Tagged: Pedro Strop

report card

I checked T.R. Sullivan’s blog today, and he had a kind of report card for this year’s players. I agree with most of what he says, but we differ on a few things. This is his report card:

Starters
Kevin Millwood – Manager has already said he is the Opening Day pitcher in 2010
Scott Feldman – What an amazing season.
Derek Holland – This kid is going to be fine. Can’t wait for his next start.
Tommy Hunter – Tommy, meet Nolan Ryan, the resident conditioning fanatic.
Brandon McCarthy – The Big Tease. He has talent but at what point do the Rangers say uncle?
Matt Harrison – He was pretty good before he got hurt
Neftali Feliz – The Rangers will try him in the rotation. Bet he makes it
Dustin Nippert – His numbers will work every year
Guillermo Moscoso – Should be Opening Day pitcher at Oklahoma City

Relievers
Frank Francisco – Needs warning label: handle with care.
C.J. Wilson – Most Valuable Reliever
Darren O’Day – Transaction of the Year
Jason Grilli – Wasn’t the same after he got hurt
Doug Mathis – Can he fill middle relief role?
Eddie Guardado – No finer person in baseball
Pedro Strop – Needs more time. Just not ready
Willie Eyre – Taking long road back from injuries

Catchers
Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Should still be No. 1 on depth chart
Ivan Rodriguez – Would you give him $4 million for two years?
Taylor Teagarden – Should have been in Triple A
Kevin Richardson – He is from Seattle area. He should have started one game this weekend.

Infielders
Chris Davis – Only one other player is a bigger key for Rangers in 2010.
Ian Kinsler – Absolutely nothing wrong with 101 runs and 86 RBI.
Elvis Andrus – He lived up to it all
Michael Young – Turns out he can still hit…and play third.
Omar Vizquel – He has one definite vote for the Hall of Fame.
Esteban German – A nice fifth player if the Rangers had the room
Hank Blalock – Hank’s Homies bid you adieu. It was fun while it lasted.

Outfielders
Josh Hamilton – Obviously the biggest key for the Rangers in 2010
David Murphy – Forget Rusty Greer all right? Anybody think he can be Paul O’Neill?
Julio Borbon – Definitely the kind of player the Rangers desperately need
Nelson Cruz – He is a good player. Can he be a great one or is this enough?
Marlon Byrd – Loved watching him tell the rookies to turn off the football game on Sunday and turn on baseball.
Andruw Jones – Next.
Craig Gentry – Off to Triple A to bide his time.

My take:
Derek Holland: I wouldn’t say I “can’t wait” for his next start. I think if he works hard during the off-season, he can have a stellar year. He has a lot of untapped potential.
C.J. Wilson: I would not call him the most valuable reliever. I think with C.J., you never know what you’re gonna get.
Pudge: I don’t think it will take that much money. I think $3 million for 2 years, or if the Rangers aren’t sure how long he’ll last, then around $1.5 mil for 1 year.
Ian Kinsler: His runs scored and RBIs are good, but he needs to be more reliable. And, most importantly, he needs to work on his swing in the off-season and find out whyhe’s popping everything up!!!
Esteban German: I don’t think it’s an “if the Rangers have room” situation. I think they’ll definitely need a bench player who can step up if anyone gets injured, and who can spell all 4 infielders at regular intervals. He has played mainly 2B and 3B, but he has big league experience at SS and 1B as well. He’s a true utility infielder.
Josh Hamilton: I don’t agree that he’s “obviously the biggest key for the Rangers in 2010.” If he can perform, it will be great, but I don’t think we can depend on him to perform. You can never predict injuries. I don’t want to trade him, because I think he’s a great addition to a team, whether he can play or not. And when he’s good, he’s really good. But look what this Rangers team did this year without Josh Hamilton!
Julio Borbon: I wouldn’t say that the Rangers “desperately need” someone like Borbon. Borbon has a great OBP, and he’s excellent at stealing bases and manufacturing runs. But he’s got a weak arm for an outfielder, and he’s not good against LHP. Borbon is a lefty outfielder, and we already have Josh Hamilton and David Murphy that are left handed outfielders.
Craig Gentry: Gentry can be the perfect center fielder that the Rangers “desperately need” in 2011, but he needs more experience. If the Rangers decide to take a chance on Gentry like they did on Elvis, it could pay some amazing dividends. But I’m betting that the Rangers put Gentry in AAA all next year.
Marlon Byrd: I don’t know anything about the rookies watching football, but I think Marlon is the “biggest key for the Rangers in 2010.” We need him next year. Not only is he an amazing player, he’s a revitalizing force in the clubhouse.

