Results tagged ‘ Tampa Bay Rays ’

Hello Off-Season

It’s finally here.  Sure, the ‘Riders have been done for a while, but this is the first Monday in a very long time without major league baseball.  In fact, the last Monday the Rangers had without baseball going on was Monday, February 21 (Spring Training games began for Texas on Sunday, February 27).

It’s an incredibly long and stressful season and, for the second straight year, the off-season for the Rangers will be brief.  That’s the price of October baseball.

As the off-season begins to stir, here are some news and notes from around professional baseball:

  • Tony La Russa retires after 33 seasons with the third most wins in major league history (2,728).
  • Rangers’ general manager Jon Daniels told reporters today that prior to Spring Training, the clubwill  decide if former RoughRider Neftali Feliz will move into the rotation.  According to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com, “The club will likely decide some time in January. And it will partially depend on what kind of players they sign, how the rotation looks this offseason and what Feliz wants to do.”
  • Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore wins the Spink Award as the Topps/Minor League Player of the Year.  You might remember the lefty’s seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball in Tampa Bay’s 9-0 victory over the Rangers in Game 1 of the Divisional Series.
  • The Rangers announced today that the team has exercised the club option on right-handed pitcher Colby Lewis for the 2012 season.  Lewis, 32, has posted back-to-back seasons of at least 12 wins and 200.0 innings, the first right-handed pitcher to accomplish that feat for Texas since Rick Helling in 1998-99-2000-01.  He has also gone 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA (13 ER/50.0 IP) over 8 postseason starts the last two years
  • 148 major leaguers are now free agents.
  • According to several reports, former RoughRider Mitch Moreland had what is being described as wrist soreness/tendinitis for most of the second half of the season.
  • Six years ago today on Halloween, former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein avoided talking to reporters following his resignation by dressing up in a gorilla costume before leaving Fenway Park.
  • There have been no reports of a gorilla exiting Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

-AG

11 Former RoughRiders on ALDS Roster

The Rangers officially published their ALDS roster earlier this morning featuring 11 former RoughRider players that will be suiting up for Texas against Tampa Bay:

Mitch Moreland is one of 11 former 'Riders on the Rangers' ALDS roster (photo: Yahoo! Sports)

Scott Feldman (’05, ’08)
Neftali Feliz (’08)
Alexi Ogando (’10)
Matt Harrison (’08)
Derek Holland (’08)
C.J. Wilson (’03, ’05-’06)
Elvis Andrus (’08)
Ian Kinsler (’04)
Mitch Moreland (’09)
Endy Chavez (’10)
Craig Gentry (’08-’09)

-AG

Wilson ALDS Game 1 Starter

Remember when C.J. Wilson was a RoughRider?  The Newport Beach native pitched at Dr Pepper Ballpark over the span of three different seasons: 2003, ’05, and ’06.  Overall with the ‘Riders, Wilson went 7-13 with a 4.39 ERA.

During his minor league career, C.J. made 95 appearances, 70 starts.  As a member of the RoughRiders, he spent the majority of the time working in the rotation (43 G/38 S).

I wonder how many RoughRiders’ fans, if any, who watched Wilson here could have ever predicted that his stuff would progress so much that he would become the ace of the Rangers’ staff. Over his 43 career Double-A appearances, the lefty walked 66, fanned 155, and allowed 212 hits over 201.0 innings pitched (9.5 H/9).

Certainly his BB/K ratio was solid, and even if you look at his hits/9 innings, it was slightly was better than 2010 Texas League Pitcher of the Year, Blake Beavan.  The big right-hander surrendered 231 hits in 217 2/3 innings (9.6 H/9). Anyone who saw Blake pitch knows that he threw strikes better than almost anyone in the Texas League, and the result was that he gave up some hits.

Today Wilson is opposed by a kid who has hardly any big league time on his resume.  Matt Moore has just over nine innings of major league experience under his belt, but is Joe Maddon’s choice for a Game 1 starter.  At 22-years-old, the left-hander entered the 2011 season as the Rays’ No. 2 overall prospect as ranked by Baseball America. The same publication also said he has the best fastball and curveball in the system.

Moore made his major league debut 16 days ago and has one big league start and three appearances to his name. According to ESPN’s Stats and Info, Moore’s one career start is the fewest by a Game 1 starer in MLB post-season history.

For what it’s worth, it should be noted that Moore struck out 131 and walked only 28 in 18 starts (102. 1 IP) with Double-A Montgomery.

Should be a fun one this afternoon from the Ballpark in Arlington.  I’m grateful I was able to snag a ticket to today’s game and will be sure to get some pics to post in the coming days.

Enjoy the game,

-AG

Photos courtesy of Getty Images and CBSSports

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