Michael Young becomes Rangers' all-time hits leader

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With a two-run single in a 6-3 win over the Marlins, Michael Young became the Rangers’ all-time hits leader on Wednesday, overtaking Ivan Rodriguez.
1. Michael Young – 1,748
2. Ivan Rodriguez – 1,747
3. Rafael Palmeiro – 1,692
4. Juan Gonzalez – 1.595
5. Ruben Sierra – 1,281
Just halfway through his current seven-year deal that will pay him $12 million a year in 2011 and 2012 and $13 million in 2013, Young should own several more Rangers records by the time he’s done.
Young is currently fourth on the franchise list in both runs and RBI. He’ll pass both Rodriguez and Gonzalez in runs later this year and Palmeiro for first place next year (he’s currently 96 back of Palmeiro). The RBI list is a bit more spread out, as he’s 318 behind Gonzalez in first place.
RBI
1. Gonzalez – 1,180
2. Palmeiro – 1,039
3. Rodriguez – 842
4. Young – 762
Runs
1. Palmeiro – 958
2. Gonzalez – 878
3. Rodriguez – 866
4. Young – 862
Young is also second in doubles, 20 behind Rodriguez. He’s tied with Sierra for first with 44 triples.
At age 33, Young is a big long shot to get to 3,000 hits. However, he has reversed the decline that seemed to be setting in during 2007 and 2008, suggesting that 2,500 is within reach. Durability is one of his biggest strengths. Young didn’t establish himself as a quality regular until age 26, but he’s played in 155 games seven times in the last eight years and he’s appeared in all 65 Rangers games this year.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.