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Well, there’s always next year…

Michael Young
With the Rangers’ loss to the Angels last night (5-2 Angels), they officially have no chance of making it to the post-season. Which is probably good at this point. They all just seem to be too tired to play much longer. Except Michael Young, who had a 3-week “vacation” recently. And you can tell that Marlon Byrd really wants to play, even though he’s tired and hurt. He had to come out of last night’s game in the 1st inning because of a “right hip capsule strain.” I don’t know what that means, but it doesn’t sound good.
Marlon Byrd
I’ve really gotten the feeling lately that Marlon has been so frustrated with the Rangers’ inability to win, and that he’s been trying frantically to make something happen. So it’s probably good that his body is making him stop and admit that it’s over. I know you don’t want it to be over, Marlon. I don’t want it to be over either. But it is. Just rest and get better and prepare yourself for next year.
Scott Feldman
Scott Feldman got the start last night, and he looks tired too. He battled, but he only got through 3 2/3 innings, and he gave up 7 hits and 3 walks for 4 earned runs in the short outing. Feldman said afterwards, “I’m falling behind guys, and my command is not too sharp. I’m getting into bad counts. Hopefully, in my next bullpen [session], I can make an adjustment and finish on a strong note. I’m really glad I have one more start.”
I really hope Feldy can make some changes and have a better start next time around too. We need it.
David Murphy
Scott Kazmir did NOT get the start for the Angels last night. Angels manager Mike Scioscia decided to rest him in preparation for the post-season and instead started RHP Sean O’Sullivan. In O’Sullivan’s 5 innings, he only gave up 3 hits to the Rangers (including a solo home run by David Murphy in the 4th inning) for 2 earned runs. Pretty good for a rookie who spend a good amount of time in AAA this year!
Michael Young had another 2-hit night. It still amazes me how dependable that guy is. He just goes out there every day (when he’s healthy, which he usually is) and he produces. Every game, you can always count on Michael to make the routine (and not-so-routine) plays in the field and to get some hits at the plate. I’m glad we’ve got him for next year.
Guillermo Moscoso
Guillermo Moscoso came in to pitch 2 1/3 innings after Feldman came out of the game, and he did a great job. We haven’t seem him very much this year, since he’s been shuffled back and forth to AAA several times during the season. But if last night was any indication, I’m looking forward to seeing more of him next year. He didn’t give up any hits in the outing (no hits! In 2 1/3 innings!), with 1 walk and 2 strike-outs. I really hope he becomes incredibly famous, especially since I have his autograph. 🙂
Pedro Strop and Willie Eyre each came in to pitch an inning of relief in the 7th and 8th innings, and I was pretty impressed with them as well. Both of them have had troubled outings this season, but last night’s performances looked hopeful.
Pedro Strop
Pedro Strop gave up 2 hits; one to the rookie Chris Pettit, which was his first big league hit (and I’m sure Pettit will remember it for the rest of his career). He also allowed the Angels to tack on another run. I know it sounds crazy for me to say that I was impressed with Strop after he gave up a run, but he seemed like he was pretty in-command. Obviously the hits aren’t good, but he also got 2 strike-outs in his inning. He’s still really young, but he looks promising.
Willie Eyre gave up one hit with a strike-out, and he didn’t allow any runs to cross the plate.
Game Notes:

Josh Hamilton
*Josh Hamilton will not play any more this year. After a meeting with Josh, Ron Washington, and trainer Jamie Reed, they decided to shut down Hamilton for the last 6 games of the season.

