Joseph's Rangers thoughts: The Orioles series (5/11)

Joseph's Rangers thoughts: The Orioles series (5/11)

Credit: Getty Images

Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton have some absolutely ridiculous mojo working, giving the Rangers perhaps the majors' best current #2+#3-hitting combo. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

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by JOSEPH URSERY

WFAA Sports Blogger

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Updated Friday, May 11 at 10:32 AM

  • I have my an app on my phone set up to text me whenever there's a scoring play in a Rangers game, and I was pretty sure on Tuesday that it was broken somehow, because I kept getting 'HR- J. Hamilton, E.Andrus scores' texts, over and over. No, it turns out Josh jut hit four of them, with Elvis on base for all four.

    I mention this anecdote because I'm pretty sure it's the only thing about Josh's game that hasn't been written already.
     
  • Elvis' slash line currently is 323/401/427, and he's walking (17 BB) nearly as much as he's striking out (19 SO). He flirted with a similar rate early last year; however, it seemed that pitchers keyed in on his patience and strike zone management combined with a lack of power and started attacking him in the zone, and he didn't have the bat to make them pay.

    This year, that seems to have changed. His rate of hitting line drives has gone from 19.3 in 2010 to 23.1 last year to 28.6% currently -- combine that with the power he's shone early (his 427 SLG is 60 points higher than the best he had managed in a season prior) and you can see that he's hitting the ball with more authority. He's currently fifth in the majors among shortstops in wRC+.Oh, and he's reached base in 28 straight games. And he turns 24 in August.
     
  • Shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar, meanwhile, has reached base in 29 straight games in Frisco. He is 19 years old. He is disgustingly good at baseball. 
     
  • Nelson Cruz went 8-16 with a walk in this series.  The power might not be there yet (Nelson Cruz-power, at least) with only two doubles, but him putting the barrel on the ball is encouraging.
     
  • I have no idea what to make of Colby Lewis' last start. That thing is just bizarre. He faced 28 batters, and 18 of them fell into one of the Three True Outcomes (Walk, Strikeout, Home Run). Colby is going to give up home runs, but as long as they're solo, he'll generally be ok.
     
  • Robbie Ross no longer leads the majors in pitcher wins, which means that pitcher wins is now completely and totally devalued as a stat.
     
  • Just kidding, pitcher wins were always completely and totaly devalued as stats.
     
  • Seriously, though, Ross has hit a slight tough patch, getting hit up a little bit in Toronto and again in Baltimore. This is a good thing, long term, as Ross needs to adjust and learn and adapt; 22 year olds who don't struggle in the majors are extraordinary players. Ross is merely an awesome one.
     
  • Speaking of young and extraordinary, how bad do you have to act to make a 19 year old seem like the adult in an exchange? Cole Hamels plunking Bryce Harper was stupid, (the point of baseball is either avoiding an out as a batter or getting an out as a pitcher- why give away first base? Why take away your own oppurtunity to get an out?) and telling the world he did it on purpose --  to teach him a lesson -- that completely deserves the fine he got. If you want to teach him a lesson,  strike him out or get him to pound the ball into the ground. If you can't do that, he's the one teaching you, no?

     
  • The bullpen is at 10 walks -- to 75 strikeouts. Alexi Ogando and Koji Uehara have yet to walk a batter, while all of the other contributors (Mark Lowe, Ross, Joe Nathan, Mike Adams,  and Scott Feldman) share the lead with two each.



    Joseph Ursery may be Robbie Ross' biggest fan. But can you blame him? Show him you approve of his 'fave rookie ever' choice by following
    @thejoeursery on Twitter.

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