Today’s game was just another one of those reminders. A reminder that we could have had John Danks and Edinson Volquez at the back of our rotation, instead of the pile of garbage we’ve been throwing out there every night. Now, folks will tell you the Rangers are doing well (they’re not), and that the pitching is the same as always, but when Jayson Stark puts Danks and Volquez in his list of half-season Cy Young contenders, all you can do is be mad.
The Rangers threw those two players away, despite them being top prospects for so long that everyone was just waiting for them to win in Arlington. Danks never got the chance, and Volquez was messed around for a while before being shipped out. The apologists will tell you that we have Josh Hamilton instead, and although he’s been great so far, I still haven’t seen him throw a single pitch.
Once again the Rangers are running out of pitchers to start games. Can’t decide if it’s just bad management (it is), bad pitching (it is), injuries (it is), or the pitching coach (it sure is). I know there have been studies of how much effect a pitching coach has, and some say they do and some say they don’t. I know that Mark Connor is a bad pitching coach. One of these days I’ll take a look at his career and see how he has done. I don’t expect it to be good.
There was a quote a while back, wish I could find it, where Volquez said he went from just throwing last year to pitching this year. Basically, someone taught him there was a point to being up there and choosing a pitch, not just throwing at random. I wonder who might have done that? A pitching coach, maybe? One that knows what he is doing?
Of the twelve guys that have started a game for the Rangers this year, only four have an ERA+ greater than 100. Even Padilla, who you think has been pitching well, is at 88, with an ERA of 4.70. The four above 100 are Ponson (106, now a Yankee), Hurley (115, four starts, on the DL), AJ Murray (117, two starts, on the DL), and Matt Harrison (160, one start, presumably back to the minors). Is it any coincidence that these guys start getting hurt once they get in the hands of Mark Connor? Every year? Fire the guy, please.
Since you’re wondering, Danks is 171 and Volquez is 189. And since I know you’re thinking “but there’s no guarantee they would have done that for the Rangers”, I can tell you that they wouldn’t, because they would be on a team that doesn’t know how to handle young pitching. Best thing for their careers was to escape.
I can’t decide: Paint him green, and does Warner Madrigal look more like Shrek or the Hulk?
Great headline on the Rangers site the other day: Rangers lose by scoreboard only. Not sure what other ways they’re supposed to lose, but I bet they can find them.
Everyone has suddenly started saying the Rangers are playing well, second best record in the league since April 26. That is true (with a 41-28 record since then), but if you want to pick dates like that (April 26 being the day the Rangers bottomed out), how about I pick one too? May 16 – since that date, the Rangers are 28-23, the ninth best record in the American League since then. That’s right, for almost the last two months, when everyone has been praising the team for playing well, they aren’t even in the top half of the league. And much of that was against the NL (10-8), who the rest of the AL was beating up on (which has produced another array of ridiculous stories about how the NL sucks and the AL is great, with various reasons. The Washington Post at least put in the point that the NL dominated for 20 years and now it’s the AL’s turn, of course they put it in the very last line of the story after giving a hundred reasons why the AL is dominant now. It’s luck, stupid).
So, stop pretending the Rangers are doing well, and are contenders. It’s caused people to forget what a horrible job Ron Washington is doing, and Mark Connor. There’s a reason we’re sending four players and zero pitchers to the All Star Game. Let’s all calm down, enjoy Chris Davis and his brief cup of coffee (because Big Ron has decided that Blalock will be better at first if he ever gets back), and wait for 2010. By then Mark Connor should be gone, and won’t be able to destroy any more of our prospects.