Chris Davis (my husband)
*Chris Davis has a sore hamstring and did not play in last night’s game. He is currently listed as day to day.
*Marlon Byrd said last night that his hip has been bothering him for 3 weeks, but that he will show up tonight and try to play. So I guess we’ll find out more tonight about whether or not he’ll be back.
     Craig Gentry

Craig Gentry.jpg*Craig Gentry did a good job in center field last night after Marlon Byrd came out of the game. He has a really strong & accurate arm, his bat just needs to catch up.
 
*This team is just distraught. They’re obviously not happy with their performance of late, and this is really not how they wanted to end the season. They obviously wanted to make it to the post-season. Their first choice was to take the AL West, but if they couldn’t do that, they wanted to win the Wild Card. If they couldn’t do either of those, they at least wanted to finish strong. They did NOT want to go into a 5-game skid 3 weeks before the end of the season, then spend their remaining time trying (and failing) to get their $h!+ together.
Derek Holland
Tonight’s pitching matchup: Derek Holland (8-10) against the Angels Matt Palmer (10-2). Man, that looks scary. Derek Holland has been both spectacularly good and spectacularly bad this year, so it’s anybody’s guess as to which Dutch we’ll see tonight. And Palmer’s 10-2 record definitely looks intimidating. But I really hope the Rangers can pull off a win tonight; they’ve lost 3 games in a row now, and they need something to pull them out of their funk.

Before Sunday’s game

What happened yesterday and it still makes me sick to my stomach. I had trouble sleeping last night because I kept going over and over it in my mind. And I was there to witness it. Ugh. During the last home game of the season. Fan Appreciation Day my @$$. As a fan, I did NOT appreciate that epic collapse.
Let me start from the beginning, because it’s much happier. And I’m not talking about the beginning of the game, because yesterday’s festivities started an hour and a half before the first pitch.
Elizabeth was supposed to go to the game with me, but some things came up and she wasn’t able to go. So I called all around and couldn’t find someone to go with me. I finally decided to call my friend Rachel, even though I knew she had season tickets, just to get some ideas of who else I could call. But as it turns out, Rachel didn’t have a full season ticket plan… she just had a mini-plan! I misunderstood! So Rachel was able to go, which made me very excited, because Rachel has been one of my best friends since we were 8 years old, and she loves baseball as much as I do! Yay!
It was Fan Appreciation Day at the Ballpark, which meant that from 12:30 until 12:50, the Rangers players were at the gates greeting fans and thanking them. And… JOSH HAMILTON WAS AT OUR GATE!!!

{sigh} Josh Hamilton
So was C.J. Wilson, although he ended up making me very mad in the 8th inning. I couldn’t get Josh Hamilton’s autograph, because he had like 3 guards around him shoo-ing people away, but I got the autographs of C.J. Wilson, Doug Mathis (pitcher), Pedro Strop (pitcher), and Jackie Moore (bench coach). I really wanted to see either Chris Davis or Pudge, because I’ve never met them before (and I have met C.J. and Josh), but hey, I’ll take what I can get! Mike Maddux (pitching coach) and Guillermo Moscoso (pitcher) were also there, but I already have their autographs.

C.J. Wilson
Then we walked around to another gate, and I saw some more players. I couldn’t get their autographs, unfortunately, but I got to see Neftali Feliz, Esteban German, David Murphy, and Omar Vizquel. And I got a great picture of Omar!

Neftali Feliz (center) and Esteban German (behind guard)

David Murphy (it’s dark, but that’s him, I swear!

Omar Vizquel

Pathetic loss in Anaheim

Wow. What can you say to that? The game started at 2:35 Central Time, and I was at work, so I listened to the game through my computer. And I’m glad that I didn’t have to watch it on t.v., because it sounded like it was just pitiful. We ended up losing 12-3.
Scott Feldman
Scott Feldman took the ball for the Rangers yesterday, and this is usually a very good thing. He went into yesterday’s game with a record of 17-5. He won 12 games on the road for the Rangers this year, becoming a so-called “road warrior.” His last start (against the Angels at home on Saturday, September 19) broke the Rangers’ 5-game losing streak. But the start before that (against the A’s in Arlington on September 14), he showed that he could self-destruct on the mound when he allowed 6 runs over the 6th and 7th innings.

