On a conference call today with FW/d area reporters, Texas Rangers GM Jon Daniels said the status of Hamilton and the Rangers hasn't really changed in the past few weeks. Daniels was very non-committal about anything regarding Hamilton, up to and including he is not sure whether the sun will indeed rise.
Of note, Daniels is not really sure about the catching situation, either. Mike Napoli sounds like a goner.
What Daniels did sound fairly certain about was the team's rotation, which should be a concern.
1. Yu Darvish, RHP: 16-9, 3.90 ERA, 29 starts. Should be a 20-game winner. Celebrity ace potential.
2. Matt Harrison, LHP: 18-11, 3.29 ERA, 32 starts. Solid No. 2.
3. Derek Holland, LHP: 12-7, 4.67 ERA, 27 starts. Who knows?
4. Alexi Ogando, RHP: 2-0, 3.27 ERA, 1 start. Awfully valuable in the setup role.
Daniels said the fifth spot would be up for grabs from in house candidates such as Colby Lewis, Martin Perez, Neftali Feliz, etc.
After Harrison and Yu, I'm not feeling this. If Holland developed the way Harrison did last season, it would change everything but he remained erratic.
If the Rangers are going to spend money this offseason in the free agent market, take a pass on Josh and try for a Zack Greinke instead.
Both Lewis (elbow) and Feliz (Tommy John) were shut down in the middle of the 2012 season because of their respective injuries. Daniels said he expects Lewis to be a June 1, 2013 arrival while Feliz would comeback around the tradeline.
"I think we are aware that things continue to go well for both guys and reports are good. It could be a nice addition. We are looking at Neftali as a trade deadline acquisition. That may be his timing, given the way the calendar falls," Daniels said. "We may look at him in the bullpen this year. That may be permanent.
"I think Colby could have a bigger impact. We want him to be cautious. You have to put the club together not counting on those guys. You don't know with an injury. Until they are back you can't 100 percent count on them."
The fifth spot is usually a tossup for most clubs, which means the concern should focus on the three-four spots that are Holland and Ogando. Can they win? Can they be consistent? Can they hold up?
Both guys have demonstrated serious big-league stuff but have not necessarily earned the type of trust and promise that you want from a No. 3.
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