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DFW Quick Hits 5/29

May 30, 2012

Roy Oswalt: Once Oswalt gets a start or two under his belt I’ll really begin to evaluate him but for now I look at his signing as a double edged sword. I have been a big proponent of bringing in another starter to this rotation as the trio of Holland, Lewis, and Harrison has underachieved and I see no upgrade in Feldman so help needs to come from outside the organization. On 5/17 I wrote about the #4 and #5 starter issues, “it’s important to solve the one problem I see in this team by adding another quality starter to the rotation. The Rangers will have to overpay to get one but this is the year to do it and I expect it to be done as early as June.” I am fully on board with Oswalt coming in as I’ve considered this our biggest need most of the year yet it’s a double edged sword as all signs are pointing to Ron Washington having Oswalt replace Neftali Feliz in the rotation long term meaning he’ll be going back to the bullpen. This is where adding Oswalt gets tricky as I think Feliz has been the team’s 2nd best starter this year and losing a full year of progress in his development into a potential ace would be tremendously disappointing to me. There is a large segment of the fan base that always wanted Feliz in the bullpen so those fans will be happy but to me Feliz is more talented than Holland, younger than him, and had better stats than him to this point in the season yet somehow has received far more criticism than him despite coming in with tempered expectations. With Darvish already looking like the team’s unquestioned ace, those who disagree with me need to look at the stats as he’s one of the 5-10 best pitchers in the AL hands down even with his occasional control problems, I ranked the other 5 pitchers in 4 key areas to see who is really deserving of the long term demotion to the bullpen.

 

ERA

WHIP

Opponents BA

Win %

Holland

4.05 (3)

1.17 (2)

0.224 (2)

50 (5-5) (4)

Harrison

4.41 (4)

1.37 (4)

0.287 (4)

60 (6-4) (2)

Feldman

4.66 (5)

1.40 (5)

NA

0 (0-2) (5)

Lewis

3.58 (2)

1.16 (1)

0.261 (3)

60 (6-4) (2)

Feliz

3.16 (1)

1.20 (3)

0.187 (1)

75 (6-2) (1)

As you can see it’s hard to argue that Feliz hasn’t been the 2nd best starter (best on this list) as he’s tops in 3 of the 4 categories and his “poor” category puts him only 3rd. Compare that with Feldman who is 5th in 3 out of the 4 categories (probably all 4 as I couldn’t find opponents batting average for him) or Harrison who is 4th in 3 of the 4 categories and you can easily see my point that Feliz shouldn’t be replaced but moved up in the rotation. I would love to see a power rotation of Darvish, Oswalt, Feliz, Holland, and Lewis in that order but unfortunately it’s likely that Oswalt’s signing means the end of Feliz as a starter. You don’t take a quality player at a position of weakness (starting rotation) to try and upgrade a position of strength (bullpen). It’s another horrible move by Wash who continues to lack the understanding that starters almost always have a bigger influence on a team’s season and therefore your best pitchers should always been in the rotation.

Cowboys 3rd WR: With Laurent Robinson leaving the team via free agency the Cowboys are left with a hole at the #3 WR spot without any clear cut favorite. Many think last year’s 6th rounder Dwayne Harris could win the job but from what I saw of him last year I wouldn’t be surprised if he again never sees the field as a wideout and is used solely as a punt returner. The “veteran” of the group is Kevin Ogletree and it wouldn’t shock me if he finally showed up but he has yet to really improve on his solid rookie year and I’ve moved on from him as I don’t think he’s mentally mature enough to be the consistent player they want at the position. This year’s 5th rounder Danny Coale is an intriguing candidate as he isn’t that fast but has great hands and runs good routes so he’d be a dependable, albeit unexplosive, option. Yet to me the two guys that excite me the most are Raymond Radway and Cole Beasley. Radway is a former track star at Abilene Christian who was on his way to making the roster last year until he broke his ankle in an extremely painful to watch play in the closing seconds of the final preseason game. He’s a tall, fast, raw wideout who could make a huge leap this year as he’ll know the playbook and a lot of his rookie mistakes should be corrected. Beasley is a shorter, quick wideout from SMU who has been on my radar for awhile as I love his burst, suddenness, and hands. He reminds me of a smaller Dane Sanzenbacher who was a very impressive rookie for the Chicago Bears last season. Neither player is getting much publicity in the competition but those are the two guys who intrigue me the most in this contested position battle as they each bring a unique skill set to the position that the team currently lacks.

Jon Beason vs. Alex Smith: Have you heard about this controversy lately? It started when Alex Smith, a QB who went an NFL best 13-3 last season, defended himself against critics claiming he wasn’t a Super Bowl caliber QB. He mentioned Cam Newton’s name as an example of a QB with great stats who didn’t win and said he’d prefer his situation of winning without the stats. Long story short the defensive leader for the Panthers, Jon Beason, stuck up for his QB and criticized Alex Smith. Eventually it devolved into a whose better argument between Newton and Smith but what no one is mentioning is how the “leader” of a defense that was 27th in 2011 and 26th in 2010 in the league in points allowed is calling out the “leader” of an offense that was 11th in 2011 and 24th in 2010 in points scored. Aka Alex Smith led his “crappy” offense to a more respectable ranking than Jon Beason led his defense. Instead of Beason comparing Newton to Smith how about we mention that Carolina was terrible because of the unit led by the big mouthed Beason? Football is the classic team game and even though I will admit that I somewhat side with Smith’s critics in that I’m unsure if he’ll ever be a Super Bowl caliber QB, I think it’s laughable that an injury prone player on a terrible defense can run his mouth. Beason and his defensive teammates are the reason why John Fox coaches in Denver now, why Steve Smith demanded to be traded last offseason, and why no major free agent signed with them this offseason. The Panthers are one of the worst defenses in football and everyone associated with it should be ashamed of their performance the past few years. He should shut his mouth and focus on his own problems because there are a lot of them.

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