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March 25, 1:30 PM ET
Chat with Richard Durrett

micah (shreveport,la)

The situation on Brandon Webb is confusing could you clear up the question on how healthy is he? and when is he expected to start for the rangers?

Richard Durrett
  (1:36 PM)

Ok, the deal is that Webb was progressing fine in building arm strength until he couldn't get loose on Wednesday (and he had trouble getting loose again on Monday, but that was blamed on weather). He's supposed to long toss today or tomorrow. Then he'll have to build up from there. I think this will be an up and down deal until he really gets the strength up. That's what happens when you have shoulder surgery and don't pitch in the majors for two years. I think we're looking at mid-May at the earliest here and maybe June. And that's if he's able to get back on his program.

Jim (Toronto)

Hi Richard,Now that Feliz is back in the bullpen for one more year, will Texas try to develop Sheppers or someone within the organization to close for 2012 or do you think they will try to get someone outside the organization for 2012 and beyond?Thanks

Richard Durrett
  (1:40 PM)

I think they'll do both. Nolan Ryan said on 103.3 FM ESPN yesterday that the club would try to get a closer for 2012 so Feliz could start. Daniels said yesterday as well that the club could make a decision earlier on Feliz for next season and construct the club accordingly. That means looking at internal and external options.

Kevin (College Station)

Rich, so is this just another one of those awesome spring trainings for Chris Davis or do you think this will actually transition into the season this time? (If he makes the big club) It seems that this has happened before so what is different about Davis's spring training this year?

Richard Durrett
  (1:47 PM)

He's been ridiculously good this spring. He's turned some heads, no doubt. But the question is what to do with him. Mitch Moreland has also had a good spring and is the first baseman. Mike Napoli will get many of his ABs as the backup first baseman. Michael Young can play over there too. So I think Davis ends up in the minors. But if he keeps hitting, he becomes either a more valulable trade piece (to get some pitching, for instance) or would be ready to go should Moreland falter or injuries hit. Davis is making himself more versatile as well by getting better at third base.

Kevin Schroeder (South Carolina)

Richard, I have watched Eric Hurley pitch twice this spring and have been very impressed. He keeps the ball down and has shown that he can pitch in the majors. Why is he not in contention for a spot in the rotation with Tommy Hunter being injured or even in long relief in the bullpen? He has impressed me more than any other pitcher this spring from what I have seen.

Richard Durrett
  (1:47 PM)

Simply because he hasn't pitched in two years. He's had injuries and still needs to get on a consistent schedule. I'm very confident he'll be in Arlington at some point soon this year.

Dan Anthony (Surprise, AZ)

I'm here in Surprise attending Spring Training games. Not very impressed so far with the amount of effort from most of the players that will make the 25 man roster. Do you see a "give a care attitude like I do?"

Richard Durrett
  (1:50 PM)

No. They care. But the No. 1 priority for most guys on that 25-man roster: Leave spring training healthy. So don't misread things like guys not running hard on the bases every time or things like that. They're guarding against injuries and will ramp up. In fact, many are ramping up now. I saw more energy last night with many of the regulars with a week left until Opening Day.

John (Dallas)

When is omar beltre expected back in baseball and back to the majors?

Richard Durrett
  (1:51 PM)

No one knows for sure. The Rangers don't know of any baseball player that's had this surgery. I have to tell you, surgery on spines is serious. It's going to be a tough comeback if he can make it. But he's doing some workout stuff and will slowly try to progress back on his schedule. But there's no way to predict that.

John (Dallas)

Do we see martiz perez this year in the bigs?

Richard Durrett
  (1:52 PM)

I'm going to say no. He might be a Sept. callup, but I'll say we'll see more of him in 2012.

John (Dallas)

Did tommy deserve the rotation spot? he's had an awful spring.

Richard Durrett
  (1:53 PM)

He did based on his track record. Again, spring numbers can be very overrated. The Rangers' rotation sported an ERA over 5.00 last year in spring, but were better than that once the season started (in spite of the Feldman and Harden struggles). We should know more about his MRI today, but if he starts the season on the DL, that likely means a shot for Michael Kirkman.

John (Dallas)

Where does Borbon start the season?

Richard Durrett
  (1:55 PM)

I still say he starts the season with the big club. If he struggles in April, things could change. That's just my thought. They have some decisions to make on that spot in the next week.

John (Dallas)

Why don't they let Blanco go, make MY the backup at 2B and SS and let CD be the backup at 1B and 3B. It makes more sense to me this way than the way they have it.

Richard Durrett
  (1:56 PM)

That's one scenario, though Blanco has no options, so he'd be gone. Still, is Davis better off backing up those positions and not getting much playing time? I know he's done about all he can in the minors, but if he's playing everyday that helps his trade value and makes him better prepared should the team need him. But the way he's hitting, it's tough not to consider that bat on the bench.

Andrew (Amarillo)

hey what up Rich! finally get to chat again,why do you think the Rangers are still trying to trade Michael again i thought that was all over?

