Spring thoughts: Rangers have eye on Leonys Martin
The bad news: Washington will be critiquing his every move - good or bad - in hopes that he can extract all of his talent.
|ESPN senior baseball writer Buster Olney joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to give his take on the Texas Rangers' controversy in the front office. |
He’s the kind of guy who can single, go first to third on another base hit and score on a groundout. But he also has enough power to generate some extra base hits and turn those into runs.
The Rangers have invested $15.5 million in Martin, but that won’t help him win the job. It’s more an indication the Rangers believe he has tremendous potential and the ability to make Hamilton's absence just a little less painful.
Of course, the Rangers also have Craig Gentry, who played well last season and could be part of a platoon in center field with Martin.
Lohse is 30-11 with a 3.11 ERA the last two seasons, but that’s in a NL pitcher’s park.
While it’s obvious the Rangers will need more than five starters, they’re not interested in giving a 34-year-old pitcher a multi-year deal worth about $14 million a year and sacrificing a first-round pick.
They checked into Detroit’s Rick Porcello because he’s a younger, cheaper option with more upside, but he might not be in the rotation either when Colby Lewis returns. The Rangers believe -- based on doctors' reports -- that Lewis will return to the rotation in late May.
Washington doesn’t just want the Rangers going from first to third regularly, he wants the team being aggressive from second to home and first to home.
He also wants the Rangers stealing bases again, regardless of how pitchers use slide steps and pickoff attempts to stop them. Recognizing pitch sequence is one way to do it. That’s a fancy way of saying the Rangers need to run more on breaking-ball counts.
It’s not homers and RBIs. It’s not on-base percentage. It’s moving runners over, getting runners home from third with less than one out. It’s doing all of the little things that result in scoring runs and doesn't require the ball to be hit out of the ballpark.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Ron Washington's decision to send Yu Darvish to the mound for the eighth inning Thursday night and how he would handle a situation like that if he were still a GM.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss the latest Rangers news, including the Yu Darvish-Justin Verlander matchup.
Play Podcast Nelson Cruz joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' series in Oakland, his ups and downs at the plate and if the PED talks before the season were a distraction.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Oakland for his weekly visit.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company to discuss his role with the Rangers. Ryan says that he has not been in contact with the Astros about a possible opening and he doesn't think that he would be interested anyway.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit and wastes no time sounding off on MLB umpire Angel Hernandez.
Play Podcast Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland joins GAC from Milwaukee to discuss what it was like facing former teammate Scott Feldman, Texas' upcoming series and more.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Milwaukee for his weekly visit and discusses Nick Tepesch, the Rangers' rotation, interleague play and more.