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Texas Rangers Pummel the Reds, Make Roster Moves: Fan Reaction
The offense looked in mid-season form with guys like Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton, Michael Young and Adrian Beltre all getting big hits and scoring runs. Even Mitch Moreland continued to alleviate fans' concerns at first base going 1-for-2 and driving in three runs.
Then there's two guys trying to make the team as bench players. Luis Hernandez, vying to be the Rangers utility infielder went 1-for-1 and Brandon Snyder, playing left field for the first time, went 2-for-2 and made a spectacular diving catch in the outfield.
While Snyder looked good, and he has hit the ball well this spring, I do not agree with the Rangers thinking about going with Hamilton as the permanent centerfielder with a platoon of Murphy and possibly Snyder in left. For one thing, Hamilton's injury risk is lessened when he plays in left and, as I've stated before, his defense in center is actually worse and can actually cost Texas runs (4.1 UZR in left versus -0.7 UZR in center).
However, unless Texas is willing to trade for a right-handed centerfielder as I stated earlier this week, then Hamilton is the best option considering the play of Julio Borbon this spring along with Craig Gentry's injuries and current illness.
And Scott Feldman looked excellent on the mound as he tossed six scoreless innings allowing just three hits and striking out nine. And he's still slotted to be a member of the bullpen when the regular season begins, however, he could start on several teams. And I guarantee you that several teams have been keeping an eye on him this season.
Earlier on Monday Conor Jackson said that he was willing to go down to the minors to work on his game some more. Not too much later the Rangers announced that he had been cut along with left handed relievers Joe Beimel and Mitch Stetter. I was never a fan of Beimel's but am disappointed to see Mitch Stetter go. I had high hopes for Stetter coming into spring training but he never found his groove.
Then there's also the matter of Brad Hawpe who came out and said that he was not open to a triple-a assignment thought that appears to be where he's heading. Hawpe, like Snyder, can play the outfield as well as first base but he's being outplayed by Snyder. If I'm the Rangers then I go ahead and cut Hawpe. Moreland can play first. And there's always Snyder, Young and Mike Napoli available to back him up if/when needed.
Until next time, I'll see you in the cheap seats!
James Holland is a lifelong fan of baseball and his hometown Texas Rangers. He's also a contributing writer for shutdowninning.com, the senior writer/editor at clawandantlernation.com and a member of SABR. You can follow him on Twitter @MLBJamesHolland.
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