him .. for long relief, where his performance (and his head) are not distractions.
Considering Buck's very positive comments about Laird's catching skills, I don't think it's accurate to say he has "fallen out of favor". When reviewing his 2004 season, one doesn't have to overreact to understand why the Rangers hedged their catching situation with the experienced and inexpensive Sandy Alomar Jr. Clearly, there are at least two viable reasons underlying Laird's anticipated early season assignment to AAA. Further, while both Mench and Laird couldn't/didn't play winter-ball, I see no reason to believe "the link" goes beyond that. While there is reason to believe Buck wanted Mench to take the game a little more seriously, Mench wasn't assigned to AAA the following spring. Unlike Mench, Laird has never had a rep for being anything other than a serious, devoted hardworker and is a guy the organization admits came back too soon last year from his thumb injury. Considering that acknowledgement from the team, I doubt the team would have wanted to further jeopardize the healing process by requiring him to play again before he was fully recovered. That, coupled with the fact that Laird made his offseason home in Surprise and was a daily workout participant in the Rangers facility there this winter would tend to make one wonder why anyone would come to the conclusion that Laird deserved to be "punished".
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