Friday, May 3, 2013
Stock Report: Ian Kinsler up; offense down
ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's Friday and that means our weekly stock report with the Rangers' offense struggling, but their leadoff hitter sizzling. Let's take a look at who's trending up and who's trending down for Texas:
Ian Kinsler: Kinsler takes an eight-game hitting streak into Friday's series opener. He's batting .441 (15-for-34) during the stretch. Kinsler is in such a groove that he actually has 16 hits in those eight games. But he had a double taken away from him Thursday night on a ball that caught chalk down the left-field line but was ruled foul by third-base umpire Fieldin Culbreth (Kinsler did walk on the next pitch). Kinsler also missed another double by a foot in the first inning and ended up striking out.
Tanner Scheppers: The Rangers' eighth-inning man -- he's earned that role -- had another perfect inning in Thursday's 3-1 loss with a ground out and two line outs. Scheppers has allowed one run in his 13 outings.
Justin Grimm: He's the American League Rookie of the Month, beating out teammate Nick Tepesch. Grimm had his third consecutive quality start Thursday, even though he took his first loss. Grimm has a pair of nine-strikeout games in four starts this season.
The offense: The Rangers had a season-low three hits Thursday night continuing what has been an inconsistent start to the season for this offense. The Rangers are 1-4 in their last five games. They scored 10 runs in the win. They've managed five runs in the four losses.
Mother nature: OK, really, spring is finally going to kick in, right? The Rangers have had three games start with a temperature of 44 degrees or less since Rangers Ballpark opened in 1994. Two of them have been this season. It was 44 degrees for the first pitch Thursday night, the third coldest start time in ballpark history. It was 39 degrees at the start of that brutal day game against Tampa Bay on April 10 for the second coldest. Congratulations to April 7, 2007. You're still the winner at 38 degrees against the Red Sox. (Note: Save this when we're complaining about 100-degree days in July and August).
David Murphy: The Rangers' regular left-fielder hasn't started a game this week. Boston will pitch two left-handers in three games this weekend. Will Murphy get more than start to turn around his .174 batting average to open the season?