Friday, April 01, 2005

LeBreton takes on the Rangers 

Gil LeBreton has a column today on the Rangers' spring...

What makes it particularly interesting is that LeBreton tends to be one of the least inflammatory of the columnists in DFW...he's not a Galloway or a Fraley, or even a Reeves, in regards to his willingness to be openly critical or hostile to local management.

So his column today is striking...he seems, quite simply, disappointed with what has happened this spring with the Rangers, and in particular, with several of the same decisions management has made that I, and other fans, have been carping about...

In regards to Ricardo Rodriguez, he writes:

For all the talk, for instance, that the Rangers' front office placed on giving its young arms a complete chance this spring, its pitching rotation to start the season will include Chan Ho Park and Pedro Astacio, not to mention 40-year-old Kenny Rogers.

Two lousy outings by Ricardo Rodriguez in his final two spring training starts apparently has erased everything he did before that and earned him a demotion to Triple A Oklahoma.

Why? In part, because Rodriguez had options remaining, and Park and Astacio are being paid more and, thus, will get the longer chance.

I had said, from the time Astacio was signed, that he was a lock for the rotation. Nevermind that the last time he was effective was in 2000 -- which was also the last time Rusty Greer and Albert Belle were good players -- nevermind that he missed most of the last two seasons to injury, nevermind that we had Juan Dominguez and Ricardo Rodriguez and Chris Young waiting in the wings...Astacio was in the rotation, and the young pitchers would just have to wait their turn.

This got me flamed from various quarters, and was used as evidence that I am anti-management and simply refuse to give management a fair shot. If Astacio can't pitch, I was assured by many, he'll be released, and RicRod or someone else will be in.

Well, Astacio has been injured and awful this spring. And he's starting the season on the D.L., but only so the Rangers can have an extra roster space for the first four games. Come game five, he's being activated, and will get the start...and will no doubt have at least a half-dozen outings to prove, once again, he can't pitch.

Meanwhile, Ricardo Rodriguez will be back in AAA, his reward for having worked hard all winter to rehabilitate his broken arm, his prize for having been praised throughout camp for being in great shape and pitching so well.

The problem with sending RicRod down, ultimately, is that a decision has to be made on him pretty quickly. Either he's going to be in the Ranger rotation for the next couple of years, or he needs to be cut loose. And I'm afraid we are looking at a scenario where Astacio hangs around, tweaks something, goes on the d.l. for a couple of weeks, comes back, and is essentially ineffective all season...

Meanwhile, Rodriguez doesn't join the rotation until June, has some ups and downs, and at the end of the season, we still don't know whether he can be counted on to be a part of the 2006 rotation. And why? Because of management's infatuation with a washed-up starter, and their refusal to actually put their lineup card where their mouth is and let some of the young pitchers they are supposedly developing pitch.

One other great tidbit from LeBreton's article, on Mark DeRosa:

DeRosa also prompted Hart to make one of his best quotes ever -- "He's done everything except have a good spring."

I thought that was pretty amusing...

Maybe the best thing that could happen is for the Rangers play like crap starting Opening Day. That may force management to go ahead and play the young guys. If you are battling for last place, what harm could be done? Don't get me wrong, I want the Rangers to win. Right now the best way to solidify long term success is to see if any of the young talent can contribute at the big league level. In a perfect world, management would have made the appropriate roster moves this offseason and spring training. Instead they promised to play the young talent, brought in veterans, all while reducing payroll. This is the worst combination possible.
That is a bad article. Hes already assuming the worst for the rangers...give them a break, and give them a chance and if all goes bad then you can talk bad about them......
Cowboys right guard Stephen Peterman
I agree with the assesment of managment here. 3 of old guys brought in coming off injurys are still hurt/infective. Colbrunn, Astacio and DeRosa. Spare me to death! All 3 starting the season on the 40 and the 15 day DL. Thanks for taking up roster spots guys!
This seems like a page out of the Jerry Jones playbook. Don't find out what you have in your young guys. Rather bring in washed up veterans, like Alomar and Astacio. I personally like the addition of Hidalgo but there are some major concerns there too.
It's a long season and injuries happens. It's safe to say the Rangers have some very good backup waiting int he wings.
Anti-management? What has this group done that would make one have a pro-management viewpoint?
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