Six straight losses, baseball's longest current skid, and Texas sits at 5-9.
In four seasons under Ron Washington, Texas is 22-34 in the first 14 games each year, a .393 win percentage. Extrapolated over a full season, that translates to 64-98.
In games 15 through 162, Washington's Rangers are 224-220, a .505 clip, translating to 82-80.
Cliché as it might be, April losses count just as much as August and September losses, and these four clubs have had massive trouble getting going each year.
Why is that?
Kansas City purchased the contract of righthander Josh Rupe. Seattle signed infielder Ramon Vazquez to a minor league deal. The Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League signed righthander Rick Bauer. The Grand Prairie Airhogs of the independent American Association signed catcher Ben Petralli. The Sioux City Exploreres of the same league traded lefthander Jared Locke to the Sussex Skyhawks of the independent Can-Am League to complete an earlier trade. The Can-Am League's Worcester Tornadoes signed righthander John Slusarz and outfielder-righthander Rick Asadoorian (who evidently now goes by "Eric").
LSU righthander Anthony Ranaudo faces Mississippi lefthander Drew Pomeranz tomorrow night. They're not only two of the top pitchers in the NCAA this year. Ranaudo (11th round) and Pomeranz (12th round) were chosen by the Rangers in the 2007 draft (which included Julio Borbon, Tommy Hunter, Blake Beavan, Michael Main, Neil Ramirez, Mitch Moreland, Tim Smith, and others) but opted not to sign.
You should have gotten an email at 7:30 this morning with a link to this week's Newberg Report/MLB.com column, ranking the Rangers' best draft picks in each of the first 10 rounds over the last 20 years.
That's all I've got in me today. Jarrod Saltalamacchia's rehab assignment is underway in Oklahoma City, Ian Kinsler and Tommy Hunter are about to get game action in at extended spring training in Surprise, the Rangers are considering sending a right-handed reliever out (Doug Mathis has options and thus is the likely victim) so they can add another lefthander to the bullpen (Clay Rapada, who would require a 40-man roster move, may be the leading candidate, but he did pitch last night for Oklahoma City), Nelson Cruz's tweaky hamstring shortened his second straight game and he won't be in tonight's lineup, Josh Hamilton's home run last night looked pretty good, Justin Smoak's good at baseball (last night's two doubles, notably, came off a lefthander), and I don't want to start getting numb to upsetting losses.
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(c) Jamey Newberg