Sunday, February 28, 2010

Spring Training Outfielders Analysis

On Saturday, my dad, my uncle, and I drove down to College Station to see Texas A&M play Texas in basketball. A&M won 74-58, and I have to say…GIG’ EM! The game was awesome, and I had a blast. After watching A&M dominate, we went and ate at DoubleDave’s Pizza, which is very good and used to be here in Dallas but shut down.

If you haven’t been reading it lately, you should check out Eleanor Czajka’s blog ( It’s very good.

The Rangers have 10 outfielders in major league camp. I did an analysis of all the outfielders in big league camp, gave their chances of making the team at the end of Spring Training, and predicted the outfield roster.

Brandon Boggs – Brandon will be fighting for the 5th outfielder spot along with Endy Chavez and Craig Gentry. Brandon had just 17 major league at-bats last year, and had just one hit, but struck out eight times (striking out in 47% of his at-bats). In 2008 though, he looked good, even though he hit just .226, with 8 home runs and 41 RBI’s. His defense was strong, picking up 7 assists. With Triple-A Oklahoma last year, Brandon hit .268 with 8 home runs and 47 RBI’s. He has a good shot to make the team out of Spring Training.
Percentage chance of making the team out of Spring Training: 33.9%

Julio Borbon – Julio will be the starting center fielder this year. Last year with the Rangers, he went .312 with 4 home runs and 20 RBI’s. He also had 19 stolen bases and looked really impressive on the bases. He also played well with Oklahoma City last year, as he hit .307 and had 25 stolen bases. There is no chance of him not making the team.
Percentage: 100%

Endy Chavez – Last year, Chavez spent his season with the Mariners, and hit .273 in 161 at-bats, and had 9 stolen bases, before needing surgery to repair a torn ACL after getting injured in a collision with Yunieski Betancourt while going after a fly ball. His best year was in 2006 with the Mets, where he hit .306, his only year in which he hit above .300. He doesn’t draw many walks, though, as his career high is 31. The fact that he is not on the 40-man roster will make it harder for him to make the Opening Day roster. He’s likely to start the season in the minors so that the Rangers can fully test his recovery.
Percentage: 43.5%

Nelson Cruz – Nelson had a break-through year last year, as he hit 33 home runs and had 76 RBI’s in just 462 at-bats. He also was a threat on the bases, as Nelson stole 20 bases for the Rangers last year, while being caught stealing just four times. I don’t think that there is any question that he will be the starting right fielder for the Rangers to start out the year.
Percentage: 100%

Craig Gentry – Gentry had just 17 major league at-bats, and went just 2-for-17 in them, but he is very speedy, and a great defensive player, getting named the Rangers 2009 Minor League Defensive Player of the Year. He had a great year with Double-A Frisco, hitting .303 with 8 home runs and 53 RBI’s, and made the Texas League All-Star Game. He had 49 stolen bases with Frisco, and his speed threat and defensive ability are the two reasons why I think he’ll be the team’s fifth outfielder out of Spring Training.
Percentage: 55.4%

Vladimir Guerrero – Last year Vlad had a down year, despite hitting .295. His power numbers dipped from 27 HR’s and 91 RBI’s in ’08 to 15 HR’s and 50 RBI’s in ’09, the second lowest in both categories in seasons where he spent significant time in the big leagues. His only worse season in terms of power numbers was his rookie season, and the .295 average, although it is solid, is the worst in his major league career. Vlad will be the DH for the Rangers, and really doesn’t have any competition for it in Spring Training.
Percentage: 100%

Josh Hamilton – Josh will be on the team to start the year (unless he gets injured) for sure. But the Rangers are moving him to left field, as the injury risk isn’t quite as high as in center. Josh struggled last year, hitting just .268 with 10 home runs and 54 RBI’s, and got injured multiple times, limiting him to just 89 games. That was following a monster year in ’08 in which he hit .304 with 32 home runs and 130 RBI’s. There’s no question whether he’ll be on the team this year, it’s just whether he’ll perform like he did in ’08 or like he did in ’09.
Percentage: 100%

Mitch Moreland – Last year Mitch split time between High-A and Double-A Frisco, and was great at both levels. In Bakersfield he hit .341, and in Frisco he hit .326. He had a combined 16 homers and 85 RBI’s between the two levels. He really does not have much of a chance to make the team, especially since he’s a non-roster invitee.
Percentage: 6.3%

