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  1. Vorvit Torrealba – typo.

    Comment by jacob — March 11, 2011 @ 9:21 am

  2. (*indicates left-handed batter) – typo.

    You meant (L: indicates left-handed batter)

    Comment by Telo — March 11, 2011 @ 9:22 am

  3. “Replacing Cliff Lee will be nearly impossible”. I may be the only person on earth who still thinks this but, I think he is overrated. His lat/oblique strains are omnipresent which make him always a candidate to hit the DL with a nagging injury. I think that he makes Texas better but, he didn’t get them any closer to being Champions last season, his contribution wasn’t as huge as it was made out to be. I just think that Lee, who is still less than four years removed from being sent back down to AAA, is perhaps baseball’s most overrated pitcher.

    Comment by David Wishinsky — March 11, 2011 @ 9:34 am

  4. I see people say this, and I don’t understand. Can you name five better pitchers over the last three years? Maybe Halladay? Maybe Felix? He’s pitched better than almost anyone over that period, and it’s a little hard to say it’s a fluke because he was terrible four years ago.

    Comment by Ari Collins — March 11, 2011 @ 9:53 am

  5. I agree Lee is way overrated. Only 21 WAR in the last 3 years? Obviously those injuries have taken their toll.

    Comment by neuter_your_dogma — March 11, 2011 @ 9:54 am

  6. Prediction…. David Murphy will end up with 400+ ABs

    Comment by Bill — March 11, 2011 @ 9:55 am

  7. Overrated? Maybe. But where I disagree with your comment is where you say that Lee’s presence didn’t get them any closer to a championship. Sure, they didn’t win the World Series, but they won their first postseason series in club history, coupled with their first AL pennant in club history. It’s undeniable that Cliff Lee’s performances against the Rays and Yankees were integral in making those victories happen. His starts against the Giants were less stellar, but the Rangers were without question closer to a title last year than ever before, and Lee was an important part of that.

    Comment by Nash — March 11, 2011 @ 10:16 am

  8. Feliz is working on a cutter as well. All though it may be below average with promise right now, he only started working on it ten days ago. If the cutter and change can keep hitters guessing even a little bit he should do well in the rotation.

    Comment by Josh — March 11, 2011 @ 10:24 am

  9. He’s pitched 200 innings 5 our of the last 6 years. You’re going to need to point to a hell of a lot more than “HIS OBLIQUES ARE WEAK” to convince me he’s overrated. And the idea that he didn’t get Texas any close to being champions……………………….

    did you actually watch the ALCS?

    Spolier – he had a 1.42 FIP in 35.2 innings in the postseason.

    So overrated.

    Comment by Telo — March 11, 2011 @ 10:33 am

  10. I don’t think Napoli will get substantially more Plate Appearances than last year, when he had 510 PA in 140 games. Sounds like from what is described above he’ll catch maybe 1-2 games a week and DH or play 1st maybe 2-3 games a week.

    Comment by wobatus — March 11, 2011 @ 10:36 am

  11. Halladay, Lincecum, Felix. probably Greinke

    CC?

    yeah, i can make a case for three being better, maybe four, (not saying they ARE better, just a case can be made).

    but, when the only guys who *might* be better hold eighty hundred cy young awards, yeah, you’re good.

    Comment by MrKnowNothing — March 11, 2011 @ 10:54 am

  12. When I say overrated, I am not insinuating he is a garbage pitcher. I don’t think he is one of the best pitchers of all time, nor even of this ERA. I think yes, Halladay and Hernandez are better. I think Justin Verlander has been better and Tim Lincecum as well. He has held up with the oblique strains etc, but we are talking about the future here. That in 2007 is what held him back, and going forward I don’t see any reason it couldn’t reappear, its a nagging type of injury. Also he is going to be 32 and I think is due for a decline.

