Kauf Drops: Another Chapter in the West Side Story

by Todd K | Posted on Friday, June 29th, 2012

Scott Feldman - Arizona Diamondbacks v Texas Rangers

Image: Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

By Todd Kaufmann

Sr. Columnist

toddmkaufmann@att.net

Continuing my strange trend from this week going from Santa Claus, to fishing, to a Wizard of Oz mention to a mention of one of the best Broadway shows you’ll ever see. Well, that is if that’s your kind of thing.

The Texas Rangers faced an Oakland Athletics team that had been a thorn in their side for the majority of the first half of the baseball season. The Rangers are and have been the better team; they just haven’t shown it on the field.

In fact, coming into Thursday night’s game, the A’s had won four of the six games so far this season. You may wonder how that’s actually possible but I promise you it was. They don’t seem that good, but then the Rangers seem to play up or down to their competition depending on who they’re playing. Take the Seattle Mariners as the perfect example. Not a good team, but beats the Rangers senseless every time these two teams meet.

Here’s where my mention of The West Side Story comes in. Two teams in the AL West, one on top of the division while the other lingers towards the bottom. The Rangers have dealt with injuries having to put five of their pitchers on the disabled list which was the reason Scott “Boo Hoo” Feldman received yet another start. Something most of the fans didn’t believe he deserved after his pitiful 1-6 record through seven starts. His lone win coming against the lackluster San Diego Padres in one of the biggest pitchers parks in baseball.

But, with Colby Lewis being the latest disabled list member, Feldman once again was called upon to make a spot start. We understood it but it doesn’t mean we had to be happy about it. Sound familiar?

Three batters into the game, Feldman would serve up Josh Reddick’s 18th home run of the season. Two innings later, Feldman would bring out the silver platter again, giving up back-to-back home runs to Derek Norris and Cliff Pennington, their second and third home runs of the season respectively.

Through three innings of work, Feldman had already given up for runs on three home runs and an RBI single. He would end the day with five innings of work, scattering nine hits and giving up the aforementioned four runs.

Luckily for him, the Rangers offense came alive in the home half of the fifth, scoring four runs and putting Feldman in a position to get just his second win in eight starts.

Though the game got interesting in the later innings of the game, Joe Nathan was able to close things out, giving Texas a much needed 7-6 win, especially since the Angels, earlier in the day, had already closed out a 9-7 win of their own.

Whether or not the right-hander will be handed another start is yet to be seen, especially with Derek Holland possibly coming off the disabled list before his turn in the rotation comes up. Seemingly good news for the Rangers, seeing as Feldman seems to put the team in an early hole almost every time he takes the ball.

More than likely they’ll put him back in the bullpen, bringing another sad song from the right-hander about getting his feelings hurt. Whatever happened to, “what’s best for the team?”

 

David Murphy is Hot…wait, what?

I talked about David Murphy incredible performance in yesterday’s column and I definitely want to give him some love after another solid performance on Thursday night.

After four hits in five at bats, including five runs batted in, against Detroit on Wednesday, Murphy followed it up with two hits in three at bats and driving in two of the Rangers’ seven runs on the night. Giving Murph a two-game total of six hits in eight at bats and seven runs driven in, including two home runs.

This is why the Rangers have had so much faith in Murphy and haven’t traded him every time the opportunity has come up. He’s a guy who puts it all on the line each and every time he takes the field and he’s proven to be a solid commodity for Texas this season.

 

Forgive Me if I Don’t Agree

Rangers’ GM Jon Daniels has said everything that he’s supposed to say at this point in the season when it comes to what the team will do prior to the trade deadline. Even going as far as to say the pitchers they have coming off the disabled list (Lewis, Holland, Ogando, Feliz, Uehara) are better than anyone they could acquire before July 31st.

Forgive me if I don’t subscribe to his line of thinking at this moment in time. Sure, Daniels is one of the brightest general managers this game has to offer right now. But he’s also a guy who says exactly what needs to be said to keep other teams from tracking down what they’re trying to do.

They scouted Milwaukee Brewers’ right hander, Zack Greinke, against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday afternoon for a reason and it wasn’t for advanced scouting.

You can bet the Rangers have interest in a few different starters whether it’s Greinke or guys like Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster or even Minnesota Twins’ left-hander Francisco Liriano, which might be a longer shot than the rest.

I would be completely shocked if the Rangers stood on what they had going forward and didn’t make a single move at the deadline. This front office, in my opinion, is far too smart to believe this team, as it’s built now, is good enough to contend for, and win, a World Series championship for the first time in three straight tries.

They could stand to bring in another starter which would mean one guy would lose their rotation spot. As far as I’m concerned, the odd man out would have to be left-hander Derek Holland. That is unless he sets the world on fire when he returns from the disabled list sometime next week.

I don’t expect this team to stand pat, and neither should you.

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