David Murphy – David has played well ever since coming to the Rangers in 2007. Last year he hit .269 with 17 home runs and 57 RBI’s, following a year in ’08 in which he hit .275 with 15 home runs and 74 RBI’s. He will be the fourth outfielder going into Spring Training, and I would be shocked if he wasn’t the fourth outfielder coming out of Spring Training.
Percentage: 97.8%

Chad Tracy – Like Mitch Moreland, Chad doesn’t really have much of a shot at the Opening Day roster, and is a non-roster invitee. Last year with Frisco, Chad hit .279 with 26 home runs and an incredible 107 RBI’s. That number is amazing because the minor league season is one month shorter than the major league season is. He might not have a shot to make the team, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at those numbers.
Percentage: 7.4%

Predicted Outfield Roster:
Center Field: Julio Borbon
Right Field: Nelson Cruz
Left Field: Josh Hamilton
4th Outfielder: David Murphy
5th Outfielder: Craig Gentry

Next in Line:
Endy Chavez
Brandon Boggs

Come back next week for an analysis of Rangers Spring Training Infielders and Catchers.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Spring Training Pitchers Analysis Part 2

The Rangers have 31 pitchers in major league. This week, I analyzed the second half of the pitchers in big league camp and gave their chances of making the team at the end of Spring Training (see last week’s post for analysis of the first half of the pitchers). I also gave my prediction for what the Opening Day pitching roster will look like.

Brandon McCarthy – Sadly, last year Brandon had the second most major league innings pitched in a season in his career, even though he threw just 97.1 innings, and that’s only 4.1 innings away from his career high in that stat category. Last year he went 7-4 with a 4.62 ERA and 65 strikeouts for the Rangers. If Brandon doesn’t get injured in Spring Training, I think that he’ll be on the team at the start of the season.
Percentage: 63.5%

Luis Mendoza – Mendoza is out of options, and so if he does not make the team out of Spring Training, he will go through waivers. That said, I still don’t think he’ll make the team, as two years ago in the majors (he only threw one inning in ’09, and allowed four runs in that inning), he went 3-8 with an 8.67 ERA and a 1.93 WHIP in 63.1 innings pitched. That followed up a 2007 season where he dominated, with a 2.25 ERA in 16 innings. He didn’t really have that good a year in the minors last year, either, going 6-7 with a 4.53 ERA in 111.1 IP for the AAA Redhawks last year.
Percentage: 28.7%

Guillermo Moscoso – Last year Moscoso pitched 14 innings for the Rangers, and did pretty well, with a 3.21 ERA. That was after struggling in Frisco in his first year in the Rangers organization after being traded to Texas by the Tigers in the ’08-’09 offseason, going 3-1, but with a 4.46 ERA in just 42.1 innings pitched. He has a shot to win a spot in the bullpen to start the year off, but I don’t think he will.
Percentage: 33.1%

Dustin Nippert – In his second year as a Ranger, Dustin pitched very well while in the majors. In 69.2 innings pitched, he was 5-3 with a 3.88 ERA. He pitched in 20 games, and ten of those were starts. He had some solid starts, but he also had some very bad starts. He is on the outside looking in on the team right now, but with a good Spring Training he could force his way into either the starting rotation or the bullpen.
Percentage: 35.8%

Darren O’Day – After picking up the loss in his first game as a Ranger in Toronto while wearing a Kason Gabbard jersey (they didn’t have Darren’s ready yet) on the day that the Rangers got him from the Mets, O’Day was brilliant. While with the Rangers, he went 2-1 with a 1.94 ERA in 55.2 innings pitched. His BAA was an incredible .199, and I would be shocked if he wasn’t on the team out of Spring Training.
Percentage: 98.4%

Alexi Ogando – Alexi is one of the two guys from the Dominican Republic who were coming over to the US and got caught up in a marriage scandal, which caused the US to deny them entry for five years. He is just now getting to come over to the United States. He has no pitching experience in the United States, and really won’t have a shot to make the team out of Spring Training. Like Omar Beltre, Alexi will most likely start at Frisco and get some experience before he can get called up to the big leagues.
Percentage: 3.4%

