|TEXAS ( OGANDO )|
HOUSTON ( HUMBER )
|917||TEXAS||-175||Ov 8.5,+105||-160||Ov 8.5,-110|
|918||HOUSTON||+165||Un 8.5,-125||+150||Un 8.5,-110|
|vs Right-handed Starters||1-1||-0.6||1-1||4.5||0.265||0.333||4.0||0.180||0.219|
|Past 7 Games||1-1||-0.6||1-1||4.5||0.265||0.333||4.0||0.180||0.219|
|vs Right-handed Starters||0-1||-1||0-1||0.0||0.069||0.069||7.0||0.333||0.400|
|Past 7 Games||1-1||+0.5||1-1||4.0||0.180||0.219||4.5||0.265||0.333|
|3/31/2013||HARRISON(L)||@ HOUSTON||NORRIS(R)||2-8||L||-160||8.5 un||O||6||6||1||9||3||0|
|4/2/2013||DARVISH(R)||@ HOUSTON||HARRELL(R)||7-0||W||-170||8 un||U||12||8||0||2||2||0|
|4/3/2013||OGANDO(R)||@ HOUSTON||HUMBER(R)|| |
|4/5/2013|| ||LA ANGELS|| || |
|4/6/2013|| ||LA ANGELS|| || |
|4/7/2013|| ||LA ANGELS|| || |
|4/8/2013|| ||TAMPA BAY|| || |
|4/9/2013|| ||TAMPA BAY|| || |
|4/10/2013|| ||TAMPA BAY|| || |
|4/5/2013|| ||OAKLAND|| || |
|4/6/2013|| ||OAKLAND|| || |
|4/7/2013|| ||OAKLAND|| || |
|4/8/2013|| ||@ SEATTLE|| || |
|4/9/2013|| ||@ SEATTLE|| || |
|4/10/2013|| ||@ SEATTLE|| || |
|TEXAS: HITTING: 2B IAN KINSLER will lead off again. A few less at-'em balls and he's an MVP candidate. SS ELVIS ANDRUS is coming along offensively, but his poor SB% could lead to fewer attempts. Injuries are the only thing that will keep OF JOSH HAMILTON out of the MVP discussion. He'll likely start declining at age 35, but DH MICHAEL YOUNG can't help but put up numbers batting cleanup in this lineup. 3B ADRIAN BELTRE was unstoppable in Arlington. Like Hamilton, he's an MVP candidate if healthy. Injuries are piling up for OF NELSON CRUZ, who still has monster power but doesn't run as much anymore. C MIKE NAPOLI is MLB's best offensive catcher and will play some 1B on 'off' days. Because their lineup is stacked, Texas can play defensive-minded/offensively limited 1B MITCH MORELAND. And because Ron Washington would prefer to play Hamilton in left, speedy CF CRAIG GENTRY looks to have the edge over DAVID MURPHY for the starting job in center. Cuban import LEONYS MARTIN will start the season in Triple-A, but JULIO BORBON could earn a significant OF role. |
STARTING PITCHING: COLBY LEWIS can overpower when he's on, but as a flyball pitcher in cozy Arlington he's going to have a handful of ugly days. The much-ballyhooed YU DARVISH brings a deep arsenal of pitches and a durable frame from Japan. He's probably the best Japanese arm to ever cross the Pacific. Lefty MATT HARRISON solidified his rotation spot. He has topped out as a respectable No. 3-type starter. DEREK HOLLAND has top-of-the-rotation upside. Consistency has been an issue, but hopefully another year and some big postseason moments helped to cure that. The big story is NEFTALI FELIZ moving to the rotation. He was considered a future ace in the minors, but the transition might not be easy. His K/BB ratio plummeted last year and his flyball tendencies could spell disaster in Arlington. Keep in mind the Rangers made a successful closer-to-ace switch with C.J. Wilson. Top prospect MARTIN PEREZ could be an option in the second half.
RELIEF PITCHING: Veteran JOE NATHAN was brought in and handed the closer's job. He struggled in his first year back from Tommy John surgery, but most pitchers who've had the procedure don't come all the way back until their second full season. If Nathan falters, MIKE ADAMS could be next in line. He had no trouble transitioning from pitcher-friendly San Diego in the National League to hitter-friendly Arlington and the A.L.'s superior bats. KOJI UEHARA would also be in the closer discussion if Nathan falters, but he was unhappy about being traded from Baltimore and faltered for the Rangers late last year. ALEXI OGANDO got a huge boost from his defense and his bullpen before a late-season collapse. He threw by far a career-high in innings; better stamina would allow him to take the next step and possibly rejoin the rotation.
