Rangers are star-studded

The Rangers have eight, maybe nine legitimate All-Star candidates. Here they are: Josh Hamilton, Vladimir Guerrero, Michael Young, Elvis Andrus, Nelson Cruz, Colby Lewis, Neftali Feliz and Darren Oliver. Darren O’Day also has the numbers to be considered.

The Angels have two serious candidates for the Midsummer Classic they’ll be hosting on July 13: Jered Weaver and Torii Hunter. After that, you have to start reaching to make a case.

And you’re wondering why the Angels are chasing Texas in the American League West?

The only surprise is that they’re as close as they are. The Rangers could be running away and hiding.

Coming into Wednesday night’s middle game of the series, the Angels having held on to take the opener, the Rangers had outscored opponents by 80 runs in 76 games. The Angels had scored one fewer run than the other guys in 79 games.

The Rangers’ bullpen had the third-best ERA in the AL at 3.30. The Angels were second to last at 4.84.

It’s difficult to find an area where the Angels have been better than the Rangers. Mike Scioscia’s troupe was even running behind in steals by 14. Defense? The Rangers’ .983 team fielding percentage was tied for sixth in the AL, while the Angels were tied for 11th at .981.

The Rangers are batting .283, while their opponents are hitting .243. The Angels are getting out-hit, .264 to .259.

Rumors are swirling that the Angels are interested in Hank Blalock, Garrett Atkins, Adam Dunn. A quick-fix would appease fans, but would it really improve the club significantly? That’s the question management has to weigh.

The only player who could make a huge difference is out for the season: Kendry Morales. My view is that none of those names being tossed around in trade chatter would dramatically alter the landscape. I’d go with what they have and hope the athletes in-house catch fire in the second half.

They have been known to do that. And these Rangers haven’t yet demonstrated they can make it through the heat of September. – Lyle Spencer


One comment

  1. j_rod

    I agree, none of those guys are going to significantly change things. I think the team is playing well with the guys they have. I like Napoli being in the lineup every day and he brings some power. So I think he can do the job at first base the rest of the way. Unless you can get a big name such as Paul Konerko (not likely), I don’t think there are many moves at the first base position that will make sense and make a significant change from what Nap can do for us. No, the change the Angels should focus on is on the other side of diamond, third base. I think we can use a power bat third baseman. I’m just not sure what possibilities are out there (do you?). Wood has been a disappointment. I just don’t see him able to handle major league breaking ball stuff. I like the Frandsen kid and he has a better approach at the plate than Wood, but he’s starting to come down to earth (batted .240 prior to this season). And I don’t think he’s the answer to get us into the playoffs.

    The other area the Angels definitely need to address is the bullpen. Do you think the Angels would consider moving Kazmir to the bull pen and picking up another number one starting pitcher such as a Cliff Lee? In watching Kaz all year, it seems as if he puts up a solid 3-4 innings before tiring and start missing his spots. I can see him coming in middle relief, and provide us with another lefty out of the pen.

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