Darren Oliver – This will be Darren’s third stint with the Rangers. He was a Ranger from ’93-’98 and again from ‘00-’01. The last four years, Darren has been incredible, especially the last two with the Angels. In ’08 he was 7-1 with a 2.88 ERA in 72 IP, and last year he was 5-1 with a 2.71 ERA in 73 IP. The Angels used him in a very large amount of games, as he has pitched in 117 games the past two seasons. This will be his 17th season in the major leagues. There is no way he won’t be on the team out of Spring Training.
Percentage: 100%

Zach Phillips – Phillips is on the 40-man roster because the Rangers wanted to protect him from the Rule-5 draft and does not really have much of a shot to make the team out of Spring Training. He had a great year in the minors last year, with a 1.23 ERA in Bakersfield (44 innings), and a 1.64 ERA in Frisco (33 innings). He pitched in 36 games total, three of them being starts, and amazingly only gave up two total home runs in 77 innings of work.
Percentage: 2.2%

Omar Poveda – Although Poveda really doesn’t have a chance at the team out of camp, he was one of the people Jon Daniels mentioned as having a good shot at making a spot start down the road during the year. He was a Double-A All-Star last year with Frisco, with an 11-5 record and a 4.07 ERA in 130.1 innings pitched.
Percentage: 6.8%

Clay Rapada – Rapada has 27.1 major league innings in his career, and is 3-0 with a 4.94 ERA and 21 strikeouts (and an incredibly high 18 walks, a number even Mitch Williams would think was too high) in those innings. Last year he had a really good year with the Tigers AAA team in Toledo. He went 4-2 with a 2.80 ERA in 45 innings pitched (and 17 walks, which is less than his MLB amount). He probably will not make the team out of Spring Training, a fact not helped by him not being on the 40-man roster.
Percentage: 12.4%

Chris Ray – Chris missed all of 2008 due to injury, and really struggled in ’09, with a 7.27 ERA in 43.1 innings pitched, and was 0-for-3 in his save opportunities. But he was just that good in 2006, as he had a 2.73 ERA and 33 saves in 66 innings. He followed ’06 up with a decent year in 2007, with a 4.43 ERA with 16 saves in ’07. Unless he gets injured, he should be on the team out of Spring Training.
Percentage: 95.3%

Tanner Scheppers – Tanner is not on the 40-man roster and has no major or minor league baseball experience, so he does not have much of a chance to be on the Rangers’ roster on Opening Day. But he has very mature stuff and is close to major-league ready, so he’s probably not that far off on the horizon as far as being on the Rangers active roster goes.
Percentage: 9.4%

Ben Snyder – Ben was the Orioles’ Rule-5 draft pick (Snyder was originally from the Giants organization and was acquired by the Rangers from the Orioles in the Kevin Millwood trade), and so he will almost surely return to the Giants if he is not on the Rangers’ Active Roster at any point during the season. So if he is not on the Rangers out of Spring Training, he will go back to the Giants. Ben has no major league experience, but last year in Double-A Connecticut, he was 4-4 with a 2.88 ERA in 97 innings pitched. I think he will be on the team at the start of the year because the Rangers will want to keep him in the organization.
Percentage: 65.6%

Pedro Strop – Last year Pedro threw just seven innings with the Rangers, and had a 7.71 ERA in his limited action. He did okay with Frisco last year, as he had a 5-5 record and a 4.38 ERA, along with 48 strikeouts in 51.1 innings pitched. I think he has a chance to be on the team on Opening Day, but it will take a lot of work and a great Spring Training for that to happen.
Percentage: 14.1%

CJ Wilson – CJ had a very good season last year, as he was 5-6 with a 2.81 ERA in 73.2 innings pitched. He had an amazing 84 strikeouts, and he also had 14 saves. Personally, I think that he both deserves and should be the closer to start off the year, and if he’s given the opportunity, I think he’ll be dominant. I just hope they give him the chance to win the job in Spring Training.
Percentage: 100%

Projected Opening Day Pitching Roster:
Starter #1: Scott Feldman
Starter #2: Rich Harden
Starter #3: Colby Lewis
Starter #4: Derek Holland
Starter #5: Brandon McCarthy
Long Reliever: Ben Snyder
Middle Reliever: Neftali Feliz
Middle Reliever: Chris Ray
Middle Reliever: Darren O’Day
Lefty Specialist: Darren Oliver
Set-up Man: CJ Wilson
Closer: Frank Francisco

