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Well, it’s that time.
Posted By Brian Hutton On Apr 6 2009 @ 5:11 am In Texas Rangers | 1 Comment
Every year at this time, all 30 teams have a sense of confidence. No games have been played and the slate is clean. It's been a good 6 months since the bullpen has gone cold and everyone is healthy and good to go. All fans have a sense of optimism. A few hours from now the 2009 Texas Rangers will take field, and the 2009 Season will officially begin. The roster, opponent and time is set and soon it will be time to stop talking and start performing. The AL West is wide open due to the injuries and Anaheim and the talented but young A's rotation. The Rangers could finish anywhere from 1st to 3rd and I wouldn't be too surprised. To be realistic, I'd expect around 86 wins, a slight improvement.
While there's plenty that I like, Elvis Andrus's defense, Chris Davis' upside, Neftali Feliz's fastball and several more. The offense is fantastic and the farm system is stacked but there are still plenty of holes. The rotation will be lackluster until Feliz and Holland arrive. The bullpen will struggle, especially with the lack of quality in right handed relieve. Scott Feldman is headed to the bullpen, and many believe he is much more suited for the starter role. The Kris Benson experiment should only last until one of the AAA starters, likely Holland, is ready. Warner Madrigal has yet to establish himself as a dependable relieve and would be much more suited for working in Oklahoma for a few months. The defense will be better but still bad. Andrus will make some amazing plays but will also bobble the routine one. He'll have a high error count. There's certain things to be expected, such rookie struggles and injuries. There's no doubt the Rangers will have some struggles
The defense will be better and the starting rotation can only improve. If the offense remains consistent, and Nelson Cruz and Chris Davis can duplicate Milton Bradley's production, things could really start to get in motion. The catching position will be interesting to watch as well, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden fighting for time.
Who knows where the Rangers will end up. All I know is that last year, Ben Broussard was our starting First Baseman. The depth is beginning to shift up in the organization, and its an exciting process to watch unfold. Originally I was hesitant with the idea of Andrus being our starting shortstop, primarily because of salary reasons. After reading of his glovework in the Spring, I am thrilled at the thought of seeing the 20 year old start magnificent double plays. Needlessly to say, it should be an interesting season.
Team MVP: Ian Kinsler
AL West: Angels
AL Central: Indians
AL East: Red Sox
Wild Card: Rays
NL West: Dodgers
NL Central: Cubs
NL East: Mets
Wild Card: Braves
Red Sox over Cubs
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