If Ian Kinsler is able to return to action this week, it appears that Joaquin Arias' time with the Rangers organization may be over. He is not likely to clear waivers (so no OKC assignment) and the Rangers signing Andres Blanco yesterday makes it clear that they aren't seriously considering Joaquin for their utility infielder position. Look for Joaquin to be traded this week (sorry Chris!). However, if Kinsler is not ready to go, look for Joaquin to play 2B for the Rangers until he is healthy. I have another possible thought on the utility position/2B, and I am curious if it may come to fruition. Personal favorite Keith Ginter was released by the White Sox this week. Keith is a middle infielder with significant big league time, including starting for the Brewers and A's, so it would not be a stretch for the Rangers to look at him as their utility infielder. Keith isn't a natural SS so that works against him, but he can hit which is more than the other remaining candidates can say. If Kinsler's ankle is still bothering him next week, I wouldn't not be surprised to see the Rangers sign Keith and stash him in OKC as insurance. Yes, I know that is what Esteban German is here for, but still...Needless to say, if that happens there will be one happy RedHawks fan!
The same article quoted above, also notes that personal favorite Derek Holland and Brandon McCarthy were optioned to OKC along with Craig Gentry. Brandon Boggs has also been sent to OKC. None of those are really a surprise. The Rangers didn't really consider Derek or McCarthy for the pen because they want them stretched out as starters for when the inevitable injuries/melt downs begin. It does start to make our (RedHawks) roster a little more clear though. At this point my guesses would be:
Derek, McCarthy, Kasey Kiker, Tanner Scheppers, and Guillermo Moscoso. If Guillermo starts in Texas (possible if Darren O'Day can't go) I'd guess our 5th starter would be Elizardo Ramirez. It's also possible Scheppers starts in Frisco and maybe Blake Beavan or Michael Kirkman are in OKC instead.
I'm still going with Clay Rapada and Pedro Strop (though I would hope he starts in Frisco). If Guillermo is a starter for us, Easy will be in the bullpen rather than starting. I would guess that Geoff Geary is also a lock. Willie Eyre will be in our pen if he doesn't start the year in Texas. The rest are still impossible to guess, but possibilities include Michael Ballard, Brennan Garr, Andrew Laughter, Jailen Peguero and Jose Dias.
It was looking pretty clear until the Rangers signed Matt Treanor. I don't disagree with Jeff that there is a chance that Max Ramirez is traded before opening day, but if not its going to be interesting. Others in the mix are Kevin Richardson and Emerson Frostad. I'd still guess we start the year with Max and Kevin, with Emerson as the 3rd catcher/back up 1B.
The latest moves by the Rangers makes me think that personal favorite Marcus Lemon starts the year in Frisco. Right now I would guess our infielders are:
Justin Smoak, Hirnan Iribarren; Gregario Petit; Esteban German, and Wes Bankston.
The easiest of all positions to predict! I'm still going with Mitch Moreland, Craig Gentry, Brandon Boggs and Chad Tracy.
Some ex-Redhawks/PCLer news. John Bannister was released by the Royals. Chad Huffman (brother of Royce) was optioned to Portland. Manny Pina was optioned to NW Arkansas. The D'backs signed Kris Benson and optioned Jose Marte to AAA. The Red Sox released Brian Shouse. Ron Mahay signed with the Twins. The White Sox released two of my favorites, Keith Ginter and Jason Botts. The Tigers optioned Armando Galarraga to AAA. The Astros outrighted Jose Vallejo.