Next in Line:
Doug Mathis
Tommy Hunter
Dustin Nippert
Matt Harrison
Guillermo Moscoso

Come back next week for my Spring Training Infielders Analysis.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Spring Training Pitchers Analysis Part 1

The Rangers will be opening Spring Training with 31 pitchers in major league camp as long as no more moves are made. This week, I analyzed half of the pitchers in big league camp and gave their chances of making the team at the end of Spring Training. I'll finish the pitcher analysis next week.

Omar Beltre – Omar is one of the two guys from the Dominican Republic who were coming over to the US and got caught up in a marriage scandal, which caused the US to deny them entry for five years. He is just now getting to come over to the United States. In 2003 Omar played for Clinton and went 3-3 with a 2.39 ERA, and then in 2004, when he played for Stockton, he went 4-5 with a 2.45 ERA. He was amazing in 2005, and even though it was in the Rookie League, his numbers are still very impressive. He had a 1.62 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 72.1 innings pitched. He could be a key member of the Rangers pitching staff in the future, but he will almost surely start the year off in Frisco to get some experience before he even has a chance to be in the majors.
Percentage of making the team out of Spring Training: 5.6%

Willie Eyre – Willie is at Spring Training as a non-roster invitee, which will make it harder for him to make the team, since they would have to add him to the 40-man roster for him to be able to do so. Last year he pitched just 18 innings with the Rangers, with a 4.50 ERA in that limited time period. He was great in Oklahoma, though, with a 2.10 ERA in 34.1 innings. He has a fairly decent chance at the team, though, as, even though his stats don’t show it (4-6, 5.16), he had a very good year in the majors with the Rangers in 2007.
Percentage: 19.3%

Scott Feldman – Scott was the best pitcher on the team last year, and will most likely be the number one starter out of Spring Training this year, as last year he went 17-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 189.2 innings pitched. And the amazing this about it is, he wasn’t even a starter the first month of the year, because Kris Benson was starting. His ERA as a starter was below 4.00, and he was incredibly consistent, earning the 2009 Rangers Pitcher of the Year. He had an incredible .250 batting average against, which is right where you want your best pitcher at, as that was 15th in the AL.
Percentage: 100%

Neftali Feliz – Neftali was amazing last year in the majors, with a 1.74 ERA and 39 strikeouts and just 8 walks in 31 innings pitched. Those are amazing numbers for a ten-year-veteran, much less a rookie getting his first big league experience. He had an astonishing .124 BAA last year, so batters weren’t getting anything off him. That combined with just 8 walks gave him a 0.68 WHIP last year. A WHIP under 1.00 is great, so he blew that away.
Percentage: 94.7%

Frank Francisco – Frankie was the closer last year, and he was great…….until late June. He had an ERA well under 2.00……until July. He had an ERA well under 3.00……..until mid-August. He had an ERA well under 3.90……until late September. His breaking ball was breaking…..until mid-August. He started the year great, and ended it horribly. His final ERA was 3.83, with 25 saves and 57 strikeouts in 49.1 innings pitched. It seems that he’ll be on the team as the closer this year, and we’ll see how it goes from there.
Percentage: 100%

Geoff Geary – Geoff is a non-roster invite to the Rangers Spring Training Camp, and he actually has a shot. Even though he was horrible last year with the Astros (1-3, 8.10), he has had good years. Just in 2008, he had a 2.53 ERA and a .197 BAA in 64 innings pitched with Houston. Two years before that he went 7-1 with a 2.96 ERA in 91.1 innings pitched for Philadelphia, and the year before that, he had a 3.72 ERA for Philly. While I don’t think he’ll make the team, he has a shot at it.
Percentage: 14.8%

Rich Harden – Rich is obviously going to make the team (if he’s not injured) and will probably be the #2 guy. Rich has been dominant when he’s pitched. He has a 3.39 career ERA and has had an ERA below 3.00 in three of his seven major league seasons and has had an ERA below 4.00 in four of his seven major league seasons. His highest ERA was as a rookie in ’03 at 4.46.
Percentage: 100%