|HOUSTON: HITTING: This season will mark Houston's final year in the National League. Look away, children, as the Astros launch into what is sure to be the crappiest victory lap in baseball history. Tiny 2B JOSE ALTUVE's jump from High-A to MLB starter says more about Houston's pitiful state than anything. He belongs in Triple-A. CHRIS JOHNSON won the starting 3B job as JIMMY PAREDES was optioned to Triple-A. Johnson was thought to have 25-homer power, but last year he slugged just .378. 1B CARLOS LEE is in the twilight of a very productive career. Backup 1B BRETT WALLACE seems to be in the twilight of an unproductive one. OF BRIAN BOGUSEVIC has a low ceiling. But he's one of only a few recent draft picks who will even contribute. OF J.D. MARTINEZ doesn't blame you if you haven't heard of him, but he's the team's best player who hits third in the lineup. SS JED LOWRIE was a nice little pickup for a mid-tier closer. But his platoon split is intense. C JASON CASTRO will probably play ahead of CHRIS SNYDER. OF JORDAN SCHAFER has yet to put things together; but he'll be starting in center on Opening Day. Fourth OF J.B. SHUCK is only 24, but doesn't have a whole lot of upside. |
STARTING PITCHING: WANDY RODRIGUEZ has been a durable, above-average starter for five years, yet every season his real-world team limits his wins. He'll be traded at some point this year. Don't shortchange BUD NORRIS. He's an underrated source of strikeouts, and has improved his command. J.A. HAPP really needs to cut down on his walk total. JORDAN LYLES couldn't legally drink until the second-to-last week of the season. He's in the big leagues way too soon. He's yet another young Astro who isn't terrible, but won't ever set the world on fire. KYLE WEILAND came from Boston with Jed Lowrie and should earn the final spot in the rotation. Texas-bred fireballer JARRED COSART, 21, is a legitimately exciting (but risky) prospect who Houston will probably rush up to the majors at some point this year.
RELIEF PITCHING: BRETT MYERS flummoxed the Astros' front office with a stinker of a season. He's probably closer to that pitcher than to the one who posted a career-best 3.14 ERA in 2010 at age 29, but he'll move the bullpen this year to get the rare opportunities to close out a game when this awful team is actually leading. WILTON LOPEZ was good in 2011, but was much better the previous season, when he may have been the most underrated reliever in the National League. Houston will go with him in the ninth if they want Myers to return to the rotation. BRANDON LYON has seen better days. He bombed early, then was shut down for good with a bicep injury. He intimidates nobody now.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (TEXAS-HOUSTON) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Rangers-Astros Preview* ========================
By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO STATS Writer
Texas (0-1) at Houston (1-0), 2:10 p.m. EDT
Alexi Ogando's first full season as a starter included an All-Star appearance and a trip to the World Series.
The Texas Rangers decided to turn him into a reliever a year later.
Back in the rotation, Ogando looks to follow his teammate's near perfect game with a stellar effort of his own and help the Rangers to a series win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday.
Ogando was one of Texas' rising stars in 2011, winning his first seven decisions over 12 starts while compiling a 2.10 ERA. That was a big factor in him being included on the AL's All-Star team before going 4-5 with a 4.48 ERA after the break.
Since his performances waned as the season wore on, Ogando's versatility enabled Texas to move him to the bullpen for the playoffs. The right-hander thrived there, going 2-0 while allowing four earned runs with 15 strikeouts in 13 innings.
The Rangers kept him there in 2012, and he was 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA in 58 games - one start.
Now, he's back in the rotation after going 2-1 with a 3.55 ERA in seven spring training games - five starts - while limiting hitters to a .213 average.
"My command is there," Ogando told the team's official website. "I worked very hard in spring training on the changeup and I think the results showed it paid off. When I wanted to induce a ground ball I used my changeup and the results were good."
He'll make his first start against the Astros after allowing one run with three walks in three innings of relief over two appearances against them.
Ogando may draw some inspiration from Yu Darvish's outstanding season debut Tuesday, when he had a career-high 14 strikeouts while his bid for a perfect game was broken up by Marwin Gonzalez's single with two outs in the ninth of a 7-0 victory.
"When I tell you we threw everything, we threw everything," said new Texas catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who caught Philip Humber's perfect game for the White Sox on April 21.
He'll face Humber this time since the right-hander is slated to make his Astros debut after being acquired off waivers during the offseason following two years with Chicago. Despite the perfect game, Humber went on to finish last season at 5-5 with a 6.44 ERA in 26 games, and he was demoted to the bullpen in August after 16 starts.
He was impressive in six spring games, however, going 2-2 with a 1.73 ERA and a .152 opponent batting average in a team-high 26 innings.
"I don't think I could've asked for a better spring training. As far as how I threw the ball and the results I got," Humber said. "I couldn't be in a better position going into the season, but it's one day at a time. I feel healthy. I feel like I got all my pitches where I want them, for the most part. I'm excited for the season, and ready to get going."
Humber won his only career start against the Rangers on July 28, yielding one run and four hits in six innings of a 5-2 victory.
He'll have to contend with former Astro Lance Berkman, who is 5 for 8 in this series and drove in two runs Tuesday. A designated hitter through his first two games with the Rangers, Berkman has a 14-game hitting streak at Minute Maid Park, batting .491 with six homers and 22 RBIs.
Elvis Andrus tripled on two of his three hits Tuesday, getting an RBI while scoring a run after going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in a season-opening 8-2 loss Sunday. The shortstop is hitting .429 over his last nine meetings with the Astros.
|Last Updated: 9/18/2014 2:46:33 PM EST|