Is there any way to work Ronald Guzman into the lineup more? He seems to be an OPS/OBP machine from his Minor League numbers, and the team appears to need some OPS juice.
-- Arfeo L., Houston
Guzman is here, he is going to stay here and he is going to get an extended chance to show what he can do. If the Rangers struggle to contend -- which may or may not be the case -- the top priority will be to get a thorough evaluation of the young players to see if they can be a viable part of the future. Guzman will be high on that list, although right now the Rangers are steering him away from left-handed pitching. The bar for Guzman will be to see if he ends up being better than Mitch Moreland.
With the way this season is going, should the Rangers look to be big sellers at the Trade Deadline? It seems to be in the Rangers' best interest to trade Adrian Beltre and Cole Hamels, two proven stars who are at the end of their careers. Would there be much in return for them?
-- William H., Fort Worth, Texas
The Rangers aren't close yet to waving the white flag. That decision won't come until June. Right now, their goal is to get healthy and back into contention. Age and injuries are not going to help Beltre's trade value, so at some point the Rangers will have to weigh his potential trade value versus the value of having him as a leader for their young players for the remainder of the season. As far as Hamels, the Rangers have an option on him for next season, so the decision will be measuring his trade value against having him back at the top -- or middle -- of their rotation for next season at a salary of $20 million.
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When will Willie Calhoun get the callup since there are so many injuries?
-- Maguire R., Arlington
Yes, it is interesting the Rangers have not called up Calhoun with all their injuries. But the Rangers optioned Calhoun relatively early in Spring Training so that he could work on his outfield defense at Triple-A Round Rock. Right now, that is the plan, although it could change. He does carry a lethal Triple-A bat.
Watching Andrew Cashner battle the Yankees last night makes me wonder why we let him escape. Too expensive?
-- Richard G., Hot Springs, Ark.
That was a baseball decision this offseason as the Rangers deemed it better to go with Doug Fister, Mike Minor and Matt Moore rather than Cashner, who took a two-year deal with the Orioles. He is 1-4 with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP after six starts with Baltimore.
Do you