Matt Harrison – Due to injury, Matt only pitched 63.1 innings last year, and struggled in them, going 4-5 with a 6.11 ERA. He allowed 104 baserunners (81 hits, 23 walks) in those 63.1 innings, a horrible 1.64 WHIP. He allowed a .316 BAA, after allowing a .300 BAA in 2008. In ’08, Matt went 9-3, but also had a 5.49 ERA. His injury, paired with his big league struggles might make it harder for him to make the team.
Percentage: 33.1%

Derek Holland – Although Holland went just 8-13 with a 6.12 ERA in 138.1 innings pitched, he showed flashes of brilliance, and you could tell he has great potential. That was never more evident than a three-game stretch in August where he threw a complete-game shutout against the Angels, allowed two runs in 6.2 innings against the Red Sox, and allowed just one run in 5.1 innings against the Twins. That’s why I’m not only predicting him to make the team out of Spring Training, I’m predicting him to have a sub-4.00 ERA in 2010.
Percentage: 75.1%

Tommy Hunter – Tommy had a good year last year, going 9-6 with a 4.10 ERA in 112 innings pitched for the Rangers. That was a big improvement (it wasn’t that hard for him to do) in the ERA department, going all the way from 16.36 in ’08 down to 4.10 in ’09. The fact that he only pitched 11 innings in 2008 might’ve had something to do with it, but I’m just saying. His BAA also went all the way down from .404 two years ago to .259 last year. He will definitely have a shot to play himself into the rotation this year.
Percentage: 45.9%

Eric Hurley – Hurley missed all of last year and didn’t throw a single inning due to a shoulder injury. It will probably also keep him from competing for a roster spot out of Spring Training. 2008 was his only major league experience, and he went 1-2 with a 5.47 ERA in 24.2 innings of pitching in Texas. I would be shocked if he was on the team coming out of Spring Training.
Percentage: 10.4%

Kasey Kiker – Last year Kiker was an All-Star in Frisco and was deserving. Although his record was not outstanding, at 7-7, he had a 3.86 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 126 innings pitched. His control took a major dip from ’08 in Bakersfield. He either walked or hit 36 more batters in ’09 than he did in ’08, while only pitching 4.1 innings. He’s in major league camp so that he can benefit from the experience and is not a legitimate contender to make the team.
Percentage: 2.3%

Michael Kirkman – Last year was a really good year for Michael, especially in his time in Bakersfield. His combined stats between Frisco and Bakersfield were solid, going 9-8 with a 3.48 ERA, striking out 118 in 144.2 innings. With the Blaze, Kirkman dominated, going 4-1 with a 2.06 ERA before getting called up to Frisco, where he went 5-7 with a 4.19 ERA, which, although it isn’t as good as 2.06, still is a solid ERA. They are not looking at him for the major league team yet, and he is only on the 40-man roster so that they could protect him from the Rule-5 draft.
Percentage: 5.1%

Colby Lewis – I cannot find Colby Lewis’ 2009 Japanese stats, but in 2008, for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, Colby went 15-8 with a 2.68 ERA in 178 innings pitched. Colby dominated in Japan, and apparently got some new pitches, and with the Rangers seemingly so high on him, I would be shocked if he wasn’t on the team. He will most likely be the #3 starting pitcher in the rotation.
Percentage: 94.7%

Warner Madrigal – Warner had a horrible year last year, with a 9.95 ERA in 12.2 innings, and just couldn’t get anybody out. He did this after looking very good the year before, with a 4.75 ERA in 36 innings during his rookie season. His control was horrible in ’09, walking 12 batters and striking out just five in just his 12.2 innings of work. He’ll need a lights-out camp to make the team out of Spring Training.
Percentage: 24.8%

Doug Mathis – Doug looked very good last year, and deserves to make the team but, despite his 3.16 ERA and .244 BAA in his 42.2 innings in ’09, I predict he’ll be the odd man out to make room for Ben Snyder. He’s very valuable, because he can come in and do some good long inning work out of the pen, and he can also make spot starts in case of an injury and be successful in those. I hope he makes the team, and he has a great chance to do so.
Percentage: 48.9%

Come back next week for my Spring Training Pitchers Analysis Part Two.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Newberg Bound Edition Release Party #2

Last Tuesday night, my dad, my granddad, and I went to the second Newberg Report Bound Edition Release Party, at Sherlock’s Pub in Dallas. It was a great night, with Michael Young, Chuck Greenberg (the new Rangers owner), and Jake Krug (Rangers assistant director of player development) answering questions for over two hours. Chuck Morgan emceed the Q&A to make it even better. And there was a charity auction for Wipe Out Kids Cancer that raised over $12,000.

