Hard to watch.

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Jamey Newberg
12.00


I don’t know if Rich Harden is hurt, but if possible,
today’s line . . .

 

 

Pitchers

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

PC-ST

ERA

R Harden

3.2

5

4

4

6

5

1

94-53

4.72

 

. . . was probably kind, even tossing in the two hit
batsmen, compared to how off he looked.  When he missed, either in the
strike zone or out, he usually missed badly, without nearly enough stuff to
overcome his mistakes.

 

Frankly, it would be a little reassuring if there was some
sort of minor physical issue that might explain what’s going on with
Harden.  As it stands, he’s not giving his team a good enough chance to
win.  Three and a half baserunners per inning isn’t going to cut it,
whether he’s guaranteed $7.5 million or making the league minimum.

 

Speaking of which, Derek Holland just threw an eight-pitch
(six-strike) first in Memphis, keeping Oklahoma City and the Redbirds
scoreless.  Holland came into the game with this line through two AAA
starts:

 

 

Pitchers

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

PC-ST

ERA

D.Holland

13.2

10

1

1

1

9

1

180-119

0.66

 

Pacific Coast League lineups aren’t Toronto, Cleveland, and
New York, but if Harden is dealing with some sort of physical issue, there’s an
interesting alternative right now in a guy on the same pitching schedule.

 

*     *     *

Jamey Newberg
12.00

ADDENDUM: Derek Holland has been relieved after six scoreless in Memphis, with Oklahoma City ahead, 3-0.

Don’t read too much into that.  Holland had thrown 93 pitches (57 for strikes), after throwing 82 and 98 in his first two starts.  Could he have given the RedHawks another inning?  Probably.  Was he denied the seventh because he’s going to pitching in Arlington in five days?  No.  If a decision had been made to get Holland up here in five or six days, and if the organization decided he needed to be lifted early from today’s start to protect him and the club, he’d have been gone from today’s start before getting through six.

In other words, don’t read anything into Holland’s Sunday afternoon other than the obvious: it’s another tremendous effort for the 23-year-old, who now has an ERA of 0.46 in three RedHawks starts (19.2 innings, one run [a Mike Restovich solo home run in the season opener], 17 hits [.236 opponents’ average], three walks, 15 strikeouts).

It’s less meaningful than the fact that Josh Hamilton, as Eric Nadel pointed out on the broadcast, has one hit to right field this season, and just one other ball hit hard in that direction (the line drive that Mark Teixeira snared going up today).

But it’s a good development, as have been the minor league starts that Brandon McCarthy and Michael Kirkman and Guillermo Moscoso and Omar Beltre and Justin Smoak and Max Ramirez and Matt Brown and Craig Gentry and Chad Tracy and Tanner Scheppers and Alexi Ogando have gotten off to.

There are several reasons that strong starts by those players can be huge, given their chances to help in the big leagues this year.  One of those reasons, and the easiest to get our heads wrapped around, is the idea that players like Holland could make the Rangers better right away.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, even though I wouldn’t discourage you from getting fired up about what the lefthander is doing in an effort to force his way back into the big league picture.
 

 

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(c) Jamey Newberg

http://www.newbergreport.com

Twitter  @newbergreport

 

1 Comment

This is what the Rangers wanted, right? The Rangers went in to this season expecting to make the playoffs, expecting 90+ wins, for the right to play the Yankees at Yankees Stadium, for the right to face C.C., A.J., and Andy. Well, what they (and we) asked for is what we got this weekend. No, it wasn’t the playoffs, but they carved us up like a Double-A team. It’s amazing how the Yankees can get guys from all around the league to hit like a team, and the Rangers have a plethora of home-grown talents, yet they haven’t come close to hitting like a team. Yeah, Michael Young is a good hitter. Yeah, Nelson Cruz is having a great start. But where is the fluidity? Is Ian Kinsler going to be the impact this season? All the hype around this team has been projectable, not actual. It’s just not practical to expect a team that was poor at hitting last year to bash like a pool of All Stars. Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler and Chris Davis have all had spots where they’ve looked great, but wasn’t it a bit much to expect them all to be hitting prime, all at once, all year?

(For what it’s worth, I don’t consider this a flame; just a band of observations.)

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