Chat with Richard Durrett
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPNDallas.com reporter Richard Durrett stops by from Texas Rangers spring training.
Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009 and writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. He spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.
Send your questions now and join Durrett on Wednesday at 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET!
Richard Durrett (4:02 PM)
Hello, everyone. It's a beautiful day in Surprise, Ariz. Let's answer some questions.
Hi Richard, what do you think the chances are that Michael Young is back with the Rangers?
Richard Durrett (4:03 PM)
I think they are very good. The club continues to explore the trade market, but they haven't found anything that works. I think it's likely they won't by the time of Sunday's first full squad workout. The Rangers expect Young to report if he's not traded and so do I. My bet is he's here with the Rangers and will be the pro he's always been.
Candy (Slippery Rock)
Hey Richard, who is going to play CF for the Rangers? Is it going to be Borbon or will they risk Hamilton?
Richard Durrett (4:04 PM)
Right now, they want it to be Julio Borbon. They'd like to shift Hamilton to left field to help with the wear and tear on his body. Borbon must show he can do it and he's been focused on improving his overall game this offseason.
Hey Richard, what do you think the rotation will look like when the Rangers break camp?
Richard Durrett (4:05 PM)
Brandon Webb said today that he believes he'll be ready by Opening Day. We'll see what happens, but for the purposes of this question, let's say he is. Rotation would be: C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, Brandon Webb, Tommy Hunter and the fifth spot up for grabs. I'm going to say Derek Holland.
Does Adrian Beltre repeat 2010 or fall into his "contract year" nonsense again?
Richard Durrett (4:06 PM)
I think he'll have a solid 2011. Will it be quite as good as 2010 in terms of his numbers? That's going to be tough. But if you look at all of his numbers -- offense and defense -- the contract year thing is overblown. Maybe all this talk about it will make him even more motivated to prove everyone wrong. I also think going to a new team gets the juices flowing too. I expect a good year.
First off just want to thank you Rich for all your blogs and chats about the Rangers I enjoy your point of view on everything. Second, What is the Rangers take on Webb with the little throwing they've seen? Is Opening Day realistic?
Richard Durrett (4:07 PM)
They seem to think it is. But they are also cautious. They'll back off of him early and see how he does. No one wants to put a timetable on anything right now. But Webb feels really good. You could tell he was excited in talking to him today (video will be up on the site soon).
Is Elvis hitting 9-12 HRs out of the question?
Richard Durrett (4:08 PM)
I'm the guy that kept guaranteeing he'd hit a homer last season and he didn't. A jump to 9 to 12 seems like a leap at this point.
If Michael Young is traded - and that's a big if - then is Napoli the everyday DH?
Richard Durrett (4:09 PM)
It would be a split between Napoli and David Murphy and maybe even rotating some other guys through. But clearly the lineup is better if Young is the DH and Napoli fills in for Moreland at times at first base, etc.
Do you think Moreland will hit the "sophomore slump"?
Richard Durrett (4:10 PM)
I don't. But I thought Chris Davis would be fine last year too. Moreland seems to have the right temperament. He's confident, but not cocky. And he knows nothing is his. He's just here at spring training to get better and keep progressing. I think he will.
When will we see Engel Beltre in the bigs? 2011?
Richard Durrett (4:10 PM)
Might be a little soon. But the club is very high on him.
What do you think the chances are that Kirkman (who I think has a better shot at winning a spot in the rotation than Holland) and Holland BOTH have solid springs and the Rangers are forced to make a decision on Hunter (assuming Wilson, Lewis, Webb go 1-2-3)? I get that Hunter pitched well in the regular season but don't you think he's a litte like Vladdy, in other words, feasts on mediocre teams but has a hard time against upper echelon talent? Don't Kirkman and Holland at least project as having higher ceilings than Hunter and thereby might deserve to start every 5th day so you have that 4th starter with better stuff if we make the playoffs?
Richard Durrett (4:11 PM)
I think anything is possible. But my money is on Hunter. That fifth spot could get interesting. Kirkman has a lot going for him as does Holland. That's the beauty of competition.
I'm sure you'll get your fill of MY questions so lets start with something relative to P&C reporting... Colby's efforts during the playoffs appear to be one of those events that can turn your career around... I'm prediciting he ends up being one the best pitcher we have this year AND one of the better pitchers in the league. I'm talking 18+ wins... am I crazy?
Richard Durrett (4:12 PM)
You're not crazy, although he'll need more run support than he got early in the year to do that. But Lewis, like everyone else, was curious if his Japan success would translate to the big leagues. It did. Now he knows that and comes in with even more confidence. If he stays healthy, he could have a great 2011.
Is it a lock borbon will be the primary center fielder ?
