Tanner Roark was the starting pitcher Friday for the Washington Nationals, and by now you’ve heard that the right-hander was once in the Texas Rangers’ farm system.
Back at the trade deadline in 2010, general manager Jon Daniels got a little trade-happy. He had already acquired Cliff Lee and Bengie Molina, but then added Jorge Cantu from Florida (now Miami, for Omar Poveda and Evan Reed) and Cristian Guzman from Washington.
That’s where Roark went, along with Ryan Tatusko.
Guzman got an American League championship ring for his contributions, batting .152 with one RBI in 46 at-bats. His biggest contribution was a quad strain that he rode until the end of the season and then out of the postseason plans.
The Rangers essentially told the two-time All-Star that his services weren’t needed. Guzman never played in the majors again.
Roark? He’s been a nice pitcher for the Nationals. He would have been a nice pitcher for the Rangers. He wasn’t much of a match for them Friday night.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from a 5-2 win.
1. Question: Which starting pitcher has been the Rangers’ best the past two weeks:
A. Yu Darvish
C. Martin Perez
The answer is B, if for no other reason that Cashner has the last two wins by a member of the rotation, May 28 and again Friday.
In other words, the rotation has been bad. Darvish has allowed three runs in each of his past three starts, but the Rangers haven’t won any of those games. That’s not entirely his fault, with the offense not generating a ton of runs, but he has been behind each time he has left his start.
Cashner doesn’t go about things the same way as Darvish. Cashner works quickly. He wants opposing hitters to put the ball in play, whereas Darvish said after his last start that he needs to start thinking about pitching that way.
Cashner has a 3.17 ERA. Darvish’s is 3.18.
Darvish’s stuff is better. Cashner’s understands tempo.
Both are susceptible to too many walks. Darvish has been more susceptible to the long ball.
Darvish is better with runners in scoring position.
Cashner grows a better beard, and, man, can he run.
Anyone who had concerns about Cashner entering the season should now not be so worried every time he takes the ball. He’s healthy and he’s in a good place.
So are the Rangers whenever his turn in the rotation comes up.
2. The Rangers were expecting Tyson Ross to be available to pitch for them this weekend, but instead he thought one more rehab start, somewhere between his third and his sixth, was in order.
Fine. He’s knows his body better than anybody and what it takes for him to be effective. Wonderful.
To that end, he started Friday for Triple A Round Rock at Oklahoma City and promptly allowed back-to-back-to-back home runs. Two were to Joc Pederson and Scott Van Slyke, guys who have a big-league pedigree.
Nevertheless, Ross allowed eight runs on 10 hits in five innings. He threw 87 pitches. He walked only one, but he hit two. Only two of his 15 outs were via strikeouts.
If his sole purpose was to build his pitch count and arm strength, consider the start a success. One problem: That wasn’t his one goal.
Ross said that he had hoped to sharpen his stuff and be able to make in-game adjustments and identify when one his needed. Without speaking to him or anyone who watched the start, it doesn’t seem like he accomplished that.
There’s no word yet if he will join the Rangers this weekend or just wait until Houston. His bullpen day would be Sunday, though if he is activated from the DL after this start, he would probably start Friday and throw his bullpen as some point during the Houston series.
If I had to wager a guess, I’d bet that pitching coach Doug Brocail wants to see Ross ASAP.
The Rangers need to get their arms around what they have right now in Ross.
3. Adrian Beltre is not on the disabled list, at least not yet and maybe not at all.
The veteran knows that the Rangers trust him with his injuries and are willing to give him leeway, even though Dr. Keith Meister said that Beltre’s sprained left ankle is a DL-able injury.
Beltre could very well end up getting a 10-day break, though Banister seemed cautious optimist. The Rangers must decided Saturday or lose the ability to back date the DL move to Wednesday.
Shin-Soo Choo wished he had taken a DL stint in 2014 after spraining his ankle in nearly identical fashion, lunging into first base and hitting the bag awkwardly. Choo, by the way, eventually had surgery on the ankle.
If it simply is a matter of how much pain Beltre can tolerate, he won’t go on the disabled list. If he can’t move laterally or run the bases, no matter the pain level, he’ll return to the DL for the second time this season.
He couldn’t do much of either Tuesday after the first-inning injury. He could barely trot around the bases on Joey Gallo’s homer, and would have been in trouble had the ball hit off the wall instead of just clearing it.
“I was praying, ‘Please, Joey, this is the time,’” Beltre said. “Because I didn’t know what I was going to do.”
As it was, Gallo nearly put Beltre a lap down on his home run trot.
The ankle was better Friday, obviously, or the Rangers wouldn’t have gone through the motions of letting Beltre take batting practice and grounders before the game.
They are better a better team when he’s in the lineup, though only 2-5 so far when he has played. That should change, but maybe not as much with a gimpy Beltre as a healthy Beltre.
Everyone will know more Saturday, but the DL isn’t the slam dunk it was once thought to be.