Kauf Drops: Tuesday Morning Notes

by Todd K | Posted on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Roy Oswalt - Philadelphia Phillies v St Louis Cardinals - Game 4

Image: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

By Todd Kaufmann

Sr Columnist


That wasn’t the way things were supposed to go. Did Yu Darvish really get owned by the Seattle Mariners…again?

Unfortunately, the match-up we hyped up yesterday between Darvish and Mariners’ ace Felix Hernandez really never got started. Darvish lasted all of four innings, giving up four earned runs and walking six before getting yanked in favor of Mark Lowe, recently called up reliever Yoshinori Tateyama and Mike Adams.

The only real bright spots in the game for Texas were two defensive plays from first baseman, Mitch Moreland, and short stop Elvis Andrus who made a terrific off balance throw to catcher Mike Napoli, who scooped it like a first baseman, for the force out at home plate.

Not the way any of the Rangers’ fans wanted to see the game go on Monday night but the team still has two more games to go to be able to take home another series victory.

Felix gets Mitchslapped

Before the season began, I was of the opinion that the Rangers were doing the right thing by hanging on to first baseman Mitch Moreland instead of investing eight to nine years in free agent, Prince Fielder. While some disagreed, the Rangers stuck to their word of being committed to Moreland and kept him with the team.

Though he had a tough start to the season and hasn’t gotten a chance to start on an every day basis, the games that he has started he has made the best of.

Over his last 10 starts, Moreland is 15-for-36 (.416) with four home runs and 10 runs driven in all while striking out just three times. One of those four home runs came on Monday night against Mariners’ starter Felix Hernandez. Moreland took a hanging 2-2 count and smoked it over the center field wall about 15-20 rows deep for his seventh home run of the season.

Moreland isn’t going to be a guy who is going to hit over .300 all season long and he’s not a guy that is going to hit 30 to 35 home runs every season. If he finishes the 2012 season hitting where he is right now (.289) with 20 or more home runs and 70 t0 80 runs driven in, the Rangers’ brass will tell you they will take that every day of the week.

Roy Oswalt update

We talked yesterday about the possibility of the Texas Rangers being interested in bringing in veteran right-hander, Roy Oswalt. We know he threw for the Rangers this past Friday but they weren’t the only team Oswalt has thrown for in the last few weeks. The other two teams, at least that we know of, are the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies.

Now there’s a new development in the story, one that makes the Rangers a little more interested than they were before. We know Oswalt said during the off season he would love to pitch for the Texas Rangers but because of their depth, he just didn’t seem like a fit at the time.

With Neftali Feliz going on the disabled list and being unable to even throw a baseball for the next four weeks, not to mention the struggles of left-handers Matt Harrison and Derek Holland, there may be a new found interest in bringing in a guy who knows how to win games and a guy who the younger pitchers can learn from.

Prior to Monday night’s game against Seattle, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reported that the Rangers are considering Oswalt. “Everything is on the table,” general manager Jon Daniels told reporters.

As I said in yesterday’s column, this fire isn’t completely out just yet. Seems like this one is burning nice and hot.

Matt Harrison looks to turn things around

For you Texas Rangers’ fans who have watched this team all season you know how young left-hander Matt Harrison was looking more and more like a top of the rotation starter when the season began.

Since then, he’s looked anything but that.

He will take the ball tonight against the Seattle Mariners sporting a 4-3 record and a 5.21 earned run average. Since starting the 2012 season 3-0 with a 1.66 ERA, Harrison is 1-3 over his last five starts and has gained almost four full runs on his earned run average.

You know the young left-hander has something to prove when he takes the ball against the Mariners tonight. He’ll want to show that he isn’t the guy who has struggled mightily over his last few starts.

A good outing here will definitely be a confidence booster.

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