    Also did Lee pitch well in the ALDS and ALCS? Yes. But we’re talking 2011. Baseball is a marathon, and in terms of getting Texas into the playoffs he didn’t make much of a difference of course how the playoffs work is a different story, where dominant pitching is very important. But this article is talking about a preview of the upcoming 162-game season that the Rangers have. Ultimately over 162 games, the loss of Lee, I feel is not going to have as large an effect as many have said. Now in a short series thats a different story but a moot point if you don’t get there.

    Comment by David Wishinsky — March 11, 2011 @ 10:58 am

  13. You are incoherently rambling. Try completing thoughts, using logic to flesh them out.

    Like this one: I think yes, Halladay and Hernandez are better. I think Justin Verlander has been better and Tim Lincecum as well.

    That’s great. You think something. It doesn’t really mean anything until you start to get into WHY.

    Or this one: Also did Lee pitch well in the ALDS and ALCS? Yes. But we’re talking 2011. Baseball is a marathon, and in terms of getting Texas into the playoffs he didn’t make much of a difference of course how the playoffs work is a different story, where dominant pitching is very important.

    You’re saying that he didn’t help Texas get into the playoffs. Yes, he posted a higher than normal ERA (3.98) in 100 innings for TEX down the stretch, but there’s no reason to think that’s what the future holds. He had a rough LOB% which lead to most of the extra runs. There’s a 90-95% chance he’d post better than a 3.98 next year for Texas.

    Or this: That in 2007 is what held him back, and going forward I don’t see any reason it couldn’t reappear, its a nagging type of injury.

    He has pitched 200+ innings the past three years. If you think you can predict injuries, you should talk to this guy Will. I hear he takes crazy pills, too.

    Comment by Telo — March 11, 2011 @ 11:21 am

  14. Apologies for incoherent rambling, and I accept yours for “I am a big man on the internet”. I was just merely agreeing with the comment that there were better pitchers, I didn’t realize I needed to write a dissertation. But why? All of those pitchers in the last five years had a higher WAR than Lee (specifically mentioned as a timeframe in one of the above comments) Halladay (32.7), Hernandez (24.6), Verlander (25.1) and Lincecum (24.0). All (exception Verlander) also have lower xFIPs than does Lee (4.03) by considerable margins Halladay (3.28), Hernandez (3.44), Verlander (4.03) and Lincecum (3.23). Hernandez (8.1), Verlander (8.2) and Lincecum (10.1) all do far better than Lee (6.8) in K/9, whereas Halladay (6.9) is about even.

    In 2010, Lee did not make a huge difference for getting Texas into the playoffs. On July 9th they were 4.5 games up in the West with a .581 Winning Pct., they finished with a .556 winning percentage. Obviously they didn’t suddenly perform better with Lee even if you account for a psychological “we have an ‘ace'” type lift. Now granted in fairness, there is only so much you can do especially as a pitcher in half a season, but the Rangers went 6-9 in his starts. It don’t hesitate to think that one of their other pitchers could easily match that output. But yes, we are talking as you point out about the future, and in 2011 Lee should be worth more than he will throughout the rest of his contract (I am assuming a bell shaped decline) but if he pitches in 35 games is he going to have that much bigger of an impact that Neftali Feliz as a starter? I mean we might be talking 2 or 3 wins better. So if you think that that stands between Texas competing or not competing and that tose 2-3 wins are worth $25M, fine, I just don’t see it as as big a deal as everyone is talking about.

    With respect to the injury, I am not saying I can predict injuries nor did I, but there are risk factors but that point is really more of an aside than the crux of the argument.

    I am happy to hear disagreements, I would hope in the future you can do it in less of an obnoxious manner. When dealing with the future everyone is working on assumptions and guesses that can be laid to waste by unforeseen circumstances. I get where you are coming from, and I respectfully disagree.

    Comment by David Wishinsky — March 11, 2011 @ 11:48 am

  15. He’s over-rated in the sense that it’s hard to imagine someone of his age with back trouble being worth the money he’ll be paid at the end of the contract. But right now he’s a consensus top 5 pitcher in the league and will be in all liklihood be up for the Cy Young award.

    Comment by Preston — March 11, 2011 @ 11:56 am

  16. Bill,

    I hope you’re right about David Murphy. The Rangers are my favorite AL team and I would love to see Murphy get plenty of ABs.

