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January 27, 2008

Mexican Winter League Highlights Captured on Cell Phone

Botts connects with the 1-2 fastball!


Botts hangs head. Too much underneath!


But the ball clears the fence!


Cuadrangularrrrrrrr!

Posted by Lucas at 11:45 AM

January 26, 2008

Scoring the Soriano-Wilkerson Trade

Assuming for the sake of argument that Armando Galarraga is claimed and not traded, the book will close on the Soriano for Wilkerson-Sledge-Galarraga deal. This is one of those trades in which the emotional fallout dwarfs the actual on-field results. Recall that Soriano walked after 2007, and Washington didn’t even offer arbitration. Meanwhile, Wilkerson wasn’t completely useless during 2007, he just looked it.

WIN SHARES
2006
2007
TOTAL
Wilkerson
5
11
16
Galarraga
0
0
0
Sledge
0
0
0
TEXAS TOTAL
16
Soriano
30
0
30
WSH TOTAL
30
DIFFERENCE
-14

Texas win share deficit: 14 (about 5 wins)

WARP
2006
2007
TOTAL
Wilkerson
1.6
3.4
5.0
Galarraga
0.0
0.1
0.1
Sledge
0.0
0.0
0.0
TEXAS TOTAL
5.1
Soriano
7.8
0.0
7.8
WSH TOTAL
7.8
DIFFERENCE
-2.7

Texas WARP deficit: -2.7 (almost 3 wins)

As for emotional and actual fallout, Texas quickly retraded Sledge with Chris Young and Adrian Gonzalez for Adam Eaton (aka The Wiz) and Aki Otsuka. I haven’t included that return in the above tables because Sledge was clearly a pot sweetener, not a lynchpin. Assuming he’s about 10% of the trade value, add two win shares and .9 WARP to Texas’s totals.

Let us not speak of these trades again.

Posted by Lucas at 04:14 PM

Galarraga DFA'ed

Texas designated pitcher ARMANDO GALARRAGA for assignment.

Disappointing, but dismissal of any of the potential candidates – Galarraga, Scott Feldman, Robinson Tejeda, perhaps Josh Rupe or John Rheinecker – would have left a bitter taste. Galarraga’s is slightly more bitter because he represents the vestige of and final hope for payback from the Alfonso Soriano trade.

Galarraga rebounded from a dismal, injury-plagued 2006 and seemed to have an outside shot at a bullpen role. He still has an option left, so the chance of clearing waivers is quite small. For the first time since mid-December, it seems, Texas’s 40’man roster is not in limbo.

I’m going to walk out on a thin limb and say that Robinson Tejeda makes the rotation.

Posted by Lucas at 03:55 PM

Weekend Photo


Kingsford (2002-2006), 26 Sep 2005

Posted by Lucas at 03:53 PM

January 12, 2008

Wright, Melhuse Signed

Texas signed pitcher JAMEY WRIGHT and catcher ADAM MELHUSE to minor-league contracts.

Both moves appears harmless, but I’m a worrywart, as these aren’t truly “no-risk” signings. The risk is that they could make the team based on their Proven Veteran-ness, and play terribly.

I assume they’ll have clauses allowing them to leave by April if they aren’t on the active roster. Both can play their way to Arlington with a hot spring. Sounds implausible, but Jamey Wright did just that in 2007. A couple of solid outings and management was talking about how hard it would be to lose him. Really! Jamey Wright, who’d been released or denied arbitration ten times in thirteen years.

Wright did in fact pitch adequately last year, but the foundation of his success was awfully shaky. He allowed a .475 OBP to the first batter of an inning and was third in percentage of double-play situations permitted among all pitchers with 60 innings. A high percentage is common among good relievers, but Wright rarely entered with men on base. He inherited only six runners all season. On the upside, he induced a double play once per 20 batters faced and permitted a miniscule lie of 188/.287/.325 with runners in scoring position, but it’s hard to believe either is sustainable.

So, Wright spent much of 2007 pitching himself into and out of double-play situations. In the long run, that’s trouble. There are exceptions, but in general the pitchers with the highest percentage of double-play situations were pretty lousy (MLB leader: Vicente Padilla). 2007 seems like a one-shot deal, particularly for a pitcher who walked more batters than he struck out for the fifth time.

As for the other guy, Melhuse last posted a .300 OBP in 2004, was never much defensively, and turns 36 in a couple of months. Ron Washington extolled Melhuse’s leadership ability when first acquired in 2007. Meaning, there’s a chance Melhuse could lead his way to 150 plate appearances with a line of .220/.260/.300.

Having an insurance backup catcher is necessary, of course. I just have a hard time believing Melhuse is the best option.

I’m probably making way too much of this, but I haven’t written much lately.

Posted by Lucas at 12:31 PM

Guardado Signed

Texas signed reliever EDDIE GUARDADO to a one-year contract.

Eddie says:

I love closing. Pitching the seventh and eighth inning is great, but there is something about the ninth that's unbelievable…. If C.J. is the closer, I'm still going to be there. I'm going to be ready to pitch whether it's the eighth or ninth inning.

Or the sixth. Guardado turned 37 last fall. Even if he recovers fully from Tommy John surgery, he may not have a full tank. Texas will discover how full, then use him accordingly (I hope). At the least, he’s almost assuredly a LOOGY upgrade over John Rheinecker, which is good news to everyone but Rheinecker.

Posted by Lucas at 12:29 PM

White Released

Texas waived reliever BILL WHITE.

White strikes out a ton of hitters and walks nearly as many. He shouldn’t be too upset at getting released; Texas did give him his union card and lock in respectable pay for the rest of his career. He might re-sign a minor-league deal.

Posted by Lucas at 12:28 PM

January 02, 2008

Day After New Year's Photo

Emmanuel Solis and Carlos Pimentel, Peoria, AZ, 4 October 2007

Posted by Lucas at 11:17 PM

January 01, 2008

New Year's Photo

Neftali Feliz at Fall Instructionals, Surprise, AZ, 6 October 2007

Posted by Lucas at 11:56 PM