Texas Rangers: Kelly Johnson

Matchup: Yu Darvish vs. Kyle Drabek

May, 27, 2012
5/27/12
11:00
AM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas – Yu Darvish faces Kyle Drabek in a matchup of a couple of talented young righties.

Darvish (6-2, 3.05): The rookie is coming off his worst start for the Rangers, having allowed five runs on four hits and six walks in four innings to take the loss against the Mariners. He still ranks among American League winners in wins (6, tied first) and strikeouts (63, tied fifth). He also ranks fifth in walks with 32. … The 25-year-old Japanese phenom is 4-0 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, but this will be his first day start in the Texas heat. … Darvish beat the Blue Jays on April 30 in Toronto with a dominant performance. He struck out nine in seven innings, allowing one run on four hits and two walks. He threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of 27 batters that he faced.

Drabek (4-4, 3.27): The 24-year-old Drabek, the son of former major league pitcher Doug Drabek, is a former first-round pick who was acquired in the Roy Halladay deal. … Drabek’s biggest problem is command. He is tied for third in the AL with 34 walks allowed in his 52 1/3 innings. He has walked at least four in five in his last seven starts. … Drabek has been especially hard to hit in his last two starts. He gave up only six hits in 13 innings in wins over the Rays and Yankees. … Drabek is 1-3 with a 4.73 ERA on the road. … He has been at his best with runners in scoring position, holding opponents to a .149 average in those situations. … Drabek was the losing pitcher in Darvish’s win over the Blue Jays, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks in six innings.

Hitters: The current Rangers are 9-for-42 against Drabek with a home run by Yorvit Torrealba. He has been especially tough on Texas’ lefties. David Murphy is 0-for-5 with two strikeouts and Mitch Moreland 0-for-4 with a strikeout against Drabek. Elvis Andrus is 3-for-6 with a double against him. … Edwin Encarnacion is 2-for-2 with a homer against Darvish. The rest of the Blue Jays are 2-for-22 against him. Yunel Escobar and Kelly Johnson are both 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.

Up next:
Mon. vs. Sea.: LHP Matt Harrison (5-3, 4.72) vs. RHP Kevin Millwood (3-4, 3.72), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3/1540/FSSW
Tues. vs. Sea.: RHP Scott Feldman (0-2, 4.66) vs. LHP Jason Vargas (5-4, 3.39), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3/1540/FSSW
Wed. vs. Sea.: LHP Derek Holland (4-3, 4.05) vs. RHP Blake Beavan (2-4, 4.38), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3/1540/FSSW

Where does Vlad rank among free agents?

May, 11, 2010
5/11/10
8:00
AM CT
Someone asked me the other day if Vladimir Guerrero was the top offensive free agent signing this offseason. You could certainly make that argument.

[+] EnlargeVlad Guerrero
Jason O. Watson/US PresswireVlad Guerrero isn't the only free agent paying big dividends for his new team.
Guerrero is batting .339 with six homers and 26 RBIs. He even has four stolen bases and his body appears to be holding up just fine so far this season. He's making $5.5 million (the contract includes performance bonuses) this season and there's a mutual option (with a $1 million buyout) for 2011. So who else signed offseason deals that look good so far this season? ESPN Stats & Information put together a list. Here goes (all stats through Sunday):

* Arizona's 2B Kelly Johnson (one year, $2.35M): 10 HRs, 19 RBIs and a .282 batting average. He hit just eight HRs in 303 at-bats last season.

* Toronto SS Alex Gonzalez (one year, $2.75M): He's a defense-first infielder with Toronto who's added 10 HR (he hit eight all of last year) and 27 RBIs.

* Chicago OF Marlon Byrd (three years, $15M): The former Ranger has a .347 BA, 6 HRs, 22 RBIs.

* New York Mets C Rod Barajas (one year, $500K): Another former Ranger, he leads the Mets with nine HRs.

* New York Mets C Henry Blanco (one year,$750K): Backup has thrown out all five baserunners this season in limited action.

* Washington C Pudge Rodriguez (two years, $6M): .365 batting average for the catcher that turned down a one-year offer from the Rangers and got a multiyear deal in Washington.

Here are some who have struggled:

* New York Mets' Jason Bay (four years, $66M): one HR, 12 RBIs, .248 batting average.

* Seattle's Chone Figgins (four years, $36M): He's hitting just .185 for a struggling Mariners lineup.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Colby Lewis
WINS ERA SO IP
10 5.18 133 170
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .324
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182