Texas Rangers

Rangers Reaction: Could Bibens-Dirkx unseat Moore in starting rotation?

Shin-Soo Choo lost his helmet as he ducked away from a ninth-inning pitch Thursday. Fortunately, it missed him. Unfortunately, the Rangers' hitters missed a lot of Danny Duffy's pitches in an 8-2 loss.
Shin-Soo Choo lost his helmet as he ducked away from a ninth-inning pitch Thursday. Fortunately, it missed him. Unfortunately, the Rangers' hitters missed a lot of Danny Duffy's pitches in an 8-2 loss. rmallison@star-telegram.com

Man, that Texas Rangers victory over the New York Yankees sure created a lot of buzz, didn't it? In fairness, it was a really good win.

Shoot, Jurickson Profar even went so far as to call the Rangers "great." Recall also that, in the lead-in to the Wednesday edition of this daily piece of journalistic gold, Profar said that the Rangers always seem to play well against the best MLB teams and not so hot against the worst.

Boy, did he nail that.

Now, here's some Rangers Reaction from Thursday's 8-2 dud.

1. Austin Bibens-Dirkx was the victim of a messy three-base, two-run error by center fielder Delino DeShields in the second inning, of a game of inches in the fifth, and of dicey relief work in the seventh to account for the six Royals runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Bibens-Dirkx was better in his first start of the season than his pitching line showed.

And it was good to see him back, a journeyman who has finally made it to the majors in two consecutive seasons. He's a good dude, too.

He wasn't shy about how he thought he pitched.

"Performance-wise, I thought I did really well," Bibens-Dirks said.

Matt Moore is a good dude, and he threw 70 pitches in a four-inning simulated game a few hours before Bibens-Dirkx took the mound. Assuming Moore is healthy enough to come off the disabled list Tuesday, he and Bibens-Dirks are on the same pitching schedule.

So, did Bibens-Dirkx do enough to buy Moore more time to rest his sore right knee or just unseat outright?

Seems unlikely.

The Rangers want to see Moore improve, maybe to the point that they can flip him at the trade deadline or maybe so they can justify exercising a $10 million option on him for 2019.

Bibens-Dirkx could end up going back to Triple A Round Rock. Now that he's back on the 40-man roster and has minor-league options remaining, he can be swapped out for Moore pain-free and recalled later in the season pain-free.

If Moore isn't any better than before hitting the disabled list, that won't be pain-free. The Rangers appear to be intent on giving him another chance.



2. Bartolo Colon turned 45 on Thursday, and his teammates showed their appreciation for him by posting in the clubhouse a less-than-flattering photo-shopped image of him batting and by shoving his face into a cake.

It wasn't all fun and games. There was actual appreciation for the way Colon continues to defy the doubters by pitching effectively into his mid-40s.

Adrian Beltre on Colon: "It's remarkable the way he has been able to stay healthy enough and be able to produce and pitch well. Nobody expects anybody to pitch over 40, or to play over 40 for that matter. He's been able to not only be in the big leagues but compete and show that he can get big-leaguers out. It's been remarkable to see and how calm he is out there and how confident he is. Hopefully he can keep it going because we're going to need it."

Matt Moore, scheduled to start Friday, on Colon: "It's hard to think about it because I'm only 30 and that's 15 more years. He's still getting guys out. I'm sure Bart works hard. He just has his own routine. I'm sure it comes easier to him."

Manager Jeff Banister on Colon: "I know that he keeps himself in much greater shape than I think everybody thinks. And then the arm care that he goes through. The intelligence of pitching and perception of other players. He watches our young hitters. He stands in center field, and he'll talk about them during batting practice. He talks about other hitters. You get a picture of who the guys is, and then you meet him and there's a certain grace about him that you don't expect and a humility that is off the charts. I walk into the dugout after taking him out every time, and every time he thanks me."

3. Hitters 5 through 9 for the Rangers entered Thursday batting .163, .197, .190, .171 and .000. No wonder Danny Duffy, who entered with a 6.88 ERA, took a two-hit shutout into the eighth inning.

The Rangers' No. 1 and 2 hitters had the two hits — a leadoff single by DeShields and a single by Shin-Soo Choo to start the seventh. The best of the Final Five, Joey Gallo, doubled with out one in the eighth and scored on a two-out opposite-field single by Rougned Odor.

(I'll give everyone a few minutes to make sure they read that right and/or to regain consciousness.)

Odor needs to start hitting more than once every six at-bats. He needs to start hitting more than once in every five at-bats. He needs to get hot.

Beltre and Elvis Andrus will be coming off the DL at some point in the next two or three weeks. Maybe they do it together June 12, the first day Andrus is eligible, to open a two-game road trip against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

At that point, the Rangers will have to decide what to do with Profar, whose .237 average and even his .723 OPS don't reflect the quality at-bats he has been putting together, and with Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who has been far more productive than Odor.

Odor has two minor-league options remaining. If he can't help himself, the Rangers might have to take a drastic measure to help him.

Royals 8, Rangers 2

Kansas City

020

020

220

8

11

0

Texas

000

000

011

2

5

1

Kansas City<QM>

AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Jay lf

4

1

1

0

0

0

.292

Merrifield cf

4

1

2

2

1

1

.286

Moustakas dh

4

0

1

0

0

2

.282

Perez c

4

0

2

4

0

0

.254

Soler rf

5

0

0

0

0

3

.280

Dozier 1b

5

0

0

0

0

2

.172

Escobar ss

4

1

1

0

0

0

.241

Goins 2b

4

2

2

0

0

0

.262

Torres 3b

3

3

2

0

1

0

.667



Texas<QM>

AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

DeShields cf

3

1

1

0

1

1

.228

Choo dh

3

0

1

0

1

1

.256

Kiner-Falefa 3b

3

0

1

1

1

0

.262

Mazara rf

3

0

0

0

0

1

.269

Guzman 1b

1

0

0

0

0

1

.216

Rua 1b-rf

4

0

0

0

0

1

.155

Gallo lf

3

1

1

0

0

1

.199

Chirinos c

3

0

0

0

0

1

.186

Odor 2b

3

0

1

1

0

0

.177

Alberto ss

3

0

0

0

0

1

.000



E—DeShields (2). LOB—Kansas City 7, Texas 3. 2B—Merrifield (13), Moustakas (11), Kiner-Falefa (7), Gallo (7). RBIs—Merrifield 2 (19), Perez 4 (26), Kiner-Falefa (16), Odor (11). CS—Kiner-Falefa (2). S—Jay. Runners left in scoring position—Kansas City 4 (Moustakas, Soler 2, Dozier); Texas 2 (Mazara, Rua). RISP—Kansas City 3 for 10; Texas 2 for 7. Runners moved up—Jay, Kiner-Falefa. GIDP—Kiner-Falefa. DP—Kansas City 2 (Perez, Escobar), (Goins, Escobar, Dozier).

Kansas City

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Duffy, W, 2-6

7<AF>2/3

4

1

1

2

5

113

6.14

Hill

1<AF>1/3

1

1

0

1

3

33

3.00

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Bibens-Dirkx, L, 0-1

6<AF>1/3

8

6

4

1

6

109

5.68

Bush

2<AF>2/3

3

2

2

1

2

43

5.17

Inherited runners-scored—Hill 1-0, Bush 2-2. HBP—Bibens-Dirkx (Perez), Bush (Moustakas). WP—Duffy. PB—Perez (1). Umpires—Home, Quinn Wolcott; First, Jeff Kellogg; Second, Marvin Hudson; Third, Chad Whitson. T—2:53. A—23,230 (49,115).

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