We got there at about 5pm so that we could get a good table and eat dinner before the event. The Q&A session started at about 6:15 with Jake Krug and he was quickly joined by Chuck Greenberg. Michael Young arrived later and started taking questions after the charity auction was over.

Chuck Morgan and Jamey were nice enough to let me ask the first question to each of the three guests. Here are the four questions I asked.

To Jake: Can you please say what the major focus areas are for developing players at each level, beginning with the Rookie level and going to triple-A?
Answer: I think there are a lot of different dynamics to that question. There are different types of players, from 16-year-old Dominican players who have no feel for the English language to 18-year-old high school players that come in many different forms as far as maturity level to your polished college guys, and even then you can have some college guys who need time to mature. Our philosophy is that everyone has their own path and their own timeframe on when they’re going to get there. Some guys move very fast, some guys move very slow, and that’s fine either way. Obviously, we prefer guys to move fast. You’ve got guys like Martin Perez and Neftali Feliz who are special and can skip a level and other guys who go level-to-level or even repeat levels. Every guy’s different and one of our major focuses is to realize that everybody’s different and each guy goes at their own pace and to be patient with them.

To Chuck Greenberg: What ideas have you implemented at the minor league level related to the fan experience that you might suggest implementing at the major league level?
Answer: That’s a great question. I think the fan experience is a very broad subject because it goes beyond the walls of the ballpark. I think the fan experience is about a feeling that exists between a franchise and the community, a feeling that it’s a shared journey, that we’re all in it together, that we have the same objectives, that we care in the same way, and that this is important to us and enriches all of our lives. That’s a feeling that transcends geographic boundaries. In terms of the fan experience within the ballpark, I think it has to do with having an obsessive desire to do everything we can to make the experience perfect, recognizing that it’s impossible to be perfect but it’s essential to strive to be the very best you can be. It’s being open to suggestions, whether they come from fans or from the media or from our business partners. If there’s an idea that can make us better, we want to hear about it because we want to be the best that we can be. We certainly take what happens between the white lines very seriously but we’re not going to take ourselves seriously at all. We’re going to have fun, we’ll always have the utmost respect for the game, and we’re going to do everything we can to try to bring our players to the community. Because the players are great guys. One of the best parts of being involved in baseball is the people in the game - the managers, the players, the scouts, the coaches, everybody. And the more that we can bring forth everyone’s personalities to our fans, the more there is that shared experience between the organization and the fans and the more we’re all one, and that’s the way I try to do things.

To Chuck Greenberg: There’s already been talk about moving the High-A team from Bakersfield next year, so is there a good chance that we’ll see the High-A team in Myrtle Beach next year?
Answer: That’s far too professional a question. In Myrtle Beach, our organization has a great relationship with the Braves. We’re looking forward to this season. All of my attention has been focused on what we need to do to get this (the Rangers deal) done and we’ll turn to that later. Obviously we’ll look at everything with an open mind.

To Michael: Is there anything specific that you’ve been working on this offseason and if so what is it?
Answer: Having a healthy hamstring to start. To be honest with you, really just sharpening up parts of my game that I think are weaknesses. Base stealing is still a weakness for me and I know I can get much better at it. Going in knowing I’ll be working at third base is a huge advantage for me as opposed to last year where I had to get in there and get used to it. I do have a lot of clear goals heading into this year but defense and base running are probably tops on the list.

Here are some of the other highlights from the Q&A session.

