Chat with Richard Durrett
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPNDallas.com Texas Rangers reporter Richard Durrett stops by to chat about the MLB season.
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 Friday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
Richard Durrett (1:00 PM)
Hello everyone. It's Friday and that means time to talk Rangers. Texas was 15-13 in April, which considering all the injuries is good, if you ask me. Things did not end well, though, with the sweep of the A's. Let's see what that means for the three-game set in Anaheim.
Ed (Queens Village)
Is -21 run differential a concern for team?
Richard Durrett (1:02 PM)
I think the concern is the offensive consistency. Run differential can be very misleading. The Rangers lost to the A's by 11 in one game and the White Sox by two touchdowns in another. That's just 2 losses that skew that stat tremendously. What the Rangers aren't doing is getting the key hits in run-scoring opportunities consistently. They need Prince Fielder to get going and they need Elvis Andrus. That would certainly help.
Hello Richard, do you see anything about Beltre that would explain why he's struggling?
Richard Durrett (1:03 PM)
He just came back from the DL, so give him some time to get back in the swing of things. But I can't pinpoint anything in particular. I've been amazed in past years how he's managed to deal with these hamstrings and quad injuries and still hit. He'll be fine.
Derrick (Garden City)
Hi Richard, if Ross struggles do you see the Rangers moving him back to the bullpen?
Richard Durrett (1:05 PM)
I think anything is possible. But right now, they need him. If Scheppers can get healthy and return, putting him back in the bullpen makes the most sense to me as that eighth-inning guy. I'm not saying they couldn't use Ross down there, especially with the lefty Neal Cotts struggling, but let's see. If Nick Tepesch keeps pitching well, there's got to be a temptation at some point to do something. But Ross got no help from his defense Wednesday. They'll keep running him out there.
What do you think is unique about Globe Life Park compared to other parks and what is your favorite concession there?
Richard Durrett (1:06 PM)
I still haven't gotten over the fact that they got rid of the stir fry concession on the main level. But apparently, I was the only one who ate there. And I couldn't find any garlic fries the other day. Are those gone too?
Dicky D, what do you think will be the Stars main issue they need to address in the offseason? Possibly upgrading the inconsistent Lehtonen?
Richard Durrett (1:07 PM)
It remains the blue line. They need help on defense. That's got to be the No. 1 priority. I understand that folks are worried that Lehtonen may not be the long-term guy. I share those concerns. But I'd also be curious to see him with a decent defense in front of him.
Think any Rangers go for 25+ HRs this year -- if so, who is your money on?
Richard Durrett (1:08 PM)
I'll leave my money on Prince Fielder. I think it's only natural to be concerned about the guy at this point. It's one thing for a slump to be a week or two, but this is now a month. Still, you can't tell me it's all gone away. He'll come around and start hitting some homers.
stefan fenwick (michigan)
Are the rangers more succesful with ian kinsler or prince feilder?
Richard Durrett (1:08 PM)
Let the year play out. I still like the deal and believe they were smart to do it. And by doing it, it forced their hand on Shin-Soo Choo, which is a big-time signing for this club.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What National League Team that the Rangers will play at their Ballpark & that Same Team Comes to Arlington, Texas?
Richard Durrett (1:09 PM)
They've got two games next week in Colorado and then two against the Rockies in Arlington. Is that what you mean? It's four straight games, two in each stadium.
Hello Richard, who do you think we see first between Profar, Engel Beltre, and Tanner?
Richard Durrett (1:09 PM)
I'll take Tanner. But it will be close. Profar starting to throw soon and Beltre on the mend.
Pleasant hill, CA [via mobile]
What can we do to produce more runs?!? Better situational hitting(man, I miss Gentry) or wait for our hollow bats to pop?!?
Richard Durrett (1:10 PM)
Once again, if you ask me about the Gentry for Choice trade, I make it. Long term, Choice has a high ceiling. But this team has to hit better situationally. That's easy to say. They're working on it. At the same time, I'm not sure what else Ron Washington can do but trust that his stalwarts -- Fielder, Andrus and Beltre -- will start hitting.
Richard, who would be next in line for a rotation spot if we needed one between Nick Martinez, Scott Baker, and Joe Saunders?
Richard Durrett (1:11 PM)
It has to be Martinez, doesn't it? Saunders throwing three innings this week in AZ as he starts his comeback trail.
Mo (Las Colinas)
i asked JJT earlier this week when can we, the fans and media, start making a big deal of the lack of run support for Yu? I have never seen anything like it...
Richard Durrett (1:12 PM)
It's ridiculous. They just can't score runs for this guy. The only logical explanation is that he faces a lot of the other team's top pitchers. But not all the time. He says it doesn't frustrate him, but at some point it has to. He has to be nearly perfect these days to win a game. That said, run support wouldn't have mattered much on Monday. That was just a bad game for him. He'll bounce back.
KM (Ashburn, VA)
Rangers seems to be lacking the explosiveness they had in the past, even with Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo. Is it time to try out top talent from minor league - Joey Gallo for example?
Richard Durrett (1:13 PM)
Too soon on Joey Gallo. The club has to let it's prospects in the lower part of the system develop at their pace and not get rushed. Again, you have to stress that it's one month in a six-month season. Overreacting now could have rough ramifications in a few months. The team is what it is. These are solid players that haven't played up to their potential. But it's one month. You have to let them figure it out.
David. Mexico [via mobile]
Do you think Elvis Andrus can become an elite player or is this what we are going to get from him? (260s avg no power at all etc...)
Richard Durrett (1:16 PM)
He's better than this. I know that because his numbers have been better in his previous five seasons. But how much better? That's another question. I don't see why he can't be a .280 hitter -- he batted .279 in 2011 and .286 in 2012. He's never going to give you power, but he's very versatile in what he can do. It's difficult to remember that Andrus is still 25. He can still get better and I think he will.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Richard, As April turns into May Prince Fielder is batting .206 with 2 homers how much of a waiting game before his numbers pick up? On the up side what is your opinion of the play of Robinson Chirinos [.232 BA],, Donnie Murphy [.220 BA] and the Rangers pitching staff ?
Richard Durrett (1:19 PM)
I'm surprised we're still waiting on Prince Fielder, but we are right now. The catching position isn't giving this team much offensively, but I like what I've seen from Robinson Chirinos. He's handling the staff and has a good arm. Donnie Murphy and Josh Wilson weren't signed because they can hit. But they've done an adequate job of filling in for Profar at second. This pitching staff can be better. The bullpen has been inconsistent and that needs to settle down. But considering the starting pitching injuries, it's difficult not to be generally pleased with the rotation.
If the Rangers fail to advance in the playoffs, in spite of the talent lined up, any chance Wash returns?
Richard Durrett (1:22 PM)
I don't think it's that simple. This is about context. Is the club full of injuries all year? What happens with the rest of the division? I don't think it's a make-the-playoffs-or-bust situation. If they get a lead and collapse again with a healthy roster, that's a different story. But the front office will look at everything.
Richard Durrett (1:25 PM)
I'll be interested to see how this team responds in this series. They got punched by the A's hard in this latest series and have off day today. Do they clear their heads and move on to Anaheim as a restart button? Or does the three-game series stick with them? We'll see.
Richard Durrett (1:29 PM)
Thanks for all the questions. Talk to you next week.