January 2007

THE NEWBERG REPORT — JANUARY 2, 2007

Not a whole lot going on, as far as we know, other than the wait for Mark Mulder to decide whether to leave St. Louis for Texas or Cleveland, but here’s a few things to fill the time.

Scott Lucas regularly spots things that the rest of us miss, and here’s the latest: Ozzie Guillen’s nearly unrivaled penchant for the intentional walk cost Brandon McCarthy more than a fourth of his free passes in 2006. McCarthy’s rate of 33 walks in 84.2 innings was an impressive 3.5 per nine innings. But his rate of 24 unintentional walks in 2006 — 2.6 per nine — was outstanding.

Things will change once Mulder, Keith Foulke, Scott Schoeneweis, Ron Villone, Chan Ho Park, and David Wells decide whether to sign big league deals with new teams, but for now, the Rangers will draft as follows in June:

FIRST ROUND: 17 (compensation for Carlos Lee), 24 (Gary Matthews Jr.)
SUPPLEMENTAL FIRST ROUND: 38 (Lee), 52 (Matthews), 58 (Mark DeRosa)
SECOND ROUND: 78
THIRD ROUND: 108

Texas forfeited the 16th pick by signing Frank Catalanotto, a Type A free agent, and would have had pick number 61 (for now) had Rod Barajas closed the deal he was a signature away from sealing with the Blue Jays.

Rangers pitchers and catchers report to big league camp in Surprise on February 17, and the full squad reports February 22. Exhibition play kicks off on March 2 against Kansas City, and concludes with a pair against Milwaukee, in Frisco on March 30 and at Ameriquest Field on March 31.

Minor league pitchers and catchers report March 1, with the full squad set to report on March 7. Games begin March 16.

Ten-year-old Grant Schiller’s review of the Bound Edition Release Party, which featured Wilson, Kameron Loe, Ian Kinsler, John Danks, and Taylor Teagarden, is here.

Jason Botts hit .288/.384/.458 in 118 at-bats for Criollos de Caguas in the Puerto Rican Winter League, one off the club’s home run lead with four. Teammate Freddie Thon hit .295/.321/.462 in 78 trips.

In 33 Dominican Winter League regular season innings, Azucareros del Este righthander Omar Beltre posted an ERA of 2.45 and held opponents to 18 hits (.158 average) and 16 walks while fanning 32, touching 98 with his fastball. In one playoff start, he has permitted four runs on four hits and two walks in 4.1 frames, fanning two and taking the loss.

In two regular season games and three playoff appearances for the same club, righthander Edinson Volquez has allowed 12 runs (11 earned) on six hits and seven walks in 4.1 innings, fanning four.

Gigantes del Cibao lefthander Fabio Castro posted a 1.86 ERA and held opponents to a .165 clip in nine DWL regular season appearances, and in one playoff start he gave up one run over four innings of work.

Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reports that the Cardinals and Cubs offered righthander Vicente Padilla four-year deals before he agreed to his three-year contract with the Rangers, who have a club option to keep Padilla for a fourth season.

Don Bowman of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram did the research: in the five off-seasons prior to this one, 15 free agent starting pitchers signed contracts for four years or more. Not one of them made at least 30 starts every year of his deal, and seven times one of them was lost for the season due to injury. Only one (Kevin Appier) pitched for a World Series winner — and that wasn’t until after the Mets traded him to the Angels one year into his four-year, $42 million deal.

John Hart was Ron Washington’s manager in 1987, with AAA Rochester in the Orioles system. Other future Rangers with that squad included Craig Worthington, Billy Ripken, Rene Gonzales, and Anthony Telford.

You read Lorrie Masset’s post on the Newberg Report message board last week. Now you can read a handful of posts by her fellow foreword author from the 2007 Bound Edition — C.J. Wilson. Click here to see what he has to say.

Happy New Year.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

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