Inbox: Will Andrus be elevated in order?
Beat reporter T.R. Sullivan answers Rangers fans' questions
I know the idea is to wait until next year to move Elvis Andrus up in the lineup, but with the offense struggling, why not let him hit first for a week or so to see what he can do, then move Kinsler to third in the order and keep Young at second? This cannot be any worse than the offensive woes of late.
-- Jacob P., Hebron, Texas
Andrus is hitting in front of Kinsler and Young, except in the first inning, so he serves pretty much that role anyway. Kinsler could be a better leadoff hitter, but instead of a high on-base percentage, he does have the ability to give the Rangers an immediate big lift to start the game. Texas has multiple offensive concerns and Kinsler is one, but not the only one.
All I keep hearing about front-runners in the Halladay sweepstakes are the Sox, Yanks and Phillies. What about the Rangers? We're definitely contenders in need for a No. 1 arm and we've got the pieces to move. Would it take Neftali Feliz, Martin Perez and Justin Smoak to bring him in? And is this a move we should pursue?
-- David S., Washington D.C.
This is the kind of package it will take. But the Rangers are unlikely to take on the added payroll, and it is equally unlikely that Halladay will accept a trade to Texas. He apparently is not a big fan of the weather.Scott Feldman had quality start after quality start to earn his spot in the rotation. My question to you is why does Ron Washington refuse to stretch him out and allow him to pitch past the sixth? Isn't it Nolan Ryan's creed to live by longer outings?
-- Martin R., Dallas
He is averaging 4.07 pitchers per batter. That's the highest for any pitcher in the American League. He usually has one high-pitch inning that ends up costing him once the sixth and seventh innings roll around.What is taking so long to get Tanner Scheppers signed? I figured with him sitting out all last year and hardly playing this spring, the kid would be itching to sign and get his pro career started. Sign him, give him a month in Double-A, and then get him in the Rangers' bullpen.
-- Bill R., Waco, Texas
Have a question about the Rangers?
E-mail your query to MLB.com Rangers beat reporter T.R. Sullivan for possible inclusion in a future Inbox column. Letters may be edited for brevity, length and/or content.
The Rangers would be willing to do it for slot money, considering Scheppers is coming off an injury and pitched in an independent league this year. Scheppers undoubtedly has other ideas about the size of the bonus. He is currently working out in California.With Tommy Hunter pitching like he is right now, if the Rangers make the playoffs, would he be the third starter for a series behind Kevin Millwood and Scott Feldman?
-- Jake J., Colorado City, Texas
If the Rangers make the playoffs, it will be more than likely because Vicente Padilla had a big second half.I see that both Zach Duke and Matt Capps are on the Rangers' list of pitchers they have interest in. I think a fair deal would be Mitch Moreland, Greg Golson, Joaquin Arias, pitcher Wilfredo Boscan and possibly Max Ramirez in return for Duke and Capps.
-- Clint F., Keller, Texas
That would be a great deal for Pittsburgh if Arias was still a full-time shortstop, Boscan was a little farther along than low Class A and Ramirez wasn't struggling at Triple-A.Do you know when the All-Star Game will be in Arlington? And how do they decide where it is?
-- Andrew M., Amarillo, Texas
The All-Star Game is set only two to three years at a time and is usually rotated through the leagues. The Rangers hosted it in 1995, so the event is unlikely to return any time before 2020.What is the latest news on Joaquin Benoit? Is he going to pitch for the Rangers sometime this year?
-- Michael D., Abilene, Texas
No. He and Eric Hurley are out for the season because of surgery to repair torn rotator cuffs.With the starting pitching troubles (injuries mainly), why aren't the Rangers considering Jason Jennings as a starter?
-- Eric T., Temple, Texas
He is not stretched out. He's at approximately 25-40 pitches per game. A starter needs to be able to throw 90-100 pitches per game. It would be difficult to do at this point of the season unless you sent him to the Minors, and he is a huge part of a highly effective bullpen.In a farm system that is rather weak at third base, what chance do you give to Rangers 2009 second-rounder Tommy Mendonca of filling in at the big league level by '10?
-- Randall P., Clovis, Ca.
Hopefully none. How about giving the guy two to three years to develop as a hitter, cut down on his strike zone, learn plate discipline and make a full adjustment to a wood bat. Give these guys a chance.Does Neftali Feliz's move to the bullpen mean a callup is coming soon?
-- Shea S., Dallas
The Rangers moved Feliz to the bullpen last month because they anticipated a need for a hard-throwing right-handed reliever. Right now that need is not there because of the work of Darren O'Day, Jason Grilli and Jennings. The Rangers seem overeager to get Feliz here, but the bullpen is doing extremely well right now.I have my own opinions, but I want to know what you think about the All-Star Game voting system. Should the fans get less of a voice in it, or should the system stay as it is?
-- Kaleb S., Broken Arrow, Okla.
This is actually the best system they have had for selecting an All-Star Game, although the overkill campaigning on the Final Vote is a little silly. But there is no doubt in my mind that the fans should get to vote on the starting lineups. It's just one of many reason why it's better than that football game in Hawaii on Valentine's Day.If a player gets voted into the All-Star Game but gets traded before the event, does he still get to play?
-- Kyle S., DeSoto, Texas
If it's within the same league, he keeps his spot. If he's traded to the other league, he doesn't start but is added to the team.What are the chances that Andruw Jones is traded to a contender, like the Rockies, that needs a big bat in exchange for a good arm like Jason Marquis?
-- Brett R., Hurst, Texas
The Rockies also like having an All-Star pitcher in their rotation.When will the Rangers give up on Brandon McCarthy and call the deal a bust? It seems he's always hurt and so fragile.
-- Jesse R., Lewisville, Texas
There is no reason to give up on him. He is on the 60-day disabled list and not taking up a roster spot, and he's not making much money. If he doesn't give up, why should the Rangers? There are a number of pitchers who got off to rough starts in their careers. Chris Carpenter and Jason Schmidt come to mind. Marquis is another. Sure, that might be a stretch and McCarthy may never amount to much. But there is no reason to give up right now. Maybe he resurrects his career in the bullpen like Jennings.I have seen in many publications that Texas' farm system is ranked at or near the top. How is this measured? Is it statistical, a prospect grading system, or otherwise?
-- Jared C., Conway, Ark.
The guys who do it are very knowledgeable. They look at statistics, scouting reports and other data, but ultimately it is quite a subjective list.I have a couple of trade ideas ... 1: Hank Blalock and David Murphy for Matt Cain. 2: Blalock and Taylor Teagarden for Clay Buchholz. 3: Blalock, Teagarden and Marlon Byrd for Roy Halladay. Thoughts?
-- Chris J., Norman, Okla.
What did Blalock ever do to you?
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.