Sunday, March 27, 2011

Around the Majors

  • In Texas, the Rangers have finally decided what they are going to do about 2010 Rookie of the Year Neftali Feliz. They have been struggling in deciding if they should keep Feliz in the closer role like last season, or transition him into a starter. The situation is much like the one the Red Sox had to deal with when Jonathan Papelbon first broke into the bigs. It seem as if Texas has decided to keep Feliz in the closer role. I think that is a bad move. Texas needs a bona fide ace if they want to repeat as AL Champs in 2011. In my 2011 MLB Predictions I have the Rangers finishing in second in the AL West, winning the wild card. Without Feliz being able to fill in for Lee, I'm not sure if that will happen anymore. They have decent starters, but no top of the line guy. It is far more important to have a number one or number two starter than a closer. Read Tom Verducci's piece on the subject for great, in-depth analysis of how much more valuable a starter is than a closer.

  • In Chicago, the Cubs are having a different sort of issue with their starting rotation. The team has been having a spring-long competition for their fifth starting spot. One part of the competition was big Carlos Silva. Silva started making headlines early in the spring when his alleged "jawing" started a fight in the Cubs locker room, which had to be broken up by coaches and other players. To go along with this, Silva has pitched horribly. He has pitched in five games, starting four, and has managed 17.1 innings and 10.90 ERA. Today, the Cubs released Silva, and he was none-too-pleased about this. He blasted the team and pitching coach Jim Hendry for not giving him a realistic prognosis on his place with the team. Silva has no one to blame but himself. Acting like a baby in the dugout on top of horrible production won't due in a camp competition.

  • Nyjer Morgan has been traded by the Washington Nationals to the Milwaukee Brewers for prospects. This trade makes a ton of sense for Washington. Morgan has been in trouble numerous times with Washington and they needed to cut him loose. Rick Ankiel is having a great spring, and that was enough to convince the Nats they'd be fine with Ankiel and Jerry Hairston Jr. platooning CF. For the Brewers, they get a headcase, but he should be a nice backup for Carlos Gomez, and is valuable speed for that bench. Both teams got what they needed with this trade. 

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