- These past two series have had a bit too much of a July feel to them, when the team seemed weary and disconnected. More of that August team, please.
I was a supporter of bringing Roy Oswalt on board, and I still feel it was a solid decision; but it just didn't work. Sunday’s vomit of an appearance is a likely end to his career as a Ranger (and maybe his career in baseball). Oswalt seems to be some manner of a victim to ‘It’s always something’ disease; either he wasn’t happy about his role, or he was effective but unlucky, or he was simply hittable to a degree rarely seen in the majors -- and now his elbow is sore.
Either way, it makes little sense to continue to give him innings that could either go to a developing player, or a player whose involvement in October needs to be determined, or some combination of both. Or Wilmer Font, because I really, really like Wilmer Font.
- Anyone who knows Jurickson Profar knows that the homer in his initial plate appearance (and the game-winning RBI double Saturday) was simply the only outcome Profar would accept. He’ll just refuse any reality that doesn’t end with him being the best baseball player on Earth. That’s why I want him to be the team’s bench bat -- singular -- this October.
There just aren't many players I’d rather have batting with exponential leverage factors. Irrational? Maybe, but Profar has done nothing his whole career but satisfy irrational expectations. I’ll fall back on a Jon Daniels quote I was lucky enough to hear in person, shortly after Profar signed in 2009, where Daniels said "I could be wrong, he might get the bat knocked out of his hands once he gets over here [in the United States]… but I don’t think anyone’s knocking his bat out of his hands.”
- Fun with small samples: Profar has nine plate appearances. Two of those have come with the game tied, two with the Rangers behind. Twice he has walked off the field after a plate appearance having scored the run that gave the Rangers a lead. In the second instance, he drove the tying run in before scoring the winning run. I’ve said before that small samples hold some value, when they are either all you have, or when they correspond well with the general scouting knowledge.
- Kevin Goldstein, formerly of Baseball Prospectus and of ‘Gauche’ fame on Twitter is now the Houston Astros scouting coordinator. Now, let’s all get the making fun of Astros thing out of our systems, and welcome him into baseball’s front office and the AL West next year. The internet baseball nerd community has lost a beacon, but it’s a loss we all should be happy to incur. Plus, he’ll still tweet about food, and that’s a good forty percent of why we all love him anyway. (Well, some of us love him.)
- Derek Holland put up a 337 Win Percentage Added (WPA) in Friday’s game, far and away the highest in that single game (higher even than Ben Zobrist, who went 0-3 before hitting the game winning homer). If that velocity and command were to hold up over the next six weeks, the likelihood of the Rangers winning the final game of the season is going to see a nice increase.
- I go and write about Scott Feldman’s troubles after hitters see him at least once in a game, and then he goes out and gives up a .305/.333/.500 triple slash line in the first two plate appearances against, over his next two games. The most similar batter I can find to that slash line is Carlos Beltran, who is a very, very good batter. You are not likely to win games in which Carlos Beltran bats against you 18 times in the first few innings.
- David Murphy has put up 3.7 fWAR this season, good for fourth on the team. The two best seasons of his career this year sat in at 2.0 and 1.8, which means that he’s very, very close to eclipsing the total he accumulated over those two seasons this year. I was probably too hard on Murphy earlier in the season; although I’ll also say that calling a player ‘average’ is a huge compliment. And if you have the talent to be an average player in MLB, then you likely have the talent to put together a year like Murphy has had- you’re just more likely to put up the seasons Murphy has had in the past going forward than you are to put up simulacra of this season.