Inbox: Why such patience with Borbon?
Beat reporter T.R. Sullivan answers Rangers fans' questions
Why is Julio Borbon getting a much longer look than Chris Davis?
-- Chelsea K. Arlington
If you want to draw that analogy, Davis was with the Rangers for three months at the beginning of last season before being sent to the Minors. Borbon had a dreadful start in the leadoff spot, but has been better in the nine-hole and he has played well at a premium defensive position. His offense can and needs to be better. It is getting better. But the Rangers have found a leadoff hitter in Elvis Andrus, so they aren't in dire need of replacing Borbon as long as his defense and speed remain assets.If/when the sale of the team goes through, and we approach the Trade Deadline, what do you anticipate the Rangers needs will be, and who do you think may be available?
-- John B. Corsicana, Texas
White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, a free agent after this season, is somebody who could be of interest to the Rangers. They have scouts keeping an eye on him and he has been discussed internally. Matt Treanor has handled the role quite well to this point, but the Rangers are still considering all catching possibilities, especially if Jarrod Saltalamacchia is still having trouble throwing at Triple-A Oklahoma City.Is there a chance we will see Tanner Scheppers in a Rangers uniform this year, and is he a potential closer? His stats and the fact that he has two-plus pitches indicate he may be a good fit if Neftali Feliz continues to struggle and Frank Francisco is out.
-- Robert W. Ardmore, Okla.
Scheppers pitched in 12 games in 2008 at Fresno State before suffering a serious shoulder injury. He pitched four games for St. Paul in the independent Northern League in 2009 and seven more in the Arizona Fall League. This season he had a great start at Double-A Frisco, meriting a quick promotion to Triple-A. But it's hard to believe that Scheppers will be ready for such a prime-time role as "closer" at the Major League level, given what he has been through the past few years. It seems unfathomable to put him on the fast track at this point in his fledgling career.I am seeing a parallel between C.J. Wilson and Kenny Rogers. How many relief appearances did Rogers make before becoming a starter, and how many did Wilson have before getting in the starting rotation?
-- Doug H. Farmers Branch, Texas
Rogers had 262 relief appearances and 12 starts from 1989-92 before finally breaking into the rotation for good in '93. He was 28 years old and in his fifth season in the Majors. Wilson had 252 relief appearances and six starts before joining the rotation this season. He is 29 and has roughly the same service time as Rogers had in '93.How much of a difference does Ian Kinsler make in the lineup?
-- Jacob U. Fort Worth
Kinsler had an .827 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) coming into this season while Andres Blanco had a .619 OPS. That would tend to suggest the difference is quite significant.June 7 is right around the corner. Any names you can give us who the Rangers might take in the First-Year Player Draft?
-- Jeff B. Dallas
The Rangers have the 15th, 22nd, 45th and 49th overall picks in the upcoming Draft. The most interesting name is Michael Choice, an outfielder from UT-Arlington who is considered an exceptional all-around talent. He is originally from just down the street in Mansfield. It's hard to imagine him getting past the 22nd overall pick without the Rangers taking him. They have had people watching him this spring. Some other interesting local names include McKinney High pitcher Zach Lee and infielder Matt Lipke and Arlington-Martin outfielder Brian Ragira.What are the chances that the Rangers would take Tyrell Jenkins from Henderson, Texas, with one of their supplemental picks in this year's Draft?
-- Jared R., Longview, Texas
He is a 6-foot-4 pitcher and a terrific athlete who might fit nicely at No. 45 or 49. But he also has a scholarship to play quarterback at Baylor.
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.
-- Jeff R. Little, Rock, Ark.
Chavez, who had knee surgery a year ago, is making real progress in extended spring training. He is taking batting practice and playing defense in intrasquad games. His running is improving, but the challenge is accelerating and stopping. He could be 2-3 weeks away from playing in real games.How difficult would the transition be for David Murphy to move into first base? He has a consistent bat that we can always count on and need in the lineup more often than someone's day off.
-- Kim M. Tulsa, Okla.
The Rangers toyed with the idea of using Murphy some at first base, but apparently weren't too enamored with the defensive possibilities and have decided to keep him strictly in the outfield. He is quite valuable out there.Eric Nadel mentioned after Ron Washington was tossed in the extra-inning affair against Seattle that Clint Hurdle was managing. Isn't it typically the bench coach or is this because of Hurdle's managing past?
-- Travis A. Winters, Texas
Jackie Moore manages the Rangers in those situations, but he was away from the team at the time because of a death in the family. Moore is also a former manager at the Major League level with Oakland.I understand that Davis is viewed as an everyday first baseman, but with the Rangers' depth at first with Justin Smoak, Chad Tracy and Mitch Moreland, why doesn't Davis take Ryan Garko's spot as the corner utility, seeing how he has extensive experience at third as well as first.
-- Mike H. Fort Worth
Davis can also play the outfield, but is still too young and talented to be labeled as a "backup" or "utility" player. The Rangers would prefer to give him more time at Triple-A to see if he can regain his prowess as a potential impact, middle-of-order first baseman.Will Feliz be a starter in the future? Who in the Minors is the future closer for the Rangers?
-- Travis W., Amarillo, Texas
Any great arm can be switched to relief in the Minors, but the three most prominently mentioned names as far as future closers are Omar Beltre, Alexi Ogando and Pedro Strop. Right now though it would seem that the job is Feliz's for the foreseeable future, although Wilson has shown it is possible to go from the bullpen to the rotation.If MLB take over the Rangers, what does this mean at the Trade Deadline? Are they going to be able to trade for players while on MLB's payroll?
-- Anthony F. Fort Worth
The whole situation is relatively simple. There is an agreement to sale the team from current owner Tom Hicks to a group headed by Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg. When the sale is complete, the Rangers will have the flexibility to function like a normal competitive Major League franchise. Until the sale is completed, the Rangers will be extremely limited in what they are able to do regardless of what actions are taken by Major League Baseball.All of the uniforms (white, gray, blue and red) have the word "Texas" across the front. Any thought to using the word "Rangers" on the uniforms?
-- Tom R. Bedford, Texas
The club switched to Texas a few years ago in an attempt to increase the scope of their marketing territory. This and other matters will likely be reviewed by the new ownership group.What is the name of the song that is played every time the Rangers win at home?
-- Gabe H. Crowley, Texas
"I Like Texas" by country singer Pat Green.When can we expect to see another All-Star Game at Rangers Ballpark?
-- Brent W. Granbury, Texas
The Yankees will be here Aug. 10-11.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.