Ok, once again  I feel almost completely out of sorts since yesterday all I did was talk Mavs, I tried to mention the Rangers as much as I could and there are some good comparisons between the two runs.

But today, we are back to baseball...trade rumors (get your salt shakers ready), minor league updates, and short recap from last night.

In fact I will start with last night's game.  Whatever...is all I can say about it.  Yankee and Red Sox games are some of the times I absolutely LOVE having DVR!  The pace of these games are ridiculously slow!  I don't know if it has to do with the style, or front offices asking the players to draw the game out so that more concessions, especially $12 beers can be sold.  Whatever it is, it makes for not only boring baseball, but BAD TV!

The Yanks had a nice dose of their usual luck against the Rangers last night to start that six run 2nd inning off Ogando.  A-Rod might lead the league, if not history in broken bat hits.  The guy goes through more lumber than Paul Bunyan. 

But as I told Bo last night during that inning...the Yankees can have all the luck they want and win every single game against Texas in the regular season...I...we'll take the post-season.

Not worried in the least bit about Ogando, we all knew he would eventually get hit off of and not have a strong outing.  The dude is 7-1, my worry meter doesn't even exist.  Holland tonight against Ivan Nova.  Dutch has really been putting it together as of late and I would love to see him take that next big step and perform well at Yankee Stadium.

In his regular season career, Holland vs. the current Yankee lineup has a line: .323/.400/.585But take those same players against him in the postseason, in NYY last year: .000/.125/.000Tonight would be a great night for Holland to continue his current blossoming.

Trade Rumors

Alright before we begin, everyone get their salt shakers out.  It's still June, so most of this is SALT, come July we will taste more real meat.  I'm extremely confident is saying now that it is no longer a matter of if the Rangers will add bullpen help, but when.  And as I stated last week, don't look for it to come soon.  Remember we are still leading the West. 

Texas has a 3.5 game lead on the Angels!  Yep, I know what you just said...the M's are 2 games back.  But here's the thing, I think it's cute that Seattle is in 2nd place right now...that's right...CUTE!  The M's offense is so bad that Griffey in his prime could out-hit the nine man lineup.  Ichiro is batting in the .260s!!!  The M's have some deadly pitching King Felix, Pineda, Bedard (can't believe I just typed that), and Vargas has been solid tooBrandon League leads the AL in saves.  And I know the old motto of baseball, pitching wins championship, the Giants proved that too.  But here's another fact: the Giants also scored runs.  Pitching is going to win you games, but not when your offense is HORRIBLE!!!  The M's should not...can not...and will not keep up this streak because their offense is going to fail them more times than not.  True that the M's have allowed the least amount of runs in the AL, they have also scored the least, the pitching will keep them close, but the inability to score a run at any time during a game (especially late) will kill them.  I expect the M's to stay semi-close and maybe even finish close to .500 on the season, but just short of 80 wins.  That will not win you an AL West crown.  Look at Oakland as well right now, they are 12 games under .500, in the month of June are 1-11, and have been outscored in those 12 games 75 to 43.  So again when you can only score 3.58 runs a game, your going to lose and lose a lot.  Just ask Bob Geren.  The AL West is not a two team race...yet.

Alright, back from my tangent.

Bullpen options:

  • Recently I have heard the Rangers being mentioned as potential candidates to find a deal with the Orioles.  RHP Jim Johnson and Koji Uehara would make for some good fits.  I like Uehara, he would be under team control through 2014 and would cost less to acquire, but at age 36...I'm hesitant.  Now Johnson, I would LOVE to get my hands on this guy.  He could be one of the most underrated and unheard of relievers / setup men in baseball.  Johnson is only 27 and would be under control through 2013.  Johnson is 6'5", 230 pounds and a presence on the mound, he has deadly command and control.  On the season, Johnson boasts a 2.54 ERA in 20 games (39 IP), 1.00 WHIP, and a 28:6 K:BB ratio. And to make all this fit, the Orioles are in need of a long-term first baseman.  They will likely want to make a run after Pujols and Prince this offseason, but if they believe it's not plausible (as I do), then Chris Davis might be what they want.  Don't think as simple as Johnson for Davis straight up, but for 2+ years of Johnson, I would greatly consider it, especially since Davis is out of options at the end of the season anyways.
  • A few National League names being tossed around: Tyler Clippard (WAS), Todd Coffey (WAS), Sergio Romo (SF), Ramon Ramirez (SF), Heath Bell (SD), Mike Adams (SD), Luke Gregerson (SD), Joel Hanrahan (PIT)
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has tied Texas to trading Julio Borbon to Washington for Coffey.  Then he has mentioned Romo or Ramirez for Taylor Teagarden.  Again there would be some other players involved, but those are both good first sentences to start the conversation.
  • My opinion - Even though we could use relievers like Coffey, Romo, or Ramirez.  Those are back-up plans in my book,  I want to make a bigger splash.  Unless something drastic changes, Texas will not be adding a starting pitcher.  There is no Cliff Lee out there this season, in fact arguably the best available SP right now is going to be Brett Myers.  Texas may or may not add another bat similar to Jeff Francoeur last year, again all depends upon how the next month goes.  But right now all we need to do is go after relief arms.  I believe Rhodes' days in Texas are numbered.  I don't mind Oliver as a lefty-specialist...only.  Feliz is the closer and Lowe is a solid setup option.  I want to add two solid, veteran, battle-tested arms.  Thus begin the discussion of Bell, Adams, Gregerson, Johnson, Hanrahan, Clippard, and even Romo.  Though two Romo's in the same town might not be smart.  Some suggestions:  
    • TEX trades 1B/3B Chris Davis, RHP Pedro Strop, and RHP Miguel de los Santos...BAL trades RHP Jim Johnson and RHP Jeremy Accardo
    • TEX  trades 1B/3B Chris Davis, OF Julio Borbon, RHP Tanner Scheppers...SD trades RHP Heath Bell and RHP Mike Adams
    • TEX trades 1B/3B Chris Davis, RHP Ramon Aguero, RHP Miguel de los Santos...SD trades RHP Heath Bell and LHP Luke Gregerson
    • TEX trades RHP Pedro Strop and C Taylor Teagarden...PIT trades RHP Joel Hanrahan