    On the subject of Cliff Lee, I don’t see the Rangers beating Tampa in the ALDS last year without him. It seems a bit ridiculous to call a guy overrated when he is one of the best and most consistent pitchers in the game AND he continues to come up big in the playoffs.

    Comment by CubsFan — March 11, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

  17. To claim that the Angels aren’t supposed to contend is a ridiculous statement.

    Comment by Stan — March 11, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

  18. All the projections I’ve seen has them at about 77-78 wins and around 15 games back of the Rangers. That pretty much defines “not supposed to contend” to me.

    Comment by Dexter Bobo — March 12, 2011 @ 12:14 am

  19. I think he means the Angels are “built to contend” they aren’t a team that says we are retooling or we are rebuilding with an eye for the future like say the Mariners – Reagins has built the team in a way he feels will allow them to compete. I think they shouldn’t be taken so lightly. They finished 80-82 last year, and an improvement from Kazmir and solid years from the rest of their very solid rotation and they can easily be in the mix, plus they have the money to swing some deals midseason.

    Comment by David Wishinsky — March 12, 2011 @ 1:07 am

  20. The Angels will absolutely contend for that division. Jared Weaver, Ervin Santana, Joel Piniero and Dan Haren is a good starting 4. Now they added Vernon Wells to their lineup and Kendry Morales will be back, that is a big boost in production.

    They will need their top of the order guys to get on base, but they will compete in that division. Book it.

    Comment by johan — March 12, 2011 @ 3:18 am

  21. Yes, and we all know just how accurate the “experts” are when it comes to predicting the Angels.

    Comment by Stan — March 12, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

  22. I agree. You are the ONLY person on earth that thinks Lee is overrated.

    Comment by Scott — March 12, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

  23. Yes, but Napoli will improve because Mike Scioscia won’t be screaming “YOU SUCK!” from the Angels dugout.

    Comment by Scott — March 12, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

  24. So I guess Brandon Webb is being written off since he is not even mentioned?

    Comment by Collin — March 12, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

  25. The Angels are not expected to compete? They may not be great and the Rangers are better, but it’s hardly as cut-and-dry as you put it.

    Comment by Joltin' Joe — March 13, 2011 @ 5:09 am

  26. It would be a great story for Webb to come back healthy and produce for the Rangers. But I think if they get anything from him it will be a bonus. I would bet on the over/under for innings pitched this year to be under 100.

    Comment by tonysoprano — March 13, 2011 @ 5:32 am

  27. I would play Jeff Francoeur over Nelson Cruz in RF.

    Comment by Bayarlalaa — March 13, 2011 @ 8:37 am

  28. I’ve been a big fan of Cliff Lee, especially after the Mariner’s got him. However I get what David Wishinsky is saying about his potential to decline going forward and his record in Texas was not bad but not great either. I’m thinking Eric Bedard might just have a better year than Lee in 2011.

    Comment by maqman — March 13, 2011 @ 11:15 am

  29. Unless Cliff Lee ends up dealing with a major injury and Eric Bedard somehow doesn’t, there is no way Bedard outpitches Lee in 2011. As a Mariners fan I would love it if he did but it’s just not gonna happen. Maybe Rich Harden will outpitch Lee. Perhaps Brandon Webb. C’mon, let’s be serious.

    Comment by Dizzave17 — March 13, 2011 @ 11:46 pm

  30. Feliz throwing his change more and developing a cutter also give him 2 pitches that are generally easy on the arm which is a big plus for fastball-slider hurlers. That,IMO, is equally as important as being able to change speeds.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — March 14, 2011 @ 1:36 am

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  33. Looking over this with the benefit of the 2011 season’s hindsight, this analysis was remarkably prescient. Even in cases in which it was off the mark in a narrow, technical sense, it was still illuminating. Also, I hope that what you say about Feliz in 2010->2011 will apply to him in 2011->2012.

    Comment by Rol_Texas — December 30, 2011 @ 11:49 pm

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