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Joseph's Rangers thoughts: The Red Sox miniseries

Rangers vs Red Sox

Credit: Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Mike Napoli has played a big role in the Rangers' recent offensive barrage (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images).

by JOSEPH URSERY

WFAA Sports Blogger

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Updated Monday, May 14 at 4:57 PM

  • 8.04 of the MLB rulebook states that "When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball. Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call “Ball.” The 12-second timing starts when the pitcher is in possession of the ball and the batter is in the box, alert to the pitcher. The timing stops when the pitcher releases the ball."

    Josh Beckett averages 22.6 seconds between pitch, as calculated by Fangraphs.com (the calculation is imperfect, but generally pretty accurate.) I'd calculate how long the cavalcade of pitchers the Rangers faced in the first game of the series took, but, I don't have that kind of time on my hands. Just once- just once- I'd like to see an ump enforce 8.04. I think you might actually see an AL East pitcher's brain ignite.
     
  • Colby Lewis looks like he's from another planet out there right now. He's taken the league lead in strikeout to walk ratio with a beautiful 22:1. He's also 8th in the AL in innings pitched, and has allowed only 2 homers. Key for Colby (as much as it is for any pitcher) is limiting bases on balls and keeping the ball in the park- and if the season's first three starts are an indication, he's definitely worthy of the nominal #1 starter position he's held this year.
     
  • I've always believed- as a matter of faith, rather than data-backed conclusion- you can't win a division in the first month of the season, but you can lose it. I'm not addressing this to any team in particular. Certainly not a team that signed a left-hander I had learned to love. Especially not a team with multiple locales in its name. Not a team with a manager who is a walking display of Keystone Light's bitter beer face ad campaign. Not a team that may be the first to ever have "too many good players" (as alluded to in a now-deleted Jon Heyman tweet). Just... you know... putting it out there, in general.
     
  • As a team, the Rangers have accumulated 7.0 Wins Above Replacement, per Fangraphs. You'd generally expect a team of replacement level players to have 4 wins out of 12 games, so they're just slightly underperforming.
     
  • That bit, above, is the part of each of these posts where I try to find what the team isn't doing well. Look, YOU go try to find something they're not doing well right now and get back to me about it. (Don't actually do that.)
     
  • These are the good old days. Remember that Monday, as the Rangers retire Pudge.
     
  • I'm still ok with Joe Nathan (in fact, I like him and what he could add to this bullpen throughout the year in terms of leardership, setting an example, and how to pitch) but the issue still stands that he's likely the third or fourth most talented pitcher in the Rangers relief corps. This isn't a slight to Nathan; Alexi Ogando and Mike Adams are just silly pitching alien-robots who we are not likely to understand, given our civilization's rudimentary collection of baseball facts.

    I actually liked the dynamic of having them either in the 8th (Adams) or whenever the situation called for someone who can strike people out with only their Maoi-like visage (Ogando) and saving Nathan for the 9th. That Washington showed this week he's not afraid to deploy either of the single-inning demigods in the ninth inning when appropriate makes it close to perfect.

    Let Nathan have the ninth, when the Ranger offense has likely had multiple innings to chew at the soft underbelly of the opponent's bullpen and developed/expanded a lead. Let Adams and Ogando keep the door shut until then.
     
  • Yu and Harrison are swapping places in the rotation. I'll put this simply: not a big deal. If you want to make a big deal out of it, make a big deal out of the nuts-and-bolts of the move, not the motivation behind it. You'd have to be insane not to trust either pitcher, given their age, talent level, and to-date results.
     
  • Check out what Roman Mendez is doing at High-A Mytrle Beach; 3 GS, 15.1 IP, 16 K, 1 BB. Mendez is a member of the 40 man roster and could move quickly if the team moved him from his starter role to the bullpen. He's still too promising of an arm as a starter to do that permanently, but he could also make an impact, either by addition to the team or trade, late this summer.
     
  • Joe Nathan had to go and walk Cody Ross last night and double the bullpen's walk total this year. At least he got my boy Robbie Ross off the hook for the lone base on balls, though.
     

Joseph Ursery likes stats, puppies and groundball pitchers who work efficiently. If you feel like that's your thing, follow his twitter account at @thejoeursery

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