Texas Rangers: Carlos Gonzalez

Hot Stove talk: Carlos Gonzalez

December, 28, 2012
Since we started this "Hot Stove talk" series, I've received some candidates from you either in the comment section on the blog or via Twitter or email asking about Carlos Gonzalez.

Ok. Let's start with a few disclaimers. First, it's unlikely the Colorado Rockies will trade Gonzalez. He and Troy Tulowitzki are the biggest selling points for the fan base and it's difficult to imagine they'd deal Gonzalez away before the season starts. But, as we've seen with other players, you never know. And it wouldn't be shocking to see them look at dealing him around the trade deadline.

The Rockies need pitching, both at the big league level and in the minor leagues. It might take dealing one of the club's current starters that still has some years under club control. Take Derek Holland, for instance. Add to that some pitching prospects, perhaps starting with Martin Perez, and you have something started. The other need for the Rockies? Third base. They were third-to-last in the NL in fielding percentage at third base. They were last in MLB in DRS (defensive runs saved) at the position and last in UZR.

Mike Olt could certainly help with that part of the equation. So there could be some pieces the Rangers have that would match up. It may depend on how high a price they are willing to pay in those assets to get Gonzalez.

For the Rangers, they'd be getting a 27-year-old who has played all outfield three positions in his big league career. He hit .303 with 22 homers and 85 RBIs in 135 games in 2012. He has a career .299 batting average. He's a left-handed hitter and someone who could bat in the middle of the lineup. No, he wouldn't completely fill the shoes of Josh Hamilton. But he would sure help.

If there's one concern, it's probably his home and road splits from last year. Gonzalez hit .368 at Coors Field and .234 on the road. He's .258 on the road in his career. Gonzalez is 7-for-29 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in his career.

Gonzalez also fits into the club's philosophy of looking for players that are under control for a few years and could become part of the core of the team. His contract goes through the 2017 season. He makes $7.5 million in 2013, $10.5 million in 2014, $16 million in 2015, $17 million in 2016 and $20 million in 2017. He also gets $1 million if he's traded, but he doesn't have a no-trade clause.

If the Rockies insist on a big league pitcher, a few pitching prospects and Mike Olt, are you OK making that deal? Would that be enough for the Rockies to do the deal?

Joe Nathan avoids disaster vs. Rockies

June, 25, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Joe Nathan narrowly escaped a rare collapse in Sunday night's 4-2 win over the Colorado Rockies.

Nathan entered the ninth inning to preserve a 4-0 shutout that had been kept alive collectively by Matt Harrison, Robbie Ross, Tanner Scheppers and Mike Adams. But after a leadoff single, a walk and a hit batter, Nathan found himself in a bases-loaded jam. Then an RBI single from Marco Scutaro and RBI sac fly with no outs from Carlos Gonzalez -- a laser that only needed a few more feet to clear Josh Hamilton and the left-center field wall for a go-ahead grand slam -- put the Rangers in danger of choking the game away.

Nathan got more help when Scutaro was caught in a 2-3-6 rundown and was called out at second, but only after Scutaro was initially waved safe as he slid in under the tag of shortstop Elvis Andrus. However, Scutaro, apparently thinking he was out, popped up off the bag and Andrus tagged him to officially record the second out.

Nathan then was able to get Jason Giambi swinging on a 1-2 slider.

"I've always said it’s not going to be sharp all the time," Nathan said. "You’re going to have to go out there and fight and tonight was definitely a dog fight against very good hitters."

Nathan may not be sharp all the time, but he certainly has been most of the time. Before Sunday, Nathan had not allowed a run in the ninth inning since May 13 against the Los Angeles Angels (16 games). It was only the second time that he has allowed two runs all season -- the only other time coming when he allowed three runs against Seattle on April 11.

Nathan, who didn't get the save because it was a four-run lead when he entered, isn't stressing about Sunday's performance, his worse in a long time. He saw his streak of 16 scoreless innings in his last 16 appearances come to an end.

"I’m happy with what we were able to do," Nathan said. "We were able to walk away with the win, keep our lead where it is and we’ll come back tomorrow and start with Detroit.”

Matchup: Matt Harrison vs. Alex White

June, 24, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The final game of this three-game series between the Texas Rangers and Colorado Rockies features LHP Matt Harrison vs. RHP Alex White. First pitch of the rubber match is at 6:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW. A quick look at the matchup:

Harrison (9-3, 3.41): The 26-year-old has the best record on the Rangers' pitching staff and is tied with Yu Darvish (9-4) for the staff lead in wins. ... Harrison's nine wins are tied for the most in the AL and tied for third-most in the MLB. ... He is on a five-game winning streak that lowered his season ERA from 5.21 to 3.41. ... He has allowed a team-high 93 hits but just seven home runs and 22 walks through 92 1/3 IP (second-most on team). ... He is 7-1 in night games with a 1.99 ERA through 63 1/3 innings. ... He has been at his best in June, going 3-0 with a 1.24 ERA in four starts. ... He has allowed one home run in his last seven starts, with the lone shot coming June 3 against the Los Angeles Angels. ... He is 2-1 with a 2.77 ERA in four career starts against the NL West. ... He has never faced the Rockies.