But yesterday, Scooter was having trouble from the start. The first inkling of trouble showed up in the 2nd inning, when he walked two batters with 2 outs, but he got away with it. He wasn’t as lucky in the 3rd inning.

The Rangers were leading 2-0 going into the bottom of the 3rd inning. But by the time Scooter got out of the inning, the A’s were leading 4-2, thanks to a combination of 3 walks and 3 singles given up by Feldman. He gave up 3 more runs in the 4th inning before Ron finally took him out. {Sigh}

Jason Grilli
The Rangers put in 6 relief pitchers yesterday, but I guess that can happen when your starter only goes 3 1/3 innings. Dustin Nippert, Pedro Strop, Willie Eyre, and Guillermo Moscoso all pitched scoreless in their relief outings, but Jason Grilli and Warner Madrigal combined to give up 5 additional runs to the A’s (3 by Grilli, 2 by Madrigal). I don’t know what Grilli’s deal has been since he got back from the DL. And Madrigal is a bit of a question mark as well, because he is fantastic in AAA, but not so good in the Bigs.
Game notes:
Ian Kinsler
*Ian Kinsler stole his 30th base of the season in this game, and if he hits one more home run, he’ll hit the “30-30” mark for the season.
Craig Gentry
*Craig Gentry got his first big league start in this game, but he only got 2 at-bats. Wash pulled him in favor of Nelson Cruz in the 6th inning. Nelly also got 2 at-bats, but neither one got a hit. So poor Craig Gentry still has a .000 batting average in the Bigs, and he has yet to get his 1st big league hit. I really hope he can get a hit before the end of the season! Maybe Wash will give him more playing time after we’re mathematically eliminated.
Taylor Teagarden
*Taylor Teagarden was the starting catcher in this game, and a lot of fans are blaming him for Feldman’s meltdown. I think that’s a bit extreme, but Scooter appears to throw well to Pudge, so it is a bit of a mystery as to why Wash decided to start Taylor yesterday instead of the veteran. But Pudge is starting to get old now, so I guess he needs more rest. Just not when Feldman’s on the mound any more, m’kay?
Josh Hamilton
*Josh Hamilton is expected to rejoin the Rangers’ lineup against Tampa Bay this weekend, either tonight or tomorrow night. Yay, Josh! Michael Young isn’t quite ready to come back yet, although he does hope to get into a game before the end of the season. It just won’t be against the Rays this weekend.
Derek Holland
Tonight’s pitching matchup: Derek Holland (7-12) against the Rays’ James Shields (10-11). Dutch will be trying to break a 5-game losing streak, and he’s been having a real problem with giving up home runs this season. He gave up 3 more home runs in his last start, and he has now given up 25 homers total on the season, higher than any other rookie in Rangers’ history. Shields is apparently a really good pitcher, even though his win-loss record doesn’t really reflect it. He just hasn’t been getting the run support he needs from the Rays this season.

I hate to say it, because I’m always supposed to expect a win from my team, but this pitching matchup definitely favors Shields. I still think the Rangers have a good shot at winning, especially since we swept the Rays the last time they came to Arlington, but if they do win, it most likely won’t be because of Derek Holland. It will be because they had hot bats, or were aggressive running the bases, or because of Josh Hamilton, or something else.

2009 Rangers: The Almost-Playoffs Year

It’s easy as a fan to be angry that the Rangers aren’t going to the post-season. And I know that all of the Rangers’ players, coaches, and staff really wanted to make it happen this year. It’s easy for me to be angry because they almost got there. But I have to remember how far they’ve come. And look forward to the future.

*We are already guaranteed at least a .500 season, even if we lose every single game from here on out. How many years could we say that before?

