Texas Rangers: Hunter Pence

No bat, but trade deadline not a failure

August, 1, 2013
8/01/13
6:21
PM CT
I get it. You wanted a bat. You expected a bat. And when general manager Jon Daniels didn't go and get a bat, you weren't happy about it.

But just because the Rangers didn't get a bat doesn't make the trade deadline a failure. First, this team is better thanks to the acquisition of Matt Garza, who has pitched well in his two Texas starts. I disagree with the notion that Garza had to be the first step and that if the Rangers didn't acquire a bat, it was a pointless deal.

PODCAST
Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the Rangers' walk-off wins and the trade deadline.

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Garza strengthens this team. His presence in the rotation should, in the long run, take a little pressure off the offense. Do they have to score as many runs for Garza as they would have for Nick Tepesch or Justin Grimm, for instance? But this lack of offensive firepower, those three exciting games against the Angels not withstanding, had Daniels searching far and wide to get a bat with some impact in Arlington. One problem: That impact bat wasn't available at even a moderate price.

Want proof of that? Look at the names that didn't go anywhere. We heard whispers of Alex Rios, Hunter Pence, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and even Michael Young. Which GM swooped in with the right offer to grab one of those bats? Nobody. The Pirates could have used a hitter. They weren't willing to pay the price. The Red Sox certainly could have used Young. The right deal wasn't there.

With way more buyers than sellers, the sellers decided they could hike the price with limited inventory out there. That's fine. But if the inventory doesn't come close to the asking price, you just can't buy it. Daniels had to save his prospects for another time, perhaps this offseason. Imagine if he'd dealt a Luis Sardinas or Luke Jackson, two prospects you may not know, but two that would likely come up in discussions for someone like a Giancarlo Stanton and a David Price. Sure, everyone knows Jurickson Profar. But Profar alone doesn't get you either one of those two players. And if they're made available this offseason -- and you never know, they could be -- the Rangers are in better position than most teams to make a big run at them.

Besides, one bat wasn't going to cure an offense that was struggling and could be without Nelson Cruz, assuming that suspension comes down in the next few days and he doesn't appeal it. So the Rangers did the only thing they could -- they reluctantly stood pat. Come August, maybe there's something out there.

But don't say the Rangers failed at the deadline because they didn't overpay for a bat that wasn't of high impact. Blame part of it on the offseason, if you want. That's at least fair. But with no true impact bat available, cashing in your chips on a mid-level hitter would have been the bigger failure.

Rangers look at Rios, right-hand hitters

July, 24, 2013
7/24/13
8:37
PM CT
PODCAST
Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzimmons and Durrett to discuss the Matt Garza trade and if the Rangers are done shopping before the deadline.

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers continue to explore their options on the trade market for a right-handed hitter, with the focus on Chicago White Sox outfielder Alex Rios.

Rios is one of several hitters the Rangers are looking at, a major league source said, but nothing is imminent as far as a trade is concerned. Rios spoke to the media about trade interest from the Rangers and other clubs on Wednesday.

Other hitters on the market include Seattle switch-hitting designated hitter Kendrys Morales and San Francisco outfielder Hunter Pence.

Manager Ron Washington said before Wednesday's game with the New York Yankees that the Rangers could use a right-handed hitter in the lineup.

"We are left-handed heavy," Washington said. "We certainly want to add a big right-handed bat. What bat that will be, they're up there hunkered down right now trying to figure that out."

Rios came out hot to start the season, but his power numbers have dropped in June and July. He's batting .259 with two home runs and 16 RBIs in his last 35 games. He has a .307 on-base percentage since June 9.

Rios batted .289 with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs in his first 59 games.

The Rangers also have the possible concern of a suspension for right fielder Nelson Cruz, who is connected to the Biogenesis case.

Trade target: Hunter Pence

July, 23, 2013
7/23/13
10:00
AM CT
We continue our series looking at possible trade targets for the Rangers today by looking at a bat.

PODCAST
Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzimmons and Durrett to discuss the Matt Garza trade and if the Rangers are done shopping before the deadline.

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Today's target: Hunter Pence

With Matt Garza flying to Texas to join the club for workouts Tuesday and slated to pitch Wednesday, the Rangers can turn their attention to a bat. There were two big items on GM Jon Daniels' trade deadline shopping list: a starting pitcher and a right-handed bat. He's got the first part, but he is still working on that second part.

So what about Pence? He was born in Fort Worth and went to UTA, so he's certainly comfortable in the area. The 30-year-old, right-handed hitter is batting .263 with 14 homers and 49 RBIs for the San Francisco Giants this season. He's hitting .316 against left-handed pitchers in 95 at-bats with a .942 OPS. That would certainly look good on this club.

Pence is making $13.8 million this season and is a free agent after it's over. He'd be another true rental. But he would provide a bat for the club and someone who can play the corner outfield spots. He's played the entire season in right field for the Giants, by the way.

At this point, the Giants haven't indicated they've made Pence available. They are 5 1/2 back in the NL West and aren't ready to concede anything yet. We'll see if that changes.

Rapid Reaction: Giants 5, Rangers 2

March, 15, 2013
3/15/13
5:43
PM CT
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--The Texas Rangers (9-9-2) saw their two-game winning streak come to an end with a 5-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants (8-9-3) on Friday at Scottsdale Stadium.

What this means: Texas falls back to .500 after losing both games of the two-game spring series to San Francisco.

Lowe debuts: Derek Lowe pitched two scoreless innings in his Rangers and spring debut. He scattered a pair of hits and walked one.

Great gun: Craig Gentry showed off his arm on a play during the first inning when he threw out Andres Torres who was trying to tag up and take third on a fly out to right field. Gentry made the catch about halfway out in right, and fired a bullet to Adrian Beltre that got there so quickly that Beltre had to wait for Torres to take a few more steps toward him before applying the easy tag.

PODCAST
Manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Surprise, Ariz., to discuss how the Rangers are looking heading into the 2013 season.

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Double threat: 1B-OF Jim Adduci, all 6-2, 210-pounds of him, stole second base cleanly in the second inning, and had a good jump doing it, showing he has speed to go along with a good bat. He tried to steal second again in the fifth inning but was thrown out on a close play.

Self defense: LHP Joe Ortiz saved himself when Matt Cain drilled a line drive back at the Rangers reliever to lead off the third inning. Ortiz quickly dropped down to the mound to avoid the ball and put his glove up to his face, knocking the shot down and throwing the ball to first to secure the out. The play went 1-3 on the scorecard but was anything but routine.

Zero Joe: Speaking of Ortiz, he threw his seventh scoreless inning of the spring, and has allowed just three hits in his seven innings of work.

Captain Kirkman: LHP Michael Kirkman will likely be asked to take on a bigger role in the bullpen this season and he looks ready for the added responsibility. Kirkman threw a scoreless eighth inning and remains unscored upon in six innings this spring.

Cain pain: Texas could only muster two hits in five scoreless innings against San Francisco starter Cain, who faced one batter above the minimum.

Font 'A' debut: RHP Wilmer Font made his first appearance in an 'A' game this spring and allowed a two-run home run to Hunter Pence during his inning of work. Font was sidelined early in camp with biceps tendonitis. He rose from High-A Myrtle Beach to the majors in 2012, just one year removed from undergoing Tommy John surgery. Font averaged 12.6 strikeouts per nine innings with Myrtle Beach.

Perfect no more: RHP Johan Yan was untouchable through his first five appearances, allowing no hits and just one walk -- until Friday. Torres took a pitch deep in the seventh inning, hitting a two-run home run, the first blemish on Yan's spring ledger.

Big draw: The Texas-San Francisco game was a sellout with Scottsdale Stadium packed with 12,106 fans taking in the game under 85-degree, mostly sunny skies.

What's next?: Texas is scheduled for a pair of split-squad games this weekend, with one game being played in Arizona and the other in Las Vegas on each day. On Saturday, the Rangers will play one game against the Chicago Cubs at Cashman Field at 3:05 p.m. CT. RHP Nick Tepesch (0-0, 2.25) will start for Texas. RHP Jeff Samardzjia (1-0, 5.59) takes the mound for Chicago. The game can be seen live on Fox Sports Southwest.

In the other game, Texas hosts the Los Angeles Dodgers at Surprise Stadium at 3:05 p.m. CT. LHP Matt Harrison (1-0, 9.00) will start for the Rangers. LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-2, 5.54) is the scheduled starter for the Dodgers. The game can be heard live on ESPN 103.3 FM.

Lineups: Andrus returns, Cruz sits out

June, 30, 2011
6/30/11
4:52
PM CT
HOUSTON -- The finale of this three-game series between the Rangers and Astros at Minute Maid Park tonight features two major lineup changes: Elvis Andrus (wrist) returns to the lineup for the first time in the last four games, and Nelson Cruz gets the day off. We'll have more with Ron Washington on the moves.

For now, here's the lineups for the last game of the Lone Star Series:

Rangers
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton
3B Adrian Beltre
1B Michael Young
RF David Murphy
C Yorvit Torrealba
CF Craig Gentry
P Matt Harrison

Astros
CF Michael Bourn
2B Jeff Keppinger
RF Hunter Pence
1B Carlos Lee
LF Jason Michaels
3B Chris Johnson
SS Clint Barmes
C J.R. Towles
P Wandy Rodriguez

Pitching matchup: Wilson vs. Paulino

June, 20, 2010
6/20/10
9:49
AM CT
HOUSTON -- Good morning and Happy Father's Day. We conclude the first part of the Lone Star Series as left-hander C.J. Wilson tries to give the Rangers a three-game sweep when he faces the Astros' Felipe Paulino.

Here's a breakdown of the pitchers:

C.J. Wilson (5-3, 3.48): He's won his last two starts, and in the last one he went six innings, allowing two earned runs on just two hits. He walked a season-high six but struck out six in a 3-2 win over the Florida Marlins. Wilson's ERA has jumped from 1.48 to 3.48 in his last six starts, where he's 2-2. ... In interleague games, Wilson has struggled. He's 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA. ... Opponents are hitting .215 and compiled a .297 sluggling percentage vs. Wilson this season. On the road it's even better. He's holding opponents to a .196 average, but he's 1-2 with a 3.13 ERA.

Felipe Paulino (1-8, 4.50 ERA): This man is hurting. He picked up his eighth loss of the year after allowing 10 runs, eight earned, in 4 2/3 inning in a June 15 loss at Kansas City. ... Paulino does have six quality starts in his last eight outings. ... The Astros don't support him well. He's getting just 2.70 runs per game, second lowest in the NL. ... In his only outing vs. the Rangers -- May 22, 2009 -- he got a no-decision in a 6-5 loss. Paulino allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings of work.

Hitters:
Rangers
Josh Hamilton has a 15-game hit streak. He extended it Saturday night with a bloop single to left in the eighth inning. Hamilton is fifth in the AL in runs scored (47). With the Astros starting a righty, Hamilton should do well. He's hitting .354 against them, third in the AL. ... Justin Smoak has hit a home run the first two games of the series, marking the first time in his career he's done that over consecutive games. ... Vladimir Guerrero is seventh in the AL with a .333 batting average and seventh in slugging percentage at .565.

Astros
When Hunter Pence got the game's first hit on Saturday night, an infield hit, it marked the 14th time he's reached base that way, tops in the NL. ... The Astros are hitting .233, last in the NL. ... Cleanup hitter Carlos Lee is hitting just .222 and has a slugging percentage of .381. ... The Astros are hitting just .239 at home through 36 games and .230 in day games.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.324 19 77 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182