Saturday, March 05, 2005

The Park mess and the second spring game 

An ugly box score yesterday for Rangers pitchers. Doug Brocail was awful, giving up 4 runs in one inning. Agustin Montero, who the organization got all dewey-eyed over for no apparent reason this offseason, gave up two bombs in an inning.

And the highest-paid Ranger was terrible, giving up 3 runs and five hits in two innings, leading Evan Grant to speculate about the Ho's future. Grant seems to believe that the Rangers are committed to going at least a month with the Ho and Astacio in the rotation, with just one of the young rotation candidates filling out the #5 slot. Supposedly, come early May, the organization is going to re-evaluate, but it seems likely we'll start the season with the Ho in the #3 slot.

Personally, I don't think the Ho gets released, at least not until the end of the season. Hicks isn't going to want to swallow the $29 million, and we'll have a scenario similar to what we've seen the past three years...he pitches, is awful, goes on the D.L. for a while, rehabs, comes back, is bad, goes back on the D.L. I'm ready for them to just cut bait on him and move on, but I don't see that happening.

Brocail and Montero, I don't expect to be any good, although I don't think even an awful spring will result in Brocail being released, given that he has a guaranteed deal.

Adrian Gonzalez, meanwhile, went 3 for 4 with a homer, continuing to hit well in Surprise, and leading to the speculation that he'll win the DH job to start the season.

I still think that's a bad idea...you would be taking a young guy who didn't hit all that great in AAA last year, whose best quality right now is his defense at first base, and relegating him to a hitting-only role in the majors when he likely isn't ready. I still think Gonzalez gets dealt, and letting him play every day in the field and hit in AAA is probably going to make him more attractive than struggling in the majors as a DH.

I was fortunate enough to be in AZ on Thursday and Friday, and I saw this game live (except for the Park part, which I luckily missed out on).

Two things:
1. The Brocail blow up was hardly that. One hit (by Stairs, I think) was a full swing bunt down the 3rd base line that nobody was going to field. Brocail actually looked good trying to make the play, but it was impossible.

Another hit in that inning was a Texas leaguer in front of the CFer, that probably would have been caught in regular season action.

2. The hits of Augustus were absolute shots--line drive, no doubt homeruns. Batters weren't fooled at all, and he looked lost on the mound.
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