Kauf Drops: No Wizard of Oz-Walt

by Todd K | Posted on Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Roy Oswalt - Colorado Rockies v Texas Rangers

By Todd Kaufmann

Sr. Columnist

toddmkaufmann@att.net

 

You know it’s a weird week when my columns have mentioned Santa, his reindeer being designated for assignment, fishing, and now The Wizard of Oz. I’m even a little weirded out.

But, we press on as I try to entertain you with humor and make you think with my thoughts and ideas.

Roy Oswalt made his second start for the Texas Rangers and although he looked like the man behind the curtain pulling the strings against the Colorado Rockies, Wednesday night against the Detroit Tigers he looked more like the Scarecrow, unable to find his way out of a bad inning.

I will, however, give him credit for pitching six innings and saving the bullpen from a long night of work. At least that’s what I thought would happen. Martin Perez made his big league debut and may have been a little too amped up, giving up two runs in just two-thirds of an inning. Mike Adams then came in and didn’t fare much better.

Joe Nathan and Robbie Ross were the only two guys who didn’t come in and give up a run, though Ross came close before getting himself out of trouble.

Back to Oswalt. I’ve been a proponent of bringing him in to this rotation since the beginning of spring training. I had a feeling that he wanted to be here and would wait Texas out until they had a need for him. Turns out he was right.

They start him against a National League team which makes sense since he spent his entire career in there with the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies. Why not start him against a team he’s familiar with?

There were some who wanted to put Oswalt on a pedestal and talk about how great of an addition he already is to this team. While I won’t disagree about bringing in a veteran, I wasn’t ready to declare him the MVP of the rotation after just one start. I like him, just not that much. Not yet, anyway.

What I will say is the Rangers need more than what Roy gave them on Wednesday night. They can’t have him scattering a career high 13 hits every time he goes out. He can’t continue to get himself into jams just to hope he can get himself out of each and every one of them.

Oswalt is a guy who knows how to pitch and he’s a guy who, above all, knows how to win. Two starts are not going to make or break my opinion of him being here. Is it concerning? Sure. But I fully expect him to come out in his next start and put up a solid effort like he did in his debut.

 

Martin Perez…Underwhelming

I knew the debut was coming the moment I heard young left-hander Martin Perez was being called up from Triple-A Round Rock to join the Rangers’ bullpen. Either we were going to see him in his very first day with the team or, perhaps, the following day.

We didn’t have to wait long before he came trotting out from the bullpen. You can only imagine how much his adrenaline was pumping and thinking his heart was going to beat out of his chest.

He pitched just two-thirds of an inning and gave up two runs, looking shaky the entire time he was on the mound. While his pitches themselves looked fine, his command was anything but.

I will admit that I questioned this move the very moment it was made. I wasn’t sure why they would bring him up right now. Was it a depth thing? Was he really ready for what the Rangers were going to ask him to do?

Not only did he make his debut out of the bullpen and not fare so well, but an announcement is expected today that Perez will make his second appearance for the team, this time as the starter for Saturday’s game against the Oakland Athletics. If he was this wild in less than an inning out of the bullpen, one can only imagine how a full start will turn out.

 

I See You David Murphy

I’ve long been a fan of left fielder, David Murphy. I’ve talked about him at length being the perfect role player for this Texas Rangers’ ball club.

But it takes just one night like he had on Wednesday to make me realize why the Rangers didn’t trade him during spring training when they had several phone calls inquiring about his availability.

In his first two at bats, Murphy already had two home runs and three runs driven in. Over his next two at bats, he would add two more hits and two more runs batted in. It was one of those nights the Rangers knew he had in him. Manager Ron Washington even went as far as to leave Murphy in to face a left-handed pitcher in the fifth inning, something Murphy had struggled to do in the past.

But, Wash’s faith paid off as Murphy lined a single to center scoring Adrian Beltre. It was that kind of night for Murph.

 

Rangers’ Scout in Cincinnati

Just a quick bit of news, the Texas Rangers had one of their scouts in Cincinnati yesterday as the Reds were taking on the Milwaukee Brewers. According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, it was no accident as Zack Greinke was making the start.

At this point, we can only say the Rangers are doing their due diligence on him. While we don’t know yet if Texas is serious about acquiring the right-hander, they are at least keeping their eye on him.

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