What I’m Reading

• The Rangers are sticking with Neftali Feliz, Frank Francisco, and their two-closer system for the time being. Good. Because these situations alway pan out favorably.

• Twinjury update: Joe Mauer received some good news about his bruised heel , but J.J. Hardy will be missing a few games with a sore wrist .

• Not quite an “Ankiel-ian” transformation, per se, but the Royals’ mandated switch of Alex Gordon to the outfield is a sign of things to come.

• The Braves currently employ a guy with one of the coolest baseball names around—Jair Jurrjens. Unfortunately, due to several nagging injuries his next start has been pushed back to Saturday . And thanks to a pesky abductor muscle, Yunel Escobar has been placed on the 15-day DL .

• To semi-quote George Costanza, “He’s back, BABY!” Yes, Kevin Millar is back . And not just with any old team. Millar has re-signed (yes, he’s played there before) with the St. Paul Saints of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. Yup.


What I Think About It


Rangers’ Closers

The Rangers’ closer job has Feliz’s name written all over it. But right now, in manager Ron Washington’s eyes, the 22-year-old isn’t ready to take on the position full-time.

“He’s young, and he’s got to learn how to do this. At some point he’s going to learn about himself. He’s doing something he’s never done before,” Washington said, according to the Dallas Morning News.

In the meantime, Feliz will share duties with Francisco who, despite a recent string of six straight scoreless appearances, has surrendered nine earned runs in just over 11 innings of work this season.

I know plenty of Rangers fans.

None of them are confident or satisfied with Francisco touching the ninth inning.

Feliz hasn’t been untouchable this season, but his electric arsenal, once honed, will drive hitters crazy.

But until then, he has to share crunch time outs with Frankie, which I’d think would have to make for some awkward interactions.

I wouldn’t dare think of what would happen if Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard shared the role.

It wouldn’t be pretty .



Believe it or not, this whole foot injury business might end up with Joe Mauer raking in one “heel” of a profit.

I should probably stop using that joke.

It’s all good news for the Twins right now.

They’re still winning despite Joe’s absence.

Mauer isn’t as hurt as he could have been, had it been a bone bruise instead of a soft tissue bruise.

He’s in talks with Nike about a special, more cushioned pair of cleats designed to aide him in his return, which will be totally marketable to kids for the organization.

And J.J. Hardy played the hero last night. Luckily, Hardy didn’t break his wrist sliding into third on his ninth-inning triple.

But he’s still out today and likely for a few more games, which Minnesota will probably still win.

Main point, though?

2010 just feels like the Twins’ year.


Alex Gordon

And here I was thinking I was done talking about Alex Gordon for the rest of the year.

First off, I’d like everyone to check out his Facebook page again.

He’s up to 15 fans now and I have inside information that I am solely responsible for his sudden boost in popularity.

You’re welcome, Alex.

Now, it’ll be interesting to see how he fares as an outfielder. As long as he is coordinated enough to catch fly balls and throw them back to the infield, I believe this could work.

Since his struggles were mainly offensive, I think Gordon has gotten to the point where he doesn’t know what to do in order to remedy his glaring bat issues.

Luckily, he’ll be concentrating mainly on learning a new position and figuring out the best way to make himself useful to the organization.

It’s inexplicable, but sometimes parts of a player’s game come back to them when they least expect it, or when they are distracted by another challenge—such as a position change.

I’m not saying it’s likely, as his MLB ship may have sailed right around the time the Royals drafted him, but I can’t rule it out.

That being said, the influx of major league talent is rapidly increasing with scouts now using a global comb to find the best talent.

Look for players increasing their versatility in the coming decade.  This way, they can avoid situations where moving to another position out of necessity could be a career ending move.


Jair Jurrjens/Yunel Escobar

Jurrjens might be getting exactly what he needs: A step back to getting healthy, and getting over some minor nuisances that have kept him from staying consistent.

It’s only a few days of extra rest, but as a fellow sore-hammy patient (from the 30 minute walk I took yesterday), I know these situations are no fun.

Although Atlanta sits in last place in the NL East, the luxury of early-May is that nobody is really “out of the running” in any division—yet.

They have the time to give him a few days and let him cope before his start on Saturday.

Unfortunately for Yunel Escobar, his recovery time will require a DL stint.

But—in the meantime, replacement Omar Infante has produced, and this might give Escobar a chance to clear his head and focus on struggles at the plate.


Kevin Millar

I fully expect this kind of press conference to take place once the mainstream media picks up wind of Millar’s continued career.

I don’t think Millar will ever be back in the majors as a player. But seriously, wouldn’t he make the greatest bench coach?

Now that he’s a member of the prestigious Independent League, he can go one of two ways. He can play for a year, realize that it’s time, and retire into the sunset.

Or he can go the “Ricky Henderson Way.”

Thankfully, I think Millar knows better than to teeter back and forth on retirement for the better part of a decade.

I do, however, fully expect him to dress like this .


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