Richard Durrett
  (1:58 PM)

Jon Daniels said those reports weren't really new, just coming out more recently. I think it's where it's been all along: They'll trade him if they can get fair value and if someone is willing to take on much of that $48 million. I still think he's a Ranger this season. And that talk was good for both of them.

John (Planet LoveTron)

How do you think the loss of Josh Lewin will affect the TV broadcast going forward?

Richard Durrett
  (1:59 PM)

I like John Rhadigan and believe he understands his role is to set up Tom Grieve, a solid analyst. They seem to have some chemistry, but it will take Rhadigan some time to get into a groove. My advice: Give him time. I do think this will work.

Angel (San Antonio)

if Tommy Hunter goes on the DL the rangers could end up with four left handers in the rotation...is that a good thing?

Richard Durrett
  (2:00 PM)

They could. It's not a bad thing when Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is your home. And who knows how long that rotation would be in place. Hunter will be back at some point and others, like Webb, could slide in later too.

John (Dallas)

Do you see feldman being a factor in the rotation later in the year?

Richard Durrett
  (2:01 PM)

Maybe. He has to get healthy -- he's not even on a mound before April 1 -- and then that sinker has to get going again. But if it does, he could make an impact. They haven't given up on him.

John (Dallas)

Claw and antlers this year?

Richard Durrett
  (2:02 PM)

Appears not. Players haven't done much of it this spring and I get the feeling they think it was a 2010 thing. We'll see.

Frank (Philly)

Thoughts on Colby Lewis this year? No one really knew what he would be last year - Now that the league has seen him - will he regress?

Richard Durrett
  (2:03 PM)

I think he'll be fine. His record wasn't great because he has long stretches where he got little run support. But he commands the ball well and has confidence. I think you'll see a performance similar to last year.

Darryl (Frisco)

Rich, I believe one (or maybe two) of the first basemen they have on their team (Young, Napoli, Davis, Moreland) will be traded (with others) for an upper tier starter before season's end 'cause this can't be the staff that will get them to the playoffs.

Richard Durrett
  (2:03 PM)

That may be what happens. We know how active the Rangers like to be on the trade market. So if the right guy is out there, they could make a deal with some major league guys and/or prospects to get something done. Just depends on where the team is in the standings and what's going on.

Josh (Belton, Tx)

i know the Rangers don't want to use Hamilton in center but their best line-up is obviously with Hamilton in center and Murphy in left. Why won't they just admit Borbon is close but not ready?

Richard Durrett
  (2:05 PM)

They are sorting through that. But they want to give Borbon a chance. He has the tools to do it and they do feel the wear and tear on Hamilton's body is better in left without as much ground to cover. But if Borbon doesn't get the job done, you'll see Hamilton in center with Murphy in left and Cruz in right. It's another reason they are giving Murphy some time in center. If he can spell Hamilton some out there (if Borbon is in the minors, for instance) that would help.

Mike (Florida)

How do you think the bullpen will shape out?? I know we seem to have depth in the rotation but seems like the bullpen not only has issues but that we may be stuck with them. Your thoughts?

Richard Durrett
  (2:06 PM)

I'm really tempted to put Pedro Strop on that roster with Brett Tomko as the long reliever. But Dave Bush is also in the running there and Mark Lowe has some big outings coming up that could change things. As I put on the blog today, Lowe is working on a curve. I'm interested to see how that looks tonight.

Jeff (Allen)

I think your estimation on Webb is far off.. Webb merely had normal soreness and is not that far back.. early May or sooner is likley.. at least that is what his doc thinks.. I wish the media would get the facts right on webb.. really do

Richard Durrett
  (2:07 PM)

Ok. I'm not trying to overreact. But I've seen guys trying to come back from this stuff. It isn't easy. And the Rangers want him back for good when he returns, so they'll be conservative. I've said mid-May or June. I don't think that's crazy. If it's earlier than that, great. I hope it is. Webb is a good guy and he's working hard. He's frustrated and wants to help this team.

Marty (Dallas, TX)

Ryan didn't say they were going to try to do that, Richard. He said it might happen that they COULD do that. Don't make it sound like some concrete plan, he sure didn't make it sound that way

Richard Durrett
  (2:08 PM)

Ok. My apologies on that. I do think that's what they'll do. They'll try to find a closer and let Feliz start in 2012. I didn't mean to suggest it was concrete.

Josh (Belton, Tx)

How do you see the Chris Davis situation working out? I like Blanco but I say let him go and keep Davis back-up third and first with Young backing up short and second with Nap DH and catcher.

Richard Durrett
  (2:09 PM)

Like I said, that's an option. I think the club is looking at what they can do. The good news is that Davis has an option, so they won't lose him if he's not on the major league roster. But that bat sure has looked awesome this spring.

Reid (Gruver, Tx)

Richard, will ESPN Dallas be out tailgating for opening weekend? If so, which lot and what time?

Richard Durrett
  (2:09 PM)

I'm not sure. But it's a good idea. I'll find out.

Richard Durrett
  (2:15 PM)

Ok. Thanks a bunch for the questions. Stay tuned to the blog this weekend for more updates.