Diving into the depths: Texas Rangers

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Texas Rangers
Rotation
1. Scott Feldman
2. Rich Harden
3. Colby Lewis
4. Tommy Hunter
5. Brandon McCarthy
6. Derek Holland
7. Matt Harrison
8. Neftali Feliz
9. Dustin Nippert
10. C.J. Wilson
11. Guillermo Moscoso
The additions of Harden and Lewis would seem to ensure that both Feliz and Wilson will remain in the bullpen for now. Holland might have a chance to crack the rotation, but McCarthy is the favorite and Harrison will be a factor if he shows up healthy after shoulder surgery.
Eric Hurley, another pitcher coming back from shoulder surgery, isn’t expected to be a factor during April or May.
Bullpen
1. Frank Francisco
2. C.J. Wilson
3. Neftali Feliz
4. Darren Oliver
5. Darren O’Day
6. Chris Ray
7. Dustin Nippert
8. Derek Holland
9. Doug Mathis
10. Warner Madrigal
11. Clay Rapada
12. Geoff Geary
13. Pedro Strop
14. Willie Eyre
15. Ben Snyder
16. Luis Mendoza
17. Michael Kirkman
The bullpen looks pretty strong with Wilson and Feliz in setup roles. O’Day was stellar last year, so there should be five spots spoken for. Ray, who was picked up for Kevin Millwood, will get every opportunity to secure one of the openings, while the other could go to more of a long man, possibly Nippert or Holland.


Catcher
1. Jarrod Saltalamacchia
2. Taylor Teagarden
3. Toby Hall
4. Max Ramirez
5. Kevin Richardson
First base
1. Chris Davis
2. Matt Brown
3. Justin Smoak
Second base
1. Ian Kinsler
2. Khalil Greene
3. Esteban German
4. Joaquin Arias
5. Ray Olmedo
Third base
1. Michael Young
2. Khalil Greene
3. Esteban German
4. Matt Brown
5. Chris Davis
Shortstop
1. Elvis Andrus
2. Khalil Greene
3. Joaquin Arias
4. Ray Olmedo
Given that they don’t seem to have a lot of faith in Teagarden, the Rangers might yet add a catcher to help protect them in case Salty’s shoulder problems limit him during the season. I can’t imagine that Hall will prove to be the answer.
Left field
1. Josh Hamilton
2. David Murphy
3. Craig Gentry
4. Brandon Boggs
Center field
1. Julio Borbon
2. David Murphy
3. Josh Hamilton
4. Craig Gentry
Right field
1. Nelson Cruz
2. David Murphy
3. Vladimir Guerrero
4. Brandon Boggs
Designated hitter
1. Vladimir Guerrero
2. Josh Hamilton
3. Max Ramirez
Borbon has already been penciled in as the leadoff man, and it appears that Kinsler will hit down in the lineup. I can see Borbon excelling as a fantasy outfielder, but I doubt he’ll have a great OBP in front of Young and Hamilton.
The Rangers could still add another bench bat to go along with Murphy, Greene and the backup catcher. As is, German could be considered the favorite for the last spot.

Anthony Alford to miss 4-6 weeks following wrist surgery

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Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.

Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.

Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.

Stephen Strasburg hit a new career high today

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Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.

It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.

While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.

The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”