Well, it's early February, pitchers and cathers report today and I find myself with new hope. The Giants just won the super bowl, LSU won the BCS Championship in Janary, and thats got me all excitable. I bought Athalon's 2008 baseball preview mag, and quickly dismissed it as garbage when I read they had the Rangers finishing 3rd in the West. Impossible I thought. They got their Center Fielder, upgraded the corner outfield spots, Blalock is healthy, Salty is gonna be a monster, and Kinsler is the next big thing.
Then i remembered I did a couple blogs here, so i went back and re-read what my thoughts were at the end of '07.
Oh yeah. Pretty dismal stuff, sad in a shake your head in shame kinda way. After reading it, I removed the rose colored glasses and took a fresh look at the roster.
I'll start with the rotation...
We return out two aces, Millwood and Padilla. man those guys were great in '06, in '07? Eh, not so ace-ish. But we got this dude Jason Jennings, he was the 2002 NL ROY and in 2007 he was 2-9 with a 6.45 ERA, oh, and he's coming off and injury too. But we also got Kason Gabbard last year from the Sox, and the dude was real solid, it's just he has a history with arm problems. But at least out other starting pitcher managed to only be hurt about 1 month.
Now the infield.
The infield is led by the face of the orginization, Michael Young. Tough, gritty player who plays every day and selflessy switched positions a few years ago to accomodate Soriano. Beside him is a true up and comer in Kinsler, 20-20 guy last year and shows all the signs of being among the top 5 2B in the entire league. On the hot Corner is Blalock, I love Hank, myfavorite player and even though he missed most of the year, the injury shouldn't be a nagging problem and when he played, he crushed the ball. At 1st there is the immortal Ben Broussard, I'm sorry who? Ben Broussard. Dude played 99 games and managed to bat 275 with 7 home runs and 29 rbi's last year? We trade an allstar silver slugging golden glove winning first basemen (which I was all for BTW) and the best guy we could find to replace him with is a dude who couldn't swing his way out of a wet paper bag?
Catcher? Salty might start might nt, could play first, could not, but he does have a really long name, this we know for sure.
OK, so this looks to be the mos improved lot of the bunch. Hamilton was a stud last year, forget about his injury and drug abuse filled history, strong arm and big bat, I salivate at this future right fielder. Who needs a base swiper when our CF can drive em all in with one swing of his mighty bat? Milton Bradley, he played 140 games once, 5 years ago. econd closest was 101 games, 6 years ago. t no other time has he managed to duct tape and gorilla glue himself together enough to play in 100 games. But aside from his attitude problems and injury filled past, when the dude in on the field, sometimes he's pretty good. Marlong Byrd will start in left, he was good last year, props to Byrd. Murphy backs up all three outfield spots, as does Cat. Murphy is going to be a real good player, Cat? We'll see, wasn't terrible last year, but played under expectations in my ind.
The pride of Texas, CJ wilson should close, if he doesn't, i will personally bitch slap Ron Washington.
All in all, I forsee many a drunken nights watching the Rangers call up tons of minor leaguers since half the team is on the disabled list.