TR Sullivan reports today that the Rangers "met as a team" to discuss how the 25-man roster would look at the end of the spring. Some of the results:
– Ramon Vazquez wins the UT infield spot. No suprise there, the Rangers resigned him in the offseason to be the UT guy, and his only real competition this spring was Ryan Roberts.
– The Rangers are waffling between Kason Gabbard and Luis Mendoza for the #4 spot in the rotation now. Both are considered locked into the starting 5 (especially since Sidney Ponson sprained his ankle tonight against the Angels) but the one that is made the #5 starter will be sent down to AAA until April 12th, when a 5th starter is needed. This is probably because of Gabbards horrible spring line – however, Gabbard did throw in an intrasquad game Wensday, and according to Mark Connor looked much better, so we’ll see what the Rangers do. It’s not like Mendoza has been lights out this spring either, after all.
– The Rangers still haven’t decided whether or not to send Jarrod Saltalamacchia to AAA. They still want Laird to be the starter, but they apparently also want to keep Salty’s bat in the Majors, as well – but you can’t always have your cake and eat it too. Milton Bradley and Frank Catalanotto kind of have the DH role filled right now, and Jarrod should not be sitting on the bench backing up Laird – he really needs to be catching everyday, bottom line, so if the Rangers don’t make him the starting catcher, they do need to send him to AAA. I’m for keeping his bat in the majors, but he needs consistent playing time – they can’t keep sporadically jerking him around, like they did last year.
– The bullpen is shaping up, too: CJ Wilson, Eddie Guardado, Joaquin Benoit, Kaz Fukumori and Jamey Wright all have garunteed spots. That leaves two spots left, three if the the Rangers carry an extra releiver till April 12th. It should also be noted, though, that Eddie Guardado is now possibly in doubt for opening day thanks to a flu bug, so that could mean up to 4 spots could in fact be open.
With the cuts of Scott Feldman and Jason Davis, the candidates have recently been narrowed down to:
- Wes Littleton
- Frank Francisco
- Franklyn German
- Josh Rupe
- Kameron Loe
- Robinson Tejeda
- Elizardo Ramirez
Let me know if I’m forgetting anyone. My money would be on Franklyn German and Wes Littleton getting those two locked in spots. Earlier today, I would have said Robinson Tejeda, but I watched him tonight against the Angels, and he was all over the place with his command (which has historically been his problem) – he was throwing mid-nineties, but the command was horrible. He still might have a chance though, because of his lack of options – provided the Rangers carry 8 releivers to start the season (which seems like the plan) he’ll make the cut. I would say the two biggest longshots are Kam Loe and Elizardo Ramirez – Loe has pitched absoultely horribly this spring (including giving up a home run tonight), and hasn’t done much to deserve a spot, and Ramirez isn’t on the 40-man roster.
I can’t think of much else to report right now – I thought I had something, but it’s currently slipped my mind, so I’ll leave you with this – check out the caption of the picture: "Josh Hamilton could move to third in the batting order after his strong spring."
Will somebody please cue Bart Simpson: "Um, Duh!"