The SANDbox: Michael Young's Jersey Retirement, & Much More

Jared Sandler
September 03, 2019 - 11:01 am
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*Early this year I wrote about why I think Michael Young should have his jersey retired before it was announced he would have his jersey retired. Here’s why.

*Here is the compilation of tributes displayed on the video board Saturday night

*It was really special seeing Ron Washington at Michael Young’s retirement ceremony. He deservedly got a tremendous ovation.

*Delino’s catch to rob Brian Goodwin of a home run is the second best home run robbing catch by a Ranger I’ve ever seen behind Gary Matthews Jr.’s thievery of Mike Lamb. I asked a number of people whose memories with the Rangers expand well before my birth all the way back to the team’s inception and none of them could come up with anything else that compares to those two plays. I asked Delino, who is familiar with Gary’s gem, and he said that he feels like Gary’s play was easily better than his and that, to this day, he isn’t sure how GMJ did what he did. I’d say many people have the same sentiment about DD’s play.

*It was nice to see Mike Minor as well as he did yesterday against the Yankees. He used both sides of the plate really well and shutdown a very, very tough Yankees lineup at a very pitcher-friendly venue in Yankee Stadium. I’ve said that I think Mike is probably more of a 3.50 ERA-type moving forward—and there is nothing wrong with that—but a great finish might help raise his value a wee bit if the Rangers do pursue potential trades.

*Witnessing Edinson Volquez return to a big league mound was cool. Hopefully, he stays healthy this month and gets a handful (or more) appearances before he retires. After his April injury, he very easily could have just hung it up and no one would have thought twice. He’s an All-Star who has won a World Series and thrown a no-hitter and is absolutely revered by teammates and coaches so much so that the Rangers asked him to stick around through the season just so he could rub off within the organization. He’s retiring at year’s end after a tremendous career.

*So…Brock Burke is a sleepwalker, as Levi Weaver reported last week. Typically, sleepwalking produces some funny stories but in Burke’s case, it isn’t all fun-n-games.

*Speaking of Burke and Kolby Allard, I really like what we’ve seen from them. The poise they’ve demonstrated is really impressive. Both guys have work to do—for Allard, rediscovering the curveball and for Burke, perhaps sharpening his slider—but with health, it seems like their floor is competitive starters who help build a rotation, with ceilings that could certainly emerge more fruitful.

*What I love about Willie Calhoun is that he’s shown an ability to hit multiple types of pitchers. His success this year has come against both lefties and righties as well as both power and finesse pitchers. One of his biggest challenges entering this year was hitting pitches in the lower-third of the zone, but that’s become a strength of his this year. I’m impressed by my conversations with Willie about hitting and the aptitude and awareness he has demonstrated which I think plays well to development. While he’s gotten better in the outfield, I still think he’s best as a DH more than an outfielder, but maybe he’ll continue to grow in that regard, too.

*I’m very intrigued to follow Nick Solak and Danny Santana at third base the rest of the way. While Anthony Rendon would be an awesome addition, the Rangers also need to prepare to scenarios that don’t include Rendon and those might very well include either Solak or Santana as the everyday third baseman. Of course, both guys could be in the mix for second base, too. Speaking of which…

*…Rangers GM Jon Daniels had some interesting things to say regarding the future of the second base spot when on with Ben and Skin last week.

The key, to me, is that the Rangers enter the off-season with internal options ready to provide competition for that role, which they haven’t really had in the past. Despite Rougie’s contract, I’m not sold he’s on the Opening Day roster. He’s owed around $33 million over the next three years and which is more than you’d like, but not a figure so high to rule out a DFA or a possible bad contract-for-bad contract swap.

*Jonathan Hernandez looks like he has the tools to become a power arm in high leverage relief spots. His combination of a power sinker in the high 90s and a low-90s slider is impressive.

*Bacsik had an interesting idea: What if Taylor Hearn pitches out of the pen next year? While there are those who believe he’s best suited for that role, Bacsik wasn’t suggesting that in that vein. Taylor missed almost all of 2019 and in a way to help build his arm back up while still utilizing him in an impact role, Mike suggested the bullpen. It’s interesting and something I imagine the Rangers would consider.

*Jose Trevino collected his first multi-hit game Friday night when he collected three knocks including two doubles. He’s so advanced as a catcher. If he can hit .200 with a smidge of power he’ll have a long big league career. If he hits .220 then he’ll have a long big league career as a starter. With all that he adds defensively, he doesn’t need to hit .260 to justify regular reps.

*Anyone think Taylor Guerrieri and Rafael Montero would be contributing members of the Rangers’ bullpen? Bullpens are so tough to predict which is why hitting the panic button in April is usually a waste of emotional energy. Maybe one year we won’t have any reason to, though, ha…

*I’m very intrigued by the fact that home runs are hit at a definitive record rate yet we likely won’t have a single player reach 55 HRs. The difference is felt on the backend with more players reaching 10+ and 20+ HR, but why is it not felt at the top of the charts, too?