Image: USA Today
Quality of Opposition (QoO) numbers per Baseball Reference
RANGERS PITCHERS (PROJECTIONS PER FanGraphs)
Taylor Hearn (1st-started 4th inning – pulled in 2nd, re-entered to start 3rd): MLB 7th-inning setup man
Fernery Ozuna (finished 2nd inning): Double-A reliever
Jason Bahr (finished 4th-5th inning): Triple-A caliber starter, but a Rule 5 selection
Jimmy Herget (6th inning): Triple-A reliever
Nick Vincent (7th inning): Triple-A reliever
Brett De Geus (8th inning): MLB middle reliever
Harold Ramirez (RF): 1-4, 1 R, 1 K – Ramirez scored his second run of the spring after reaching on a leadoff error in the 2nd. His third hit came three innings later against Bahr. Ramirez has struggled as he acclimates to his new organization, including his first taste of the Cactus League, and is likely to be one of the bigger beneficiaries of the minor league delay.
Jake Bauers (1B): 0-1, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP – While Zimmer’s bat was silent yesterday, his Sunday afternoon did wonders for his on-base percentage, which now stands at .406 against 6.4 pitching (his .270 isolated plate discipline is a large chunk of his .634 OPS). While he is unlikely to earn the starting first baseman job, his versatility and lack of options make him a realistic candidate for a super utility role.
Bradley Zimmer (CF): 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K – Zimmer has been feast-or-famine in his last five games, going 2-for-12 with a pair of walks, but both hits have been doubles. Yesterday’s double drove in Harold Ramirez for the first run of the game and (temporarily) ran Hearn off of the mound. With the Mercado assignment to Columbus, Zimmer’s chances of a major league roster spot look better than ever.
Owen Miller (2B): 0-1 – Miller grounded out to third to end the seventh inning in his only plate appearance on Sunday.
Connor Marabell (PR-LF): 0-1 – Marabell, who played in left field for only the fourth time this spring (compared to ten games at first base) has a .583 OPS against 4.6 (Single-A) pitching. Hopefully, this is a matter of rust for the Triple-A projectee.
Tyler Krieger (3B): 0-1, 1 K, 1 E – Krieger’s fielding error in the seventh was his third in twelve games this spring and allowed former Indian Delino DeShields Jr. to score an unearned run.
Beau Taylor (PH-C): 0-1 – Taylor grounded out to second to end the sixth frame on the day he was told that he was officially out of consideration to break camp with the Tribe.
The following reserves did not make a plate appearance in Sunday’s contest:
Will Benson (RF)
Yu Chang (SS)
Steven Kwan (CF)
Kyle Nelson: 1 IP, perfect, 2 K – Nelson pitched a full inning for only the second time since March 6 and made the most of it with this perfect fifth frame, in which he struck out major league veteran Drew Butera looking to start the inning and MLB projectee Eli White swinging to end it. While far from a sure thing, it would not be surprising to see Nelson in the Indians bullpen come Opening Day.
Anthony Gose: 1 IP, 1 BB, 2 K – Gose came within one walk of pitching an identical stat line to Nelson’s in the eighth. While this outing came against a projectee from each of the four remaining non-complex based minor league classifications (with the walk being drawn by Triple-A projectee Sherten Apostel), a second straight hitless outing provides even more confidence that Wednesday’s three-run effort was an outlier.
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