Sunday, April 03, 2005

Roster finalized 

The Rangers' major league roster has been finalized, and there is one huge surprise...just a day after seemingly indicating that Laynce Nix had made the Opening Day roster, Nix was optioned to AAA, with Chad Allen taking his place on the major league roster.

I don't have a problem with that move, as Nix had struggled much of last year and all spring, and has only a couple of months above A-ball anyway. I thought he was rushed last season, and having him play everyday in AAA is probably better than having him hit .220 in irregular playing time in the majors. Allen provides a righthanded bat off the bench, something the Rangers did need with Gonzalez making the team as the everyday DH.

This highlights again, though, the holes in the Ranger lineup...in both centerfield (with Gary Matthews Jr.) and at catcher (with Rod Barajas), the Rangers are starting guys who are not major league caliber everyday players, and at DH (Adrian Gonzalez) they have a guy who had a decent, but not great, season with the bat at AAA in 2004. For all the talk about what an offensive powerhouse the Rangers are supposed to be, this could end up being a bad offensive squad, particularly if Kevin Mench or Mark Teixeira miss significant time to injury, as they have in the past.

The other roster moves of note...Adrian Gonzalez did make the team as the DH, Mark DeRosa is the utility infielder, and Chad Allen is the 5th outfielder. Matthews is the only centerfielder on the roster, and he isn't a very good defensive centerfielder, which presents a problem, but I imagine Mench will play centerfield from time to time, with Dellucci manning left field against certain righthanded pitchers.

The eight man pen will be:


Astacio, Ramirez, Francisco, Benoit and Colbrunn are all on the D.L. to start the season. Almanzar has been put on the bereavement list, due to the death of his mother. Astacio will be activated before game five, Almanzar will probably only miss a couple of games, and Bukvich and Regilio will be sent down when those two are activated.

To make room for Chad Allen and Mark DeRosa, the Rangers have designated Travis Hughes and Agustin Montero for assignment. Neither should have been on the 40 man roster to start with, and both should make it through waivers, although Hughes will be able to opt for free agency, as this is his second outright assignment.

On the outfield situation, I am glad Nix has to opportunity to work things out in AAA. More importantly, I hope that he makes it back to Arlington. The CF options are few and far between. Here are last year's defensive Win Shares for the following OF's:

Matthews 4.5
Mench 4.4
Nix 4.3
Dellucci 2.8

Nobody stands out as great, and, according to this metric, Matthews is the best option defensively. Mench did best Matthews in Total WS and Batting WS, but since they are not mutually exclusive options, this above information is of little importance. So it would seem the Rangers are stuck(???) with their best defender (according to WS) in CF. I do not feel comfortable with Matthews in CF, but he would seem to be the best option offensively and defensively (the only thing Dellucci does better offensively is isolated power).
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