Richard Durrett (4:12 PM)
Nothing is a lock. But the plan is for Borbon to seize that position.
Do you see Chris Davis making an appearance in this years starting lineup at any point? What do you think the future holds for him?
Richard Durrett (4:13 PM)
I think it's going to be tough for Davis to crack the lineup. Moreland is the starter at first base and Napoli is his backup. Young would be the super-utility guy, so that doesn't leave much room for Davis. But injuries and other things happne, so you never know. Davis played well in the Dominican and he's here with a good attitude and ready to play well.
john (norman, OK)
Why did we trade Fransisco, a proven though injury prone reliever for Napoli when we need bullpen arms much more than light hitting catcher/1B/DHs at this point?
Richard Durrett (4:15 PM)
The Rangers are confident they have the arms in the bullpen to make up for Francisco's loss. We'll see. But Lowe and Ogando are hard-throwing right-handers who have a chance to get that job, if they aren't closing games should Feliz go to the rotation. How the bullpen shapes up is something to watch this spring.
Richard, What do you think about Omar Beltre? Can he get in the rotation/bullpen mix out of spring?
Richard Durrett (4:16 PM)
Sadly, no. Beltre will have spinal surgery on Feb. 22 for a genetic disorder. He's out at least three months and the club said they don't know of another baseball player with this condition, so they don't know when he might return or what that will be like. It's too bad because he was making progress.
Rich, you going to do your chats from different locations again this year? The Rangers seemed to crank out All-Star firstbaseman (Teixiera and Gonzalez) can Mitch Moreland be on that path or do you see another C. Davis. good one year but then falls at the plate? To bad J.D. traded GonZo what a lineup this would of been!
Richard Durrett (4:18 PM)
We will do chats from different locations this year again. Hope you'll join me for some of those. Every GM has trades they regret. I think Moreland can be a solid first baseman.
Are there any indications that Eric Hurley will impress us in Spring Training and make a case for the back end of the starting rotation? I know he was showing significant improvement in the Arizona Fall League.
Richard Durrett (4:19 PM)
I don't think it's realistic to think Hurley would get a spot out of spring. But he is pleased with how he's doing and his numbers in the AFL were excellent. He's another one of those critical insurance starters this team will likely need at some point. Dave Bush is another.
Who are some of the pitchers that threw bullpen sessions today and how have they looked?
Richard Durrett (4:20 PM)
Only a few guys threw today. The pitching groups are ready to go starting tomorrow. So we'll give you some updates on the blog. Stay tuned.
Which of these three pitchers do you think will have the largest impact for the Rangers this year? Holland, Ogando or Kirkman?
Richard Durrett (4:22 PM)
I say Ogando. Even if he doesn't start, he could be a huge key in that bullpen. I know it's easy to go with a starter, but the good teams win with a solid bullpen late. Ogando will likely be part of that.
Mike Walters (Saint Jo Texas )
How many pitchers do think have a real shot to nail down the last two spots in the rotation?
Richard Durrett (4:25 PM)
A handful. Derek Holland, Michael Kirkman, Matt Harrison, Dave Bush. I'm probably missing some.
Rick (Gallatin, Tennessee)
Any chance Rangers could put a package together to get Josh Johnson (RHP) from marlins?
Richard Durrett (4:26 PM)
Can't see the Marlins moving him. The Rangers have tried in the past. I'm sure they still ask about him.
How much can we expect napoli to be behind the plate? I feel like we have enough at first with mitch and my, and napoli could fill the void that yorvit doesnt. thoughts?
Richard Durrett (4:28 PM)
I would not expect Napoli to be behind the plate much in 2011. The Rangers go in expecting Torrealba and Treanor as catchers. They thihk of Napoli as a 1B and DH.
ESPN mentioned today that since Pujols will be a FA at the end of the year, that the Rangers may be a destination. I was shocked to hear an analysist say that, what do you think?
Richard Durrett (4:30 PM)
When you get new ownership willing to spend $80 million on on Beltre (and maybe $96 if the extra year kicks in), anything is possible. But this team will be paying some big bucks to a host of players in the coming years, so I think it's a longshot.
Who gets more starts for the Rangers in 2012, Perez, Scheppers or Feliz?
Richard Durrett (4:31 PM)
I'll take Feliz. But Perez and Scheppers would be in the mix by then too. That would make 2012 spring training fun to watch too, wouldn't it?
Nate (Dallas, TX)
Do you think Neftali Feliz has any real shot to be in the rotation?
Richard Durrett (4:31 PM)
I think he has a shot, but with the trade of Francisco, Feliz would have to be solid to take him out of that closer role. I don't see it, but we'll see how things develop this spring.
Richard Durrett (4:31 PM)
Thanks, everyone. We'll be chatting again soon and many times during spring training.