Rangers offense in early slumber

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The 2010 Blue Jays probably won’t end up being known for their pitching or their defense (or their offense, for that matter), but the team came within a Jason Frasor blown save of sweeping the Rangers to open the season.
Three games in, the Rangers have just two guys hitting their weight. Vladimir Guerrero, who always tore up Texas pitching as a member of the Angels, has found his new uni very comfortable, as he’s opened up 7-for-11 with a homer. Nelson Cruz, who has hit fifth right behind Guerrero in the lineup, has two homers, two doubles and five RBI in his 10 at-bats.
And that’s pretty much it. No other Ranger has more than one hit this season. The group is a combined 5-for-74 with two RBI against Shaun Marcum, Brian Tallet, Ricky Romero and four members of the Toronto pen.
The usual first three hitters in the lineup are 1-for-30. Julio Borbon is 0-for-12. Michael Young is 1-for-10. Josh Hamilton, who didn’t start Thursday, is 0-for-8 with six strikeouts.
So what’s next? A home series against Seattle in which the Rangers will face Jason Vargas, Felix Hernandez and Ian Snell. The depleted lineup missing Ian Kinsler and Jarrod Saltalamacchia better get something done Friday, as all Felix did last year was go 2-0 with a 0.86 ERA in three starts at Rangers ballpark.

Rangers set ALDS rotation: Gallardo in Game 1, Hamels in Game 2

Yovani Gallardo
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Setting their rotation for the beginning of the ALDS versus the Blue Jays, the Rangers announced that right-hander Yovani Gallardo will start Game 1 and left-hander Cole Hamels will start Game 2.

Gallardo posted a 3.42 ERA in 33 starts this season, but averaged just 5.6 innings per start and hasn’t completed six or more innings in a start since mid-August. Clearly the Rangers will be hoping for five or six innings from him before turning it over to the bullpen.

Hamels, on the other hand, averaged seven innings in his 12 post-trade starts for the Rangers, including tossing a complete-game against the Angels in the regular season finale. He’s obviously the Rangers’ best starting pitcher, but because Hamels was needed to clinch the division title in Game 162 he’s not available to start Game 1 of the playoffs.

Indians promote Chris Antonetti to President, name new GM

Chris Antonetti
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In the seemingly never-ending trend of front office officials getting new titles, the Cleveland Indians just announced that General Manager Chris Antonetti has been promoted to President of Baseball Operations and Mike Chernoff is now the GM.

Antonetti has been the Tribe’s GM for the past five years and is moving up in the wake of team president Mark Shapiro moving on to Toronto. Shapiro, however, also held business side responsibilities which Antonetti will not assume. Meaning, as before, he will be the top guy on baseball ops decisions, albeit with a grander title.

Chernoff has been an assistant GM for five years and has been with the organization for the past 12 years. As many new GMs these days he will, functionally speaking, still be an assistant when it comes to baseball decisions.