- I'd be lying if I said I had any clue what's wrong with Matt Harrison right now, but something's wrong with Matt Harrison right now. He's allowed more baserunners (25) in his last two starts than he had in the previous three starts (21). Those last two starts have comprised only 8.1 innings, which means his last fifty batters have managed a .500 on-base percentage. He's much, much better than that, and he'll get better.
- But his timing is either great or terrible, depending on your viewpoint. One viewpoint says that since Hamilton and Beltre are out, we might as well toss out as much bad performance as we can, since we're far more likely to lose with those two out. The other school of thought is that without them, the team scored 16 runs in five games, so the offense gave the team a chance to win in each game, sans the two All-Stars.
- The team is 4-5 over the last three series, but the quality of the opponents played needs to be addressed. The Blue Jays are not just the AL East team that is slightly better than the Orioles anymore; with the aging of the Red Sox and Yankees and the Rays' roster likely going outside what its payroll can support, they could put themselves in the driver's seat of the AL East. Even now, I could see them putting three players in the All-Star game this year- before counting pitching.
Until then, though, the Rays and the Yankees are still among the cream of the American League.
- As far as the bullpen goes for this series, I don't know what to tell you. Joe Nathan looked good.
- I typically don't like jumping in on the 'X has more home runs than Albert Pujols' thing, because it seems a little silly, but Brandon Snyder and Craig Gentry both now have more home runs than Albert Pujols. That is noteworthy, ok?
- If you were looking to the South for reinforcements in the outfield, look elsewhere- at least for the next 6-8 weeks. Centerfielder Leonys Martin was tearing all the things up, but then he went and tore up his thumb, which we would have preferred untorn. Instead of being on a timeline to play significant innings in Texas in June or July, he'll probably be rounding back into shape in either Arizona or Round Rock. This is very, very bad news.
- If you want good news from the farm, though, it is there. Jurickson Profar has an 815 OPS in Frisco -- as a 19 year old shortstop. For further excitement, look at his numbers over the last ten games: .310/.362/.619. That's a .981 OPS. Josh Hamilton is the only Rangers with a current OPS above that mark.
- Justin Grimm is striking out 4.5 batters for each one he walks, and roughly one per inning that he's pitching, in Frisco. Low-A Hickory's Rougned Odor is the youngest player in full-season ball, and he's hit four home runs. He's also a second basemen. These are causes to be excited. They lack the immediacy (in terms of direct support, at least) that Leonys represents, but they're all three either incredible (Profar) or solid (Odor, Grimm) bets to turn into major league regulars.
- Thursday's off day is perfectly timed. I, for one, could use a break from baseball right now, and it feels like the major league team could really use one.