Minor League Mailbag: July 2

Minor League Mailbag: July 2

Credit: WFAA Sports

Minor League Mailbag: July 2

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by KATE MORRISON

WFAA Sports

Posted on July 2, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 1 at 8:14 PM

Graham Jenkins ‏@JenkinsSports   

@unlikelyfanatic How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

42.

Samuel Hale ‏@thesamhale

@unlikelyfanatic So Keone Kela, when should we expect his RSVP to the back end of a major league bullpen?

Not until at least 2015. Kela’s making improvements, but is nowhere near major league ready. The fastball, though it’s shown some signs of life, is usually far too straight to get away with it against top hitters, and the breaking pitch, which is improving, still needs a bit of tightening. However, in the last two appearances for Frisco, Kela’s shown that perhaps 95-97 mph will be all he needs, if the current way he’s pitching is how he’s going to pitch from here on out. Not only are his pitches improving, but he’s attacking hitters, challenging them, and has been successful in his most recent appearances. With the promotion of Phil Klein to Round Rock, Kela slots in as Frisco’s “closer,” and will most likely primarily work in that role.

Katy Clarke ‏@katyclarke  

@unlikelyfanatic you have to start a boy band using five minor leaguers. Who do you choose?

Well, from what I understand, boy-band members need good hair, so Luke Jackson immediately comes to mind. Maybe Chi-Chi, long-haired Randy Henry on drums? I’m bad with music that wasn’t written for large ensembles.

DFW Baseball ‏@DFWBaseballtown

@unlikelyfanatic Ideally for player development, what level should Choice, Odor, and Nick Martinez be playing at right now?

Choice would probably be best served by some Triple-A at-bats, and both Odor and Martinez could have conceivably spent the entire season at Double-A Frisco. It wouldn’t be surprising, actually, to see Choice optioned to Round Rock when Engel Beltre is ready to come off the DL, as Beltre doesn’t have any options remaining, and that would give Choice the chance to play every day and improve. Nick Martinez is likely in the major leagues to stay, at least for now, as it is likely that whichever starter that’s come up from Round Rock will be the one replaced if/when Derek Holland comes off the DL in what could be late July. Odor could really have used one more developmental season, but the 20-year-old isn’t drowning in the majors, and that’s impressive in itself.

Landon Haaf ‏@LandonHaaf

@unlikelyfanatic Here’s a question I would love to have answered… Turn down for what? #MinorLeagueMailbag

Turn down for Belgium, sadly. But turn up for the incredible youth on this World Cup team, and on future USMNT squads. Turn up for soccer in this country. Turn up for the fact that this team hung with one of the world’s more touted and talented squads.

Whoops, this is supposed to be a baseball column.

RockwallTim ‏@RockwallTim 

@unlikelyfanatic Any thoughts on why the Rangers sent down Sardinas and promoted Rosales?

At this point, it’s both better for Sardinas’s development (and trade value) for him to be playing every day in Triple A. Rosales can play every infield position, and provides the kind of bench depth that isn’t Sardinas’s permanent role.

jt8501 ‏@jt8501

@unlikelyfanatic How about a mock 2017 opening day roster?

I’m not even sure who’s actually on the current MLB roster, so I’m probably not the best person to ask about stuff like this. Gallo, a starting 3B at age 23? Odor, at age 23? Andrus? Luke Jackson, starting pitcher? I mean, I could conceivably name more than half of this year’s Frisco squad, and I could also be very wrong.

Nathaniel Stoltz ‏@stoltz_baseball

@unlikelyfanatic With the #Rangers 1B situation as it is now, you missing my favorite Orix Buffalo, Joey Butler, at all?

I might miss him if I could find any current statistics.

Or Moyal ‏@OrMoyal   

@LandonHaaf @unlikelyfanatic Which prospect in the Rangers' system best embodies the principle 'Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle?' #top40mailbag

I have no idea what you’re referencing, but Chi Chi Gonzalez. All sorts of life on his fastball. It cuts, it runs, it does the samba down to the catcher’s mitt...all it needs to do is really be a bit more commandable, and that’s what Chi Chi is in Double A to work on. Double-A hitters are more patient, and will sit back on more pitches than high-A. The recent results will improve, as Gonzalez strengthens his control of the pitch.   

and finally, we have a question from “anonymous.”

“DO YOU THINK THE RANGERS WILL RECEIVE MORE IN RETURN THAN GERALD LAIRD THIS TIME AROUND FROM CARLOS PENA???”  

It depends on what you think of Gerald Laird. If you think he was a long time big-leaguer with a decent career as a backup catcher, then no. If you think he was the worst thing to happen to major league baseball in a while, then, well, I’m not sure.

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