THE NEWBERG REPORT — MARCH 23, 2008

Few things from today’s Rangers win over San Francisco:

1. Luis Mendoza,
pitching for the last month in an environment typically not conducive to
pitchers who rely on sink, has a 1.81 groundout-to-flyout rate, and has yielded
just one home run in 16.2 innings.  While his 5.40 ERA is unimposing, he’s
allowed just one run in his last 10 frames (including today’s five scoreless),
and his overall opponents’ line is a respectable .270/.324/.397 (and would look
even better if it hadn’t been for two base hits today that bounded off the rock
hard surface in front of the plate and over Hank Blalock’s head).   Mendoza’s got some momentum heading into the season.

2. Two more outfield
assists today (both belonging to Marlon Byrd, giving him a phenomenal five for
the spring).  Whether Texas leads baseball with 11 spring training assists from
its outfielders is not important, but I can’t tell you how fired up I am to see
the Rangers man the outfield each game with two or three guys capable of not
only playing a solid center field, but also throwing like a right fielder.  The
improvement in this outfield’s ability to catch the ball before it hits the
ground, and to throw well enough to erase baserunners — or at worst to keep
them from attempting to take an extra base — is going to help the number one
starter, the long man out of the pen, and everyone in
between.

3. If the all else is
equal in the competition for a bullpen spot apparently pitting Kameron Loe, Wes
Littleton, Frankie Francisco, and Josh Rupe against each other, Francisco’s
inability to field his position well could tip the scales in someone else’s
favor.

4. I get all the
arguments on both sides, but the news that the Rangers are apparently resigned
to shop righthanders Omar Beltre and Alexi Ogando to teams in the Far East makes me sad.

5. Michael Young is 6
for 6 with a walk since playing catch with Max on Saturday morning.  And hours
after Jason Botts gave Max his wristband (also Saturday morning), Botts went 2
for 5 with a two-out, two-run double and two, run-scoring single, which
according to at least two beat writers following the team on a daily basis
cemented a roster spot for Botts, who has been battling Kevin Mench and Nelson
Cruz for a job.

Max hasn’t taken the
wristband off. 

And I know a guy who
goes about 6’6”, 250 who would probably prefer that it stay that
way.

 

Bottsandmax

 

That’ll be the last
reference to my kids for a while.

Probably.

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

 

1 Comment

You don’t have to stop writing about the kids. I enjoy them. And…I wish Max luck on becoming a ‘fessional baseball player. I envy the wrist band…no not now but when I was Max’s age. I wouldn’t have taken it off either. Baseball is fresh and exciting..just the thing for kids (and their elders who live thru them!).

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