*We have the #1 farm system in all of baseball. Next year we probably won’t be ranked #1 again, but that’s okay. It takes a few years for prospects to develop. We already got some big-league usage out of Tommy Hunter, Derek Holland, Neftali Feliz, Julio Borbon, Elvis Andrus, Nelson Cruz, Scott Feldman, Kevin Richardson, Esteban German, Pedro Strop, and Chris Gentry, who all started the 2009 season in the minors. Just think about how Justin Smoak, Martin Perez, Kasey Kiker, Max Ramirez, Blake Beavan, Beau Jones, Johnny Whittleman, Marcus Lemon, Mitch Moreland, Omar Poveda, and Tanner Scheppers can help our ball club in the future!

*Our pitching was excellent this year, which it hasn’t been for a very long time. And we have a very young pitching staff, so we have years to look forward to Tommy Hunter, Brandon McCarthy, Dustin Nippert, Neftali Feliz, Pedro Strop, Scott Feldman, Derek Holland, Kasey Kiker, Blake Beavan, Omar Poveda, Beau Jones, Martin Perez, and Tanner Scheppers. And we have Mike Maddux for next year.

*New ownership is scary, because nothing is guaranteed, but it will be really nice to finally have some flexibility where payroll is concerned. Some ballplayers are way overpaid, but we can’t expect our entire team to be happy with the league-minimum salary forever.

*Salty had surgery to correct his Thorasic Outlet Syndrome today, giving him several months to heal before next season. So even if we can’t keep Pudge for next year {shudder}, we’ll have a revitalized Salty

*Can I just take a second to say thank you to Jon Daniels for the Mark Teixeira trade? Seriously, dude. Thank you. Can you imagine what our ballclub would look like without Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Matt Harrison, and Beau Jones? And the Braves’ didn’t even keep Tex for very long. Fabulous job, JD!

I was really excited about the idea of making it to the post-season this year, but it just wasn’t meant to be. But I’m really excited about next season. And next year, I can start with my baseball obsession in April, instead of waiting until July, like this year. A full 6 months of baseball!! I can’t wait!!

Game 1 loss against the Seattle Mariners

Kevin Millwood
The game on Saturday started about 20 minutes late because of a rain delay, which wasn’t too bad considering the copious amounts of rain we received before and after the game. Kevin Millwood was the Rangers’ starting pitcher on Saturday’s. He was supposed to start in Friday’s game, but the game was postponed, so he started Saturday. Great. And I thought the weather would be the biggest problems the Rangers would face.
 
Kevin Millwood hasn’t done too well since the All-Start Break. He’s logged just 2 wins since then (the All-Star Break was in the beginning of July, about 2 months ago). He’s pitched a maximum of 6 innings per outing since that time, whereas he was routinely pitching 7 innings per outing before the All-Star Break. The numbers don’t lie.
 
He had 5 starts in April, and he went 7 innings in 3 of those outings, 8 innings in 1, and the full 9 innings in the other start. In his 6 starts in May, he pitched 8 innings once, 7 1/3 once, 7 innings once, 6 innings twice, and 5 2/3 innings once. In June he had 5 starts, and he pitched at least 7 innings in 4 of those outings and 6 innings in the other outing. So in the first 3 months of the season, he only pitched less than 6 innings one time.
Even in his first July start, on July 1 (before the All-Star Break), he pitched 6 1/3 innings. But since the All-Star Break, the most he’s pitched has been 6 innings at once, and he’s only been able to reach that on 4 occasions.
 

But on Saturday, he only lasted 3 2/3 innings, which was his shortest outing of the year. [Well, on July 26th, he had to come out of the game after only 2 innings because of a strained gluteus muscle. So this was the shortest non-medical related outing.] Millwood gave up 8 hits and 2 walks for a total of 5 runs before it was all said and done.

Julio Borbon

With the Rangers down 3-0 in the bottom of the 3rd inning, Julio Borbon hit a 2-run homer to get the Rangers within 3-2. But Kevin Millwood couldn’t shut down the Mariners in the top of the 4th, and when he couldn’t, Wash took him out of the game.

