Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Sports

May 25, 2013

Morgan: Solid shape - Despite injuries, Rangers just fine

Corsicana — Let me see a show of hands. Who was worried this season about the Rangers losing Josh Hamilton, Michael Young and Mike Napoli? Come on, now. You know it was hard to see how they would replace both the production and the leadership provided by that threesome. Oh, and let’s add that they would have to start the season without Coby Lewis and Neftali Feliz. Surely, you had to wonder if even Moses could lead us could lead us out of the AL West.

OK, let’s complicate things a little. What if I had told you that they would lose to injury Martin Perez before the season even started, that Matt Harrison would last a total of two starts, that Ian Kinsler and A.J. Pierzynski would both go on the injured reserve list along with Alexi Ogando? If I had told you that the starting rotation would at times show names such as Nick Tepesch, Justin Grimm and Ross Wolf, would you have guessed that they would have the best record in baseball?

You have to give a ton of credit to Jon Daniels and the staff for having a well-stocked minor league system. Think about it, they have the top minor league prospect in baseball and can’t find any place for him on the major league team. When Kinsler went down to bruised ribs, they called Jurickson Profar up to the majors, but they really didn’t need him. Leury Garcia was filling in quite well.

Outside of Joe Nathan and Robbie Ross, look at what comprised the bullpen during spring training. They had lost some key pieces in the offseason. At this point in the season, the Ranger bullpen is among the best in baseball if not THE best.  Then consider that the bullpen is not a finished product by any means. Coby Lewis and Martin Perez are almost ready to return to Arlington. Perez, who had won the No. 5 spot in the rotation, may have to go to Round Rock.

In a few weeks, Harrison, the season-opening starter, will be able to return. Where do Grimm and Tepesch go? The Rangers just brought up Neal Cotts who impressed in the first major league game in which he’d appeared in over three years. Oh, and did I mention that also recovering from off season surgery is former All-Star closer Joakim Soria? Oh, yeah, he’s on the horizon.

All the bench players have played a significant role so far this season. Geovany Soto has given the catching spot a little depth, and Jeff Baker and Garcia have made large contributions at different times so far.

Nathan has lost a few mph from what he used to have. His closes aren’t always a thing of beauty, but guess what? He hasn’t blown a save yet this season. Even if they didn’t have Soria waiting in the wings, the closer of the future just may be in Arlington right now. Tanner Scheppers has turned into something spectacular.

I don’t care what sport it is, you cannot overstate the importance of depth. All you have to do is glance about a half mile west of the Ballpark to see the importance of depth. When starters went down among Jerry’s boys last season, you need to pull up Google just to find out where some of those guys came from. Free agents had to be replaced by more free agents. Jerry was looking for diamonds in the landfill.

Every team in every sport has to deal with injuries during the season. The successful teams either (a) have few injuries or (b) have the depth to cover it. This season, the Rangers seem to have lived with option (b).

We have heard over several years now that the Rangers have, top to bottom, one of the deepest minor league systems in baseball. We have come to appreciate that with home grown talent such as Kinsler, Elvis, Mitch Moreland, Harrison and Derek Holland. Injuries this season have shown us the value of depth beyond the starting lineup.

After decades of wandering through the baseball desert, Jon Danielss and the front office have brought us just a taste of milk and honey. Wolf may not be prime filet mignon, but the other night he sure looked like manna from heaven. He was certainly a plague to Oakland.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • 7-30-14 Davis.jpg Former Cowboy Keith Davis delivers motivational speech

    Keith Davis believes in dreams.
    He lived his.
    That was one of the messages Davis, a former Dallas Cowboys safety, delivered to a standing-room-only crowd of youngsters Tuesday at the Boys & Girls Club, where he spoke with enthusiasm and energy about life inside and outside of the NFL.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-30 web Wortham TTBA picture.jpg TTBB: Wortham takes second at state tournament

    The Wortham Bulldogs made an impressive run at the Texas Teenage Baseball Association High School Eligible State Tournament in Buffalo and took second in the state.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29-14 tiger sharks.jpg Tiger Sharks make splash at state meet

    There are leaps and bounds, and then there's what the Corsicana YMCA Tiger Sharks did over the weekend at the Lone Star state swimming meet in Frisco.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-27 Shimonek all-star.jpg Mildred's Shimonek transferring from Iowa, will walk on at Texas Tech

    Former Mildred quarterback and Golden Circle Del Thrash Player of the Year Nic Shimonek is leaving the University of Iowa after one red-shirt year and transferring to Texas Tech because of Iowa's pro-style offense.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • RON MORGAN.jpg Morgan; Remembering House and a better era

    The Cowboys started training camp the same week that Robert Newhouse died.
    In a way, that’s very unfortunate for Jerry. Thinking back to the “Human Bowling Ball” and the teams of that era might lead to the inevitable comparisons to today’s product on the field.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • weights.jpg GC Football: Blooming Grove's Williams expects to win

    His father was a head coach for years at Pecos High and his brother-in-law is the head football coach at DeSoto, but Lawrence Williams Jr., a man who loves coaching football, never had any ideas about being the head man.
    “I love coaching,'' said Williams as he sat at his desk in Blooming Grove, where he became the Lions' head coach this summer. “I just never thought about being the head coach and I never applied to be a head coach. With this job I can still coach.''

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kevin Reese mug.jpg Outdoors: Kevin Reese: Summer time means summer tracking

    With only two months before opening day of archery season you should already have your bow maintenance complete, be shooting daily and chomping at the bit for our favorite day to arrive!
    Let’s face it, few animals turn our rotors like whitetail deer.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • All-State Baseball: Corsicana's Harlan and Wolver honored on TSWA/Collin Street Bakery 4A All-State Baseball team

    Corsicana junior Brady Harlan and sophomore Layton Wolver were honored on the Texas Sports Writers Association/Collin Street Bakery Class 4A All-State Baseball team that was announced Tuesday night.

    July 22, 2014

  • 7-23-14 Kayana.jpg Gymnastics: Kaylana Dickson celebrates national title with fans and her uncle David Hawthorne

    Kaylana Dickson got the name Bebop on her way to winning a national title in gymnastics this summer, and boy did it catch fire.
    Kaylana, a Corsicana native, picked up fans from all over the country and many bought Bebop T-shirts to help pay her expenses to Spokane, Wa., where she won the 8-and-under title in the double-mini trampoline event and finished third in floor exercise.
    More than 100 of her friends, family members and fans showed up at the Corsicana YMCA on Saturday to celebrate the national title and be on hand for a drawing for an autographed New Orleans Saints football jersey from David Hawthorne, a star defensive lineman for the Saints and Kaylana's uncle

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • All-State Baseball: TSWA/Collin Street Bakery All-State 3A baseball team is announced

    The Texas Sports Writers Association/Collin Street Bakery Class 3A All-State Baseball Team was announced Tuesday.

     

    July 22, 2014