Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


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.

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  • Area schedule for the week

    Here's a look at this week's schedule for Golden Ciircle teams and Navarro College. The schedule does not include upcoming bi-district playoff games in softball because times and sites have yet to be determined.

    April 18, 2014

  • BG baseball GC Baseball/Softball: Blooming Grove sweeps Rice in baseball and softball

    Blooming Grove's Lions needed this one.
    Heck, they need all of them.
    That's where they're living today on the Blooming Grove diamond, where everyone knew going into Friday's game with Rice that the Lions need to win their final three games to have a chance of nailing down the final playoff spot in District 23-2A.
    One down, two to go.
    “It's in our hands,'' said Blooming Grove Coach Matt Anderson moments after his kids beat Rice 8-0 Friday night. “As long as we take care of our business we'll be fine.''

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • GC Softball/Baseball Roundup: Frost girls win district title

    Frost's Lady Polar Bears needed to win to nail down the district title and they never trailed, jumping out to a 7-0 lead en route to an 11-7 clinching victory over Itasca Friday on the road. They wrapped up their second district title in a row with a 9-1 record and enter the playoffs next week at 13-1.

    April 18, 2014

  • CHS Baseball/Softball: Whitehouse sweeps Tigers in baseball and softball

    The Tigers lost a tough game to Whitehouse, 11-3 as the Wildcats' ace, Pat Mahomes, who went four innings and gave up all three runs on two hits and five walks

    April 18, 2014

  • GC Basketball/Baseball: Mildred's Connor Hill sees life clearly

    There was never any doubt for Connor Hill, never any question about what he would do or how he would do it.
    Sure, there was that meeting with his mother and father and talks with the doctor when he was 10, talks and meetings that came accompanied with worry and concern.
    But never from Connor.
    He just never dwelled on the fact he played sports with one eye. He didn't worry or talk about it when he was 10 and he never talked about it at Mildred High, where Hill emerged as a star on the basketball court and baseball diamond.

    April 18, 2014

  • Frost Lady Polar Bears Area Champions.jpg GC Track & Field: Roundup — Frost girls win area meet

    The Frost Lady Polar Bears made a shambles of their district track & field meet last week, scoring 206 points, and they were dominate again in the area meet Thursday, scoring 162 points to win the meet at Blooming Grove.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • RON MORGAN.jpg Morgan:The new endangered species

    Am I just that old, or have amateur athletics gone absolutely nuts these days? On second thought, don’t answer that unless it’s yes to the nuts part.
    High School and college basketball are on the verge of being totally ruined by AAU basketball. Top roundball prospects are identified by the junior high level if not earlier.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GC Track & Field: Area meet Roundup

    Corsicana's Gilfillan wins 4A area pole vault title; Frost girls win 1A area team title, Frost boys finish second

    April 17, 2014

  • GC Baseball: Mildred falls to Riesel, 9-0, on the road

    Mildred managed a hit and struck out 12 times in a 9-0 loss on the road that could have given the Eagles some cushion in the 23-2A standings. They are now 5-6 with a game at league-leading Teague Tuesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-18-14Roman.jpg CHS Soccer: Tigers boys and girls top off season with strong showing on All-District teams

    That tough and gutsy style of play sent both the boys and girls teams into the playoffs and on Thursday the Tigers were rewarded again for their fine seasons as two boys won special honors,four boys were named to the All-District first team and two girls earned first-team honors.
    Michael Roman, who did a little of everything — and did it well — was named the District 28-4A Utility Player of the Year, and sophomore defender Jesus Barreto was named the district's Newcomer of the Year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo