Texas Rangers: Jacoby Ellsbury

Rapid Reaction: Yankees 4, Rangers 2

July, 24, 2014
7/24/14
3:05
PM CT


NEW YORK – The middle innings did Colby Lewis in Thursday afternoon from Yankee Stadium. And the Rangers right-hander didn’t get enough support in the late innings from his teammates to overcome his issues in a 4-2 loss to the Yankees.

The loss dropped the Rangers to a 40-62 on the season, marking the first time since 1988 that the franchise has dipped 22 games under .500.

What happened?: With the score tied in the fifth, Lewis committed the unallowable, walking Ichiro Suzuki to start the inning. Francisco Cervelli shot a double down the left-field line, and Ichiro used his speed to score all the way from first. Brendan Ryan then bunted Cervelli over to third and, after a walk to Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner got Cervelli home with a sacrifice fly to left.

The Rangers cut the deficit to 3-2 on a solo shot from J.P. Arencibia in the seventh, but that’s about as close as the visitors would get.

The road trip: The Rangers finished 2-5 on the road trip, lost their closer (Joakim Soria) to a trade, missed their starting right fielder Alex Rios for three games with a sprained ankle, lost a four hour and 51 minute 14-inning game and another game that was cut short after the grounds crew failed to get the tarp on the field. The Rangers lost three out of four games to the Yankees to conclude the trip. Elvis Andrus (6-for-30), Adrian Beltre (5-for-29) and Shin-Soo Choo (5-for-24) didn't get much going with the bats.

RISP slide: The Rangers were 1-for-12 the last two games with runners in scoring position. Robinson Chirinos hit into a 6-4-3 double play in the third. After Rougned Odor singled, Choo reached on a hit to right-center. Andrus ended an 0-for-12 slide with a bloop single in shallow center to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead and give the Rangers their first hit with runners in scoring postition. Alex Rios ended the inning on a fly ball to right. For the game, the Rangers were 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position and 6-for-26 in the four-game series.

What’s next?: The Rangers start a six-game homestand Friday night against AL West rival Oakland. The starter for Friday’s game is undetermined. It was supposed to be Nick Tepesch, but he was scratched Thursday morning when the club decided it was best to protect him after his emergency relief appearance Tuesday night. Expect Scott Baker or a minor league call-up to get the start.

Hot Stove Talk: Shin Soo-Choo

November, 14, 2013
11/14/13
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: Shin-Soo Choo

The Rangers can go many ways to add another bat to their everyday lineup. One option is to pay big bucks, give up a draft pick and sign free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.

Choo, 31, would give the Rangers something they didn't have last year with David Murphy -- an outfielder that gets on base. Choo had an on-base percentage of .423 last season, which was fourth-best in baseball last season.

Choo won't bring a lot of power, at least going by last years' numbers when he had 21 home runs and 54 RBIs. He is an excellent defender and he's durable, playing in 154 games last season.

Why he makes sense: If the Rangers are looking for a hitter that sees pitchers, Choo is their guy. He averaged 4.23 pitches per plate appearance last season, second to Washington's Jayson Werth in the National League, who was at 4.24 (by comparison, the Rangers' leader last season was first baseman Mitch Moreland, who was 12th in the AL at 4.13).

Add in his durability and all-around play and Choo would certainly be an interesting addition.

Why he doesn't make sense: Choo is going to cost big money. After Robinson Cano, he's in a group of Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann as the top offensive free agents available. Choo's overall production the last two seasons suggests he could be a player on the decline.

Bottom line: The Rangers should pass and keep their eye on the their prize -- McCann, who makes much more sense for the club.

Hot Stove Talk: Jacoby Ellsbury

November, 8, 2013
11/08/13
8:00
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: Jacoby Ellsbury.

The Rangers need help in the outfield, and Ellsbury is one of the bigger names available on the market. He certainly showed his toughness this postseason, dealing with a foot injury and a swollen hand that was bad enough that he got an MRI after the World Series. He can now rest it and should be ready to go for spring training, various reports suggest.

Ellsbury, 30, just completed his seventh season with the Red Sox. He hit .298 with nine homers and 53 RBIs in 134 games in 2013. The center fielder and left-handed hitter batted .344 in the playoffs with six RBIs in helping the Red Sox to the championship. In 38 career postseason games, Ellsbury is batting .344 with a .774 OPS.

Why he makes sense: The Rangers have Leonys Martin in center and Alex Rios in right field. They still need an outfielder and Ellsbury would give them someone who is a career .297 hitter and has shown power and production in the past, hitting 32 homers and driving in 105 RBIs when he was fully healthy in 2011. The fact that he played hurt and did what he could to get through the pain says a lot about him. He hit well in the ALDS and ALCS, but dropped off in the World Series.

Why he doesn't make sense: Ellsbury plays center field, and his agent, Scott Boras, is already sending signals that because of Ellsbury's track record and the fact that he plays center field, he's going to likely want more than the deal that Carl Crawford got from Boston in 2010. The Rangers have a center fielder in Martin, who comes a lot cheaper than Ellsbury, and they've got one more year with Rios in right.

Bottom line: If the Rangers' payroll stays close to the same as it did in 2013, the club isn't likely to sign more than one big-name free agent (if any). If that's the limit, I'd rather see Brian McCann in Texas than Ellsbury. I think the price will probably get too high for Ellsbury and this club has a center fielder.

Offseason question: Who plays left field?

October, 15, 2013
10/15/13
8:00
AM CT
Editor's Note: This is the seventh in a 10-part series that will focus on questions the Texas Rangers must answer this offseason. These questions are in no particular order.

Today’s question: What do the Rangers do to address left field?

[+] EnlargeCraig Gentry
AP Photo/Charlie RiedelMight Craig Gentry get a chance to be the Rangers' everyday left fielder?
Left field was a black hole for the Rangers in 2013. There's nothing about the team that needs to be addressed more than the lack of production from this important corner outfield spot.

The Rangers are in a position to upgrade things because David Murphy, who was given every chance to to be an everyday producer in left field is a free agent. Murphy will be missed as a respected and member of the ball club. But it's almost certain he'll try to bounce back from a painful 2013 with another team, maybe hometown Houston.

So what do the Rangers do?

The first option is to bring back Nelson Cruz and let him try left field with Alex Rios back to play right field. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said last week that he expects the club to offer Cruz a qualifying offer of $14 million for 2014. Cruz can take the deal or test the free-agent market for a multi-year contract. Either way, expect the Rangers to be involved.

SportsNation

Who should play left field for the Rangers next season?

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    7%
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    40%
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    23%
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    30%

Discuss (Total votes: 9,570)

There's also the final portion of Craig Gentry's season to consider. Gentry was the Rangers' player of the month for September after batting .354. He did most of his damage starting 11 of the Rangers' last 12 games, batting .462 with four RBIs, nine runs and 10 stolen bases.

It's no coincidence that the Rangers won seven straight games to end the season before the wild-card tiebreaker loss to Tampa Bay. Gentry solidified left field for the first time all season. He's an exciting player that gives the Rangers another a speed dimension. Has he earned a chance for a increased role?

(Read full post)

Gentry wins battle of speed, power

May, 4, 2013
5/04/13
11:33
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Make want you want about early season tests. The Rangers, for what it's worth, are acing the Boston Red Sox early-May exam.

The Red Sox still have baseball's best record after losing 5-1 on Saturday night. The Rangers have been the best team in this series, on the mound, at the plate, in the field and lastly making the most of your team speed.

[+] EnlargeCraig Gentry, Leonys Martin, Mitch Moreland
Tim Heitman/USA TODAY SportsCraig Gentry, right, is more known for his speed, but his home run Saturday gave the Rangers a boost too.
For the second straight night, the Rangers' answer to Boston speed demon Jacoby Ellsbury, center fielder Craig Gentry, was a key part of the margin of victory. It was Texas that won the battle of speed.

With two outs and the bases loaded and the game tied at 1-1 in the fourth inning, Gentry used his wheels to beat out a ground ball fielded 15 feet behind third base, scoring Adrian Beltre. He also forced an errant throw from the Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks for the second game in a row, allowing A.J. Pierzynski to come home for a 3-1 lead.

"Speed kills," is all Rangers manager Ron Washington could say when asked about Gentry's sprint down the first baseline creating two runs.

Alexi Ogando and the Rangers' bullpen shut down the Boston offense. The Rangers have outscored Boston 12-1 in two games. The Rangers are 27-12 against the Red Sox since 2009.

These two wins have a different feel with Boston arriving in Arlington with baseball's best record at 20-8. A Rangers' win Sunday with Yu Darvish facing Jon Lester in a marquee pitching matchup would leave both teams at 20-11.

"This is a great ballclub we're playing against," Gentry said. "They're in first place. To come in and take the first two games is a huge momentum swing."

Gentry also provided the thunder, belting a two-run home run off former teammate Koji Uehara in the bottom of the eighth. It was Gentry's third career home run. Yes, he's more of a speed guy than a power guy.

"With two strikes, I was just trying to slow it down," Gentry said. "He left me a fastball up and I was able to square it up."

Gentry never slows down on the base paths. He's forced two bad throws by Middlebrooks. He has two infield singles that have led to runs.

"That's how I play anyway," Gentry said. "I'm going to always run hard and run it out because that's my game. If I can beat something out, I'm going to try. That was big right there with the bases loaded and two outs and we are able to get a couple of runs right there."

Matchup: Derek Holland vs. Josh Beckett

July, 25, 2012
7/25/12
3:00
PM CT


ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers and the Boston Red Sox wrap up a three-game series Wednesday with LHP Derek Holland taking on RHP Josh Beckett at 7:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW. A quick look at the matchup:

Holland (6-5, 4.84): The 25-year-old will make his 15th start and 16th appearance of the season. ... It will be his fourth start since returning from the disabled list July 7. ... He is 1-1 with a 3.98 ERA in his last three starts. ... Despite spending a month on the DL, he is tied for third on the team in wins and is fourth in strikeouts with 67. ... Suffered a loss in his last start in Anaheim on Friday, giving up six runs off nine hits in 6 2/3 innings of work. ... Holds a 8-3 record with a 3.59 ERA in 16 career games (13 starts) in July. ... He has not allowed more than two walks in eight consecutive starts. ... Is 3-1 with a 2.84 ERA in four career starts against Boston. ... He has won three straight games against the Red Sox, dating to 2009. ... Gave up two runs on four hits in seven innings in the Rangers' 6-3 win in Boston on April 18.

Beckett (5-8, 4.53): The 32-year-old is slated to make his 17th start of the season. ... He is coming off a loss to the Chicago White Sox on July 20, where he gave up five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in six innings. ... He is 3-3 with a 4.88 ERA in nine career starts against Texas. ... Picked up a loss in his lone outing against the Rangers this season. He gave up three runs on seven hits in seven innings of work on April 18. ... Boasts a 3-1 career record with a 3.48 ERA in five career starts (all since 2006) at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. It is the fourth-best ERA for visiting starters (minimum five starts) at Rangers Ballpark during that same time frame. ... He has allowed one run or less in three of those five starts in Texas.

Hitters: Current Rangers are 41-for-153 against Beckett. ... Josh Hamilton is 8-for-17 (.471) with two home runs and seven RBIs. ... Michael Young is 4-for-24 (.167) with a home run and three RBIs. ... Adrian Beltre is 5-for-26 (.192) with a double and 10 strikeouts. ... Current Red Sox are 16-for-78 against Holland. ... Jacoby Ellsbury is 3-for-8 (.375) with a double. ... Adrian Gonzalez is 1-for-9 (.111) with three strikeouts. ... Dustin Pedroia is 1-for-11 (.091) with an RBI.

Up Next:

Fri. vs. White Sox: RHP Yu Darvish (11-6, 3.88) vs. LHP Chris Sale (11-3, 2.37), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/TXA21
Sat. vs. White Sox: LHP Matt Harrison (12-5, 3.02) vs. RHP Philip Humber (4-5, 6.25), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW
Sun. vs. White Sox: Roy Oswalt (3-1, 5.22) vs. RHP Gavin Floyd (8-8, 4.46), 6:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW

Lineups: David Murphy draws start in RF

July, 24, 2012
7/24/12
4:29
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- David Murphy will start in right field Tuesday as the Texas Rangers take on the Boston Red Sox in the second game of a three-game set at 7:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW. Nelson Cruz will be the DH, and Craig Gentry will draw another start in center field despite the Red Sox throwing right-hander Clay Buchholz.

The rest of the lineups:

RANGERS

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

RED SOX

CF Jacoby Ellsbury (L)
DH Pedro Ciriaco
2B Dustin Pedroia
1B Adrian Gonzalez (L)
RF Cody Ross
3B Will Middlebrooks
LF Carl Crawford (L)
C Kelly Shoppach
SS Mike Aviles

Four Rangers receive MVP recognition

November, 21, 2011
11/21/11
1:58
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Michael Young finished eighth in voting for the American League MVP award and was one of four Texas Rangers to receive votes.

Detroit Tigers pitcher and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander completed the rare double-double by winning the AL MVP on Monday afternoon, beating out Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox. Verlander garnered 13 first-place votes, nine more than Ellsbury and eight more than third-place finisher Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays.

For the complete MVP voting, click here.

Young, who recorded career bests with a .338 average and 106 RBIs as the designated hitter and super-utility infielder, got one first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth-place vote, plus four seventh-place votes, seven votes for eighth, four for ninth and two 10th-place votes. He was the only player to receive at least one vote in slots one through 10.

Second baseman Ian Kinsler, who completed the second 30-30 season of his career, finished 11th in the voting. He received two sixth-place votes and one fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth-place vote.

Adrian Beltre placed 15th with two eighth-place votes and one ninth and 10th-place vote. Despite missing five weeks with a hamstring injury, Beltre hit .296 with 32 homers and 105 RBIs.

The 2010 AL MVP, Josh Hamilton, received one 10th place vote.

The Rangers' four players to receive votes was tied for second with the Tigers behind the New York Yankees' five.

Mike Napoli, who notched career-bests with a .320 batting average, 30 home runs and 75 RBI, did not receive any votes, likely because he managed all that damage in just 369 at-bats and 113 games.

Gonzalez vs. lefties for NYY, Boston, Detroit

August, 31, 2011
8/31/11
3:24
PM CT
Let's look ahead to possible October matchups for the Rangers. LHP Mike Gonzalez gives them a situational lefty that can come in and face the top left-handed hitters for the Yankees, Red Sox and Tigers. And all three teams have some good hitters that manager Ron Washington might want to utilize Gonzalez against.

Here are Gonzalez's numbers against some of those lefties in his career:

Curtis Granderson, NYY: 0-for-1
Robinson Cano, NYY: 3-for-6, 2 RBIs
Jacoby Ellsbury, Bos: 0-for-4, 1 BB, 2 Ks
David Ortiz, Bos: 1-for-6, 1 BB, 3 Ks
Adrian Gonzalez, Bos: 1-for-5, 2 Ks
Alex Avila, Det: 1-for-3, 1 RBI

He's never faced Brennan Boesch of Detroit.

One more scouting report on him:

He's got a sharp slider that is tough on lefties and his delivery is deceptive. It doesn't hurt that he's got some power.

All-Star update: Josh Hamilton holding on

June, 28, 2011
6/28/11
5:09
PM CT
With just a few days remaining for fans to vote online, Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton remains in position to make his fourth consecutive All-Star Game start. He is ahead of Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury by a little more than 120,000 votes.

Hamilton, who missed six weeks with a hairline fracture in a bone in his upper arm, is batting .293 with seven homers and 35 RBIs in 41 games played.

Two Rangers remain second in the balloting at their positions. Adrian Beltre is about 800,000 votes behind Alex Rodriguez at third base and Michael Young sits 2 million votes behind runaway DH winner David Ortiz.

Other Rangers in the voting:

*Ian Kinsler is third among second baseman and Elvis Andrus is third among shortstop. Both are well behind the leaders (Robinson Cano at second and Derek Jeter at short).

*Nelson Cruz moved past Ichiro Suzuki and into sixth place among outfielders. The top-3 start the game.

*Mitch Moreland is fourth at first base and Yorvit Torrealba is fifth.

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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