Texas Rangers: Corey Hart

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 8, Mariners 6

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
4:35
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- It was a strange day at Globe Life Park as neither starting pitcher could do much of anything. The Rangers had a 4-0 lead, lost it and then managed to snag the advantage back in the fifth and hang on for an 8-6 victory. Texas takes three out of four from the Mariners in the process and has won three straight games for the first time since the last week of the regular season in 2013, when they won seven straight to force Game 163. It's also the first time this season the Rangers have been two games above .500. Some thoughts:

Big inning hurts Scheppers (again): Tanner Scheppers couldn't get through the third inning Thursday. After talking about the need to minimize damage when a five-run inning hurt him in his last start, Scheppers wasn't able to do it. Staked to a 4-0 lead, he gave it all back in two swings -- consecutive home runs from Robinson Cano (his first with the Mariners this season) and Corey Hart. Scheppers ended up allowing six runs (two scored with Hector Noesi on the mound) on six hits in his outing with three walks and two strikeouts. He's allowed 20 runs this season and 17 of those have come in three big innings -- two six-run innings and a five-run inning.

First-inning runs: The Rangers came into Thursday's game with three first-inning runs all season. They scored three with two outs to give Scheppers the lead. After an Elvis Andrus double, Alex Rios struck out for the second out. The Mariners walked Prince Fielder intentionally to pitch to the red-hot Kevin Kouzmanoff. It didn't work. Kouzmanoff doubled to drive home the first run. Mitch Moreland then delivered a two-out, two-run single to center to make it 3-0.

Two-strike hits: All four runs scored in the first two innings by the Rangers came on two-strike counts. Texas came into the game batting .208 in those situations, good enough for third in the AL (two teams have .209 averages). The Rangers increased that average Thursday and did it early. The most impressive at-bat came from Kouzmanoff, who fell behind 0-2, worked it back to 2-2 and hit the eighth pitch for a double. The Rangers also had a two-strike bunt by Leonys Martin in the third that helped score a run when J.P. Arencibia grounded out to the left side of the infield, scoring Moreland.

Kouzmanoff hot: The Rangers' fill-in third baseman just continues to hit, increasing his streak of hitting safely to eight games (that's all that he's played in a Rangers uniform). Kouzmanoff hit doubles in his first two at-bats and has three multi-hit games since getting called up. The Mariners walked Fielder twice to pitch to Kouzmanoff. It didn't work in the first, but it did in the seventh.

Fielder can't cash in: The slugger got two chances with runners in scoring position Thursday and wasn't able to convert. The struggling slugger is now 2-for-19 with runners in scoring position this season. One of those chances came with the count already at two strikes. Rios, who has vowed to stay aggressive on the bases even with Fielder hitting behind him, stole second base and went to third on an errant throw by catcher John Buck.

Relief respect: The Rangers bullpen pitched 6 2/3 innings Thursday and didn't allow a run. Hector Noesi gave up some hard hits, but both of the runs he gave up were inherited runners charged to Scheppers. Pedro Figueroa, Jason Frasor, Alexi Ogando and Joakim Soria got the job done.

Small ball: Martin was asked to put down sacrifice bunts twice Thursday with runners at first and second. He converted both times, and Arencibia, behind him, hit ground balls to score a run in each frame. The bunt eliminated the chance at a double play and Arencibia did what he had to by hitting the ball on the ground. The average won't be helped, but the catcher did his job in those situations.

Up next: The Chicago White Sox come to town with LHP Martin Perez (2-0, 2.70 ERA) opposing RHP Felipe Paulino (0-1, 7.98 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and TXA21.

Lobby Talk: Choo price too high for Texas?

December, 10, 2013
12/10/13
1:05
PM CT
Note: Periodically during the winter meetings, we'll post some of the chatter going on in the lobby in regards to players the Texas Rangers may be interested in this week at Disney World.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It appears the price for Shin-Soo Choo, at least right now, is in the Jacoby Ellsbury range (in terms of years and salary) and that's not a price the Rangers want to pay, according to sources. Ellsbury signed a seven-year, $153 million deal with the New York Yankees this offseason.

One source said it wouldn't be fair to say Texas was "out" on Choo, but they aren't "in" on him at the current rate. His price would have to drop for Texas to get more aggressive. The club is leaning toward Nelson Cruz, if a deal can be worked out. It's possible Cruz could end up in a position of choosing from a slightly longer-term deal with one club or taking a little less to stay with Texas. But we'll see.