Just some thoughts.

Scott Lucas who covers the Rangers Minor League system...and does a better than anyone else out there, has his May Minor League Players of the Month:

Hitters

1) SS Jurickson Profar (Low-A Hickory) - Age 18.2 - hit .310 in the month and led all Texas minor leaguers with 16 XBH and 17 BB...check out that age as well, this kid is something special and there are 29 other teams who are interested in him

2) CF Leonys "Cohiba" Martin (AA Frisco) - Age 23.2 - in his first month in the States - .357/.439/.583,,,UNREAL!!!  Round Rock bound soon

3) 3B Mike Olt (High-A Myrtle Beach) - Age 22.7 - likely done for year, but not career threatening injury...Ryan Howard potential power and the Rangers third baseman of the future, as in 2014-15. 

4) C Taylor Teagarden and 1B/3B Chris Davis (AAA Round Rock) - exceptional AAA players, solid AAAA players, that's it

5) OF Ryan Strausborger (High-A Myrtle Beach) - Age 23.2 - Pelicans pitching getting all the attention, but this kid has plenty of claw and antler moments

Pitchers

1) Joe Wieland (High-A Myrtle Beach) - Age 21.3 - 2.12 ERA, 27.3% SO ratio.  Did not walk a batter in the month of May (no walks between April 18th and June 3rd)...Frisco bound VERY soon

2) Cody Buckel (Low-A Hickory) - Age 18.9 - 1.17 ERA, 31.9% SO ratio...showing exceptional development for a teenager, sky could be his ceiling, could be promoted when Wieland heads to Frisco  

3) Martin Perez (AA Frisco) - Age 20.1 - 2,09 ERA, 24.5% SO ratio.  Showing why he is the organizational #1 prospect.  Making progress one start at a time, at this pace Round Rock by late July. 

4) Robbie Ross (High-A Myrtle Beach) - Age 21.9 - 1.83 ERA, 21.9% SO ratio.  Not a flashy pitcher, but still 0 HRs allowed on the season. 

5) Robbie Erlin (AA Frisco) - Age 20.6 - 2.03 ERA, 25.4% SO ratio.  Started month in Myrtle Beach, hasn't really missed a beat in Frisco for Mr.. (cough...Cliff Lee...cough) Erlin. 

The Rangers two most successful pitchers at AA Frisco (Perez and Erlin) on the season, are both 20 years old!!!  That's ridiculous.  I can't speak too much on Buckel yet because I don't know too much about the kid, but he has now caught my eye.  Still the Rangers have the making of a rotation with the other four young man, each 1-3 years away....Perez, Erlin, Wieland, Ross!!!

Finally the Rangers have also announced the roster for the 2011 Short-A Spokane team:

Notable names - SP David Perez (just turned 18, could quickly climb the prospect watch lists), SP Carlos Melo, RP Will Lamb (2011 2nd round draft pick), RP Kyle Hendricks (2011 8th round draft pick), RP Matt West (IF turned pitcher project, touching upper-90s regularly), C Jorge Alfaro (no catcher in the farm system has a higher ceiling), IF Trever Adams (2011 16th round pick), IF Ryan Rua (2011 17th round pick), and OF Ruben Sierra Jr...plus I have heard a hard rumor, though nothing official, that the Rangers 2011 Supplemental 1st round draft pick OF Zach Cone will soon sign and report not to Arizona instructional, but to Spokane.