From Chuck Greenberg:

- When asked by Jamey why he bought the Rangers now instead of waiting for Pittsburgh to go on the market, he said he believes that the Rangers are the most attractive opportunity on every level in all of sports right now. Baseball’s his favorite sport and he believes the Rangers are the greatest sleeping giant in major league baseball and all of sports.
- When asked how he determines the value of a franchise, he said there’s no science to it. You look at what’s happened with other franchises, revenue of the franchise, and what you think the potential is. He said that this is an incredible market, the largest in baseball to only have one team, and there’s a lot of potential.
- He expects to win the division and wouldn’t trade our roster or farm system for anything. It has outstanding young players and great veterans.
- When asked whether he plans to spend equal to the size of the market, he said ‘absolutely’ but pointed out that it doesn’t happen day one. He said the best role models are the Phillies and the Angels.
- He thinks the ballpark is beautiful but that it needs to be refreshed and updated. The best example is the need for a new video board, which is very dated. We won’t see it in 2010 but he expects to have some changes in place by opening day 2011.
- One of Chuck’s fondest memories is from when he was a kid and went to Photo Day at Forbes Field. He still has pictures of himself with Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, and Maury Wills.
- He’s in favor of mass transit to the ballpark but hasn’t had the chance to look into it yet.
- He has a mindset that this is the fans’ franchise and he’s just operating it for them.
- Regarding the heat in Texas and how it impacts fans and attendance, he said that if people are connected emotionally to the team, it will be compelling and people will come.
- Chuck feels it’s important for baseball to be fun affordable family entertainment and they’re going to be looking at opportunities to make the Rangers experience even more affordable than it is now.
- When asked who his favorite Ranger is, he said he loves them all equally. He said this team reminds him of the ‘We Are Family’ Pirates of 1979 as far as their personality and character.
- He’s planning to get a copy of Eric Nadel’s Rangers book to help educate himself on the team’s history.
- Minor league attendance isn’t impacted too much by team performance. In 2008, Myrtle Beach had the best record in professional baseball and set an attendance record. In 2009, he thinks they had the third worst record in professional baseball and they set another attendance record.

From Michael Young:

- The biggest difference this year is that they completely expect to win.
- He doesn’t care where he hits in the batting order. His approach will always be dictated by the game situation.
- When asked whether he hated Vladimir Guerrero based on what he’s done to the Rangers in the past, he joked that he didn’t hate him but he definitely disliked him. He said at the All-Star game, he was asked if he had any good Vladimir Guerrero stories and he said he had no good ones but a ton of least favorite Vladimir Guerrero stories. He said that he never hated him but that he expects he’ll love him pretty soon.
- Their excitement level with adding Rich Harden to the team is on the level of their excitement with adding Guerrero.
- He thinks he gets too much credit for moving to third base to allow Elvis to play shortstop. (I disagree by the way - he deserves a lot of credit.)
- He doesn’t believe in days off. If he doesn’t play, it’s because he can’t go that day.
- When asked who his favorite Ranger is, he said he’d go with Ian Kinsler just because he knows how good he wants to be. He thinks Kinsler’s going to have a monster year.
- His experience with A-Rod was great. He also mentioned Randy Velarde and Rusty Greer as veterans who had an impact on him early in his career.

From Jake Krug:

- When asked by Eleanor about his expectations regarding where Omar Beltre and Alexi Ogando will start out and what their path will be, Jake said that he thinks both will probably start in Frisco. He said Alexi was more of a bullpen guy and Omar will most likely also be in the bullpen but could be an option as a starter. He said neither of them are far away and both have electric stuff.
- They expect to win the West and anything less than that would be a disappointment. The whole mindset has changed. It’s gone to expecting to win 90+ games. The mentality’s turned and that’s the way it should be.
- We’re eight deep in the rotation, which hasn’t been the case in the past. After Feldman, Harden, and Lewis, there’s competition.
- A fan asked whether Colby Lewis has been penciled in for the number three spot and how confident the Rangers are that his success in Japan will translate to success here, given his struggles in the US previously. Jake said that where he falls in the rotation is still to be determined, but as far as what’s different, Colby has a different delivery and attitude than the player we saw a few years ago.
- Regarding the change from Rudy Jaramillo to Clint Hurdle, Clint’s approach is a little more high energy and in your face and he thinks the players are really responding to it.
- When asked who his favorite Ranger is, he said Dean Palmer.

It was a great night and I would like to thank Jamey, Eleanor Czajka, Ted Price, Chuck Morgan, Chuck Greenberg, Michael Young, Jake Krug, and everyone else involved with putting it on.

Come back next week for the beginning of my Rangers spring training roster analysis.