The Rangers still want a power bat and Cruz fits in nicely to that plan. They know him and are comfortable with him. The question is whether Cruz's comfort with the Rangers is enough to get him to Texas in a deal that works for both sides.

Other notes:

* Whenever Cliff Lee's name is floated, it's difficult not to think of the Rangers. But beyond the pieces it might take to get him is the $25 million he's owed in 2014, the $25 million he gets in 2015 and the $27.5 vesting option for 2016 (or a $12.5 million buyout). That's a lot of money to pay a 35-year-old pitcher. It doesn't seem very likely at this point.

* The Rangers have "some" interest in Corey Hart as they canvas bats in case the bigger names fall through.

* The club has discussed Michael Morse as well. That's something we detailed in our "Hot Stove Talk" series yesterday. Read that here.

* Lots of chatter about a proposed three-way deal between the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels and Arizona Diamondbacks. Our buddy Keith Law reports that the deal would send Mark Trumbo to the Diamondbacks with Adam Eaton going to Chicago and Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs ending up with the Angels.

Hot Stove Talk: Corey Hart

November, 20, 2013
11/20/13
9:00
AM CT
Note: This is part of our Hot Stove Talk series, which profiles free agents and looks at possible trades the Texas Rangers could make this offseason.

Today's player: Corey Hart

The 31-year-old right-handed hitter (he turns 32 in March) comes into free agency with nothing on his resume from 2013 except knee surgeries. He had microfracture surgery on his right knee in 2012 and was expected to miss the first part of the 2013 season. But his other knee gave him issues, as well, and surgery on that one ended any chance of returning last year.

In a free-agent market thin on power, Hart can give a prospective team some pop. He has 87 homers in his last three healthy seasons (2010-2012), an average of 29 per season. He's had an OPS of .844 or better in each of those three seasons and averaged nearly 83 RBIs per season.

Hart will need to show that he's healthy, so he isn't going to command a long-term contract. Hart told ESPN.com Jim Bowden that the Red Sox, Rockies and Rays, among other teams, have shown some interest in him.

Why he makes sense: If the Rangers lose right-handed hitting Nelson Cruz, the power of Hart would certainly help this lineup. The Rangers haven't hesitated since Jon Daniels became general manager in taking chances on injured players. In Hart's case, there was no qualifying offer, so he won't cost a draft pick to sign. Maybe he gets something in the $6 to $8 million range with some incentives that could boost the deal?

Why he doesn't make sense: Hart is open to playing the outfield, but can he do that well after the knee surgeries? If not, he slots in at first base and DH only. That limits the options that manager Ron Washington would have with him. And there's always the risk that he won't stay healthy. Remember Lance Berkman? This has some similarities.

Bottom line: Should the club fail to land Brian McCann or re-sign Cruz, Hart could be a nice option on a one-year deal. But that depends on the medicals and how the Rangers feel about those knees. I'm only doing it if it's a cheap deal with lots of incentives. The Rangers aren't going to hand Hart $11 million guaranteed like they did Berkman. So if nothing else pops and Hart is willing to take a deal that allows him to make more money based on games played, it's worth exploring.

Rangers making stylish world record attempt

June, 21, 2011
6/21/11
9:30
AM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Corey Hart would be proud of the Texas Rangers.

No, not Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Corey Hart.

Seventeen years after the Canadian singer released his hit song "Sunglasses at Night," the Rangers are making an '80s stylish attempt at getting into the Guinness Book of World Records on Tuesday night.


Fans attending Tuesday’s game against the Houston Astros will be asked to don sunglasses at the end of the sixth inning and wear them for 10 minutes in an attempt to set a world record for the "Most People Wearing Sunglasses ... in the Dark."


As part of a giveaway, the Rangers will hand out 30,000 sunglasses to fans as they arrive at Rangers Ballpark on Tuesday, which happens to be the first official day of summer.


An official adjudicator from Guinness World Records will be onsite to immediately confirm the successful attempt.


Randy Jennings covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
10 3.06 182 144
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .327
HRA. Beltre 17
RBIA. Beltre 68
RA. Beltre 68
OPSA. Beltre .880
ERAY. Darvish 3.06
SOY. Darvish 182