Dustin Nippert
Dustin Nippert came in to spell Millwood, and he’s been having a bit of trouble too it seems since moving back to the bullpen from the starting rotation. It’s got to be difficult to come into a game with runners already on base and try to shut down the inning. Anyway, he gave the Rangers 2 1/3 innings, but he gave up 5 hits and a walk in that time for 2 runs.
Pedro Strop
Willie Eyre got an inning of work in the 7th, followed by Pedro Strop in the 8th. Strop kind of scares me now, after he gave up 4 runs in that 18-10 fiasco against the Toronto Blue Jays on August 31st. I’m sure he has the potential to be a very good pitcher. But it must be hard for the kid to come up from AA and face big league batters. He gave up 2 hits and a walk in his inning of work, one of which crossed the plate for a run. Warner Madrigal pitched an inning in the 9th.
 
In the bottom of the 9th inning, with no outs and 2 men on base, the rainfall that started as a drizzle in the 5th inning finally peaked at a downpour, and play had to be suspended. I waited for over an hour to see if the Rangers would continue their rally, but they finally decided to call the game. 8-3 Mariners was the final score.
So I got drenched, and since my step-dad and step-sister left in the top of the 7th inning, I was alone by the time they suspended play in the 9th. I started talking to this nice older couple, cause I was bored, and we hung out while we waited for them to make a decision about whether to finish the game or not. After they called the game, Manny and Lynn asked if I wanted to follow them to Denny’s to get something to eat. I said sure, and they ended up buying my meal! They were very nice.

The Orioles shut us out? And they took the series??

Oh my. I mean, what do you say to that?

Here, let me put it in perspective for you. The last 2 series the Yankees played against the Orioles, the Yanks swept ’em. Both times. The O’s were 0-6. The last time the Angles played the Orioles, they swept them. 0-3. Same with the BoSox: sweep. 0-3.

And yet in the Rangers’ last series with the O’s, the Orioles are 2-1. What does that say about the Rangers?

That they’re not in the same category. The Yankees, Angels, and BoSox are real contenders. If the Rangers want to be real contenders, they’ve got to beat teams like the Orioles. They have to at least take 2 out of 3.

Okay, this is going to be an abbreviated summary, because I’m just disgusted right now.

Derek Holland

Derek Holland was our starting pitcher yesterday, and he only lasted 3 1/3 innings (while giving up 6 earned runs) before ceding the mound to Dustin Nippert. The Rangers ended up using 5 total pitchers in yesterday’s game. Nippert pitched 1 2/3 innings, and then Pedro Strop, Guillermo Moscoso, and Doug Mathis each got an inning of work. Guillermo Moscoso gave up the other run in the game, in the bottom of the 7th inning.

I can complain about Derek Holland’s meltdowns all I want, but the fact is that the Rangers’ bats didn’t do much against the O’s rookie starter Jeremy Gutherie. The Rangers got 7 hits yesterday, and the team went 0-for-7 with RISP.

Marlon Byrd
Marlon Byrd made an amazing lunging dive for a ball in the outfield, but he didn’t come up with it. I was absolutely stunned. Not that Marlon made a bad play or anything; there was no way he could have gotten to that ball. But I’m so used to Marlon making those fabulous diving catches that it was really surprising to see him not come up with the ball. I still love you, Marlon! Keep on trying!

There’s just not much to talk about with this game. The Rangers didn’t get it done, and the Orioles did.

Game notes:
*The Rangers are now 5 1/2 back in the West and 3 games out in the Wild Card race.

Tommy Hunter

Tonight’s pitching matchup: Our Tommy Hunter (7-3) against Indians’ rookie Carlos Carrasco (0-1). As I’ve said before, Tommy is a hoss, so I feel confident with him on the mound. Carrasco has only had 1 big league start, in which he only lasted 3 innings and gave up 6 runs. Even though I’m very frustrated with my Rangers right now, and they’re playing another crappy ball club (which generally means that said crappy ball club will stomp on the Rangers), I still think we can take this one.