Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Texas Rangers: Michael Young's No Trade and How to Fix The Rotation, Bullpen

  Michael Young #10 And Elvis Andrus #1 Of The Texas Rangers Are Congratulated By Teammates

Michael Young’s Full No Trade Clause

Texas Rangers’ super utility guy, Michael Young, will not have to worry about being traded any time soon-if at all.

Young’s 10-and-5 rights kicked in on Saturday May 7th meaning he has control of if, when and where he’s traded.

You may remember the talk surrounding his impending trade during spring training and even more might remember the Rangers being in serious talks with the Colorado Rockies.

The topic came up again in Denver but was quickly shot down on Twitter by Rockies’ beat writer Troy Renck.

Is there still a chance? Sure. But it would have to be because the team is way out of the race by the trade deadline at the end of July.

  Closer Heath Bell #21 Of The San Diego Padres Looks On From The Mound In The 9th Inning Against The San Francisco

Rangers need to upgrade their bullpen, rotation

At the beginning of the 2011 baseball season the Texas Rangers got off to one of their hottest starts in franchise history. It looked like the team was going run away with the American League’s Western Division before the All-Star break even got close.

A few weeks later, the team would lose both outfielder Josh Hamilton and closer Neftali Feliz and the hot start quickly turned ice cold.

While Feliz has returned to the team, the Rangers’ offense has struggled without their MVP in the lineup. Opposing pitchers are not going to pitch other hitters the way they would if they were to face Hamilton in the middle of it.

Left hander Matt Harrison, who was one of the reasons this team was playing so well right off the bat, has struggled with his command over his last few starts. After winning his first three starts, giving up a combined four earned runs, Harrison has lost each of his last four starts giving up a combined 17 earned runs in 17.1 IP.

But he is not the only one wondering if they will ever gain some sort of momentum.

Young right hander Derek Holland has also struggled, giving up 22 earned runs in 29.2 IP including giving up at least five runs in three of his last five starts.

While there aren’t many trades seen at this point in the season, the Rangers need to be looking at their options. They need to make sure they stay within striking distance of the Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Angels. No one is going to run away with the AL West, but the Rangers need to do everything they can to make sure they stay close.

There are two guys who can come in immediately and make an impact in the Rangers’ bullpen, something this team desperately need.

San Diego Padres’ closer Heath Bell and Kansas City Royals’ closer Joakim Soria.

Both players will demand minor leaguers in return but neither are going to require a lot in salary.

If you want to look at the rotation and trying to fix what seems to be broken, there are a few players we can throw out who might be of interest to general manager Jon Daniels.

For those of you who really follow the Rangers and know their minor league system you might have heard the name, Tanner Scheppers.

The former Fresno State standout is one of the top pitching prospects for this franchise and he is a player a lot of fans and media alike have mentioned as someone who might see the big leagues before the end of this season.

If these struggles continue, Scheppers might be called up sooner rather than later. The one thing Daniels and the Rangers need to make absolutely sure of is he is ready for the pressures of being a major league pitcher. If they bring him up and he proves to not be ready, you send him back to Triple-A with his confidence all but shot.

Instead of bringing up an unproven minor league prospect, Daniels can look at guys like Chicago Cubs’ right hander Matt Garza, Baltimore Orioles right hander Jeremy Guthrie, or young Boston Red Sox left hander Clay Buchholz.

There are other names the Rangers will probably look at prior to the trade deadline but they do not need to bring in a veteran type pitcher to make a difference. They bring in a young pitcher who you can control and build around over the next few years.

While it is not time to panic in Arlington just yet, the list of names to look at is going to grow if the bullpen and rotation continue to struggle.

Once Josh Hamilton returns to the lineup, we may see things begin to turn around and the momentum begin to grow. Until then, the Rangers need to at least need to tread water for the next month or more.

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