White (2-5, 6.06): The 23-year-old has struggled on the road in his second season in the majors, going 1-2 with a 7.52 ERA over four starts and striking out nine through 20 1/3 innings. ... He has a 5.75 ERA in June and has made one start in the last seven days, allowing five hits and five earned runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Phillies. ... He has allowed opposing hitters a .293 batting average in 198 at-bats this season. ... He is 0-3 against the AL West this season with a 4.24 ERA in those three starts. ... He has never faced the Rangers.

Hitters: Current Rockies hitters are 6-for-15 (.400) against Harrison. ... Marco Scutaro has the most experience against Harrison, going 3-for-9 with a double, four RBIs, three walks and two strikeouts. ... Carlos Gonzalez is 1-for-2 with a walk. ... Michael Cuddyer is 2-for-4 with a double and three walks. ... Alberto Gonzalez (0-for-2) is the only Ranger to face White.

Up next:

Mon. vs. Det.: RHP Justin Grimm (1-0, 4.50) vs. RHP Rick Porcello (4-5, 4.95), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW
Tue. vs. Det.: RHP Yu Darvish (9-4, 3.45) vs. TBA, 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW/MLBN
Wed. vs. Det.: RHP Roy Oswalt (1-0, 1.35) vs. RHP Doug Fister (1-4, 2.72), 7:00 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW/ESPN

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, Rockies 1

June, 22, 2012

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Roy Oswalt’s Rangers debut went remarkably well.

Oswalt had more success against the Colorado Rockies than he did any of the four minor league teams he faced over the last month while getting ready to join the Rangers. He allowed one earned run on nine hits and one walk in 6 2/3 innings to earn the win.

The 34-year-old righthander, who struck out six, painted the black on both sides of the plate while mixing a low-90s fastball, low-80s changeup and looping, low-60s curveball. Oswalt consistently got ahead in the count, throwing strikes on 81 of his 110 pitches.

The sellout crowd of 46,964 gave Oswalt a standing ovation as he left the mound after allowing an RBI to Marco Scutaro with two outs in the seventh inning. Oswalt, who left with a 4-0 lead, didn’t tip his cap. If anything, he appeared annoyed that he allowed a run.

Robbie Ross, Mike Adams and Joe Nathan pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to preserve the win for Oswalt.

Seven strong: The Rangers’ pitching staff has allowed only 15 earned runs during the team's seven-game winning streak, recording a 2.14 ERA in that span. It is the second time this season that the Rangers have allowed three or fewer earned runs in seven consecutive games, matching the streak from April 12 to 19.

Nothing against Nathan: Nathan continues to be about as dominant as a closer can be. He has retired 45 of the last 53 batters he has faced after a throwing a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts against the Rockies to record his 16th save. This was his 16th consecutive scoreless appearance, striking out 21 in 16 innings.

Beltre’s bat stays hot: Adrian Beltre’s groove continued with an opposite-field, two-run homer in his first at-bat, when he battled back from 0-2 to work the count full. He followed with a single in his next at-bat and scored on Nelson Cruz's double to the left-center gap. Beltre is 14-for-29 with three homers and 10 RBIs in the last eight games.

Napoli needed it: Mike Napoli snapped an 0-for-13 skid in style with his opposite-field solo homer in the fourth inning. It was only the second hit for Napoli in a span of 25 at-bats. Napoli, who leads American League catchers in All-Star voting, has numbers that are nearly identical to his pre-break production last season.

Tidbits: The Rangers are a season-high 17 games above .500. Their 44-27 record is the best in club history at this point of a season. … Michael Young's extended slump continued with an 0-for-3 night. The Rangers’ all-time hits leader is 4-for-31 in the last eight games and is hitting .229 (50-for-218) in the last 54 games. Young’s average has fallen from .414 to .268 in that stretch, which accounts for one-third of a season. … Josh Hamilton went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and misplayed two extra-base hits in left field. ... Ian Kinsler's streak of 11 straight stolen bases ended when he was picked off first in the fifth. … Yorvit Torrealba was thrown out on a bang-bang play at home plate by Carlos Gonzalez in the second inning when he tried to score on a Craig Gentry single to left field. … The Rangers matched their club record, set in 1994, with their 21st sellout of the season. There are 4,500 reserved tickets available for Saturday afternoon’s game and 1,000 available for Sunday’s game.

Lineup: Adrian Beltre at DH

June, 22, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers will have Adrian Beltre as the designated hitter in Friday's series opener against the Colorado Rockies. Manager Ron Washington said he was going to rotate the DH to give guys rest over the next few days, and today that guy is Beltre with Michael Young taking over for him on the field.

Here are the lineups:


2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton (L)
DH Adrian Beltre
3B Michael Young
RF Nelson Cruz
1B Mike Napoli
C Yorvit Torrealba
CF Craig Gentry

CF Dexter Fowler (S)
2B Marco Scutaro
LF Carlos Gonzalez
DH Jason Giambi (L)
RF Michael Cuddyer
1B Todd Helton (L)
3B Chris Nelson
C Wilin Rosario
SS Jonathan Herrera



Adrian Beltre
.337 13 51 51
HRA. Beltre 13
RBIA. Beltre 51
RA. Beltre 51
OPSA. Beltre .917
WY. Darvish 8
ERAY. Darvish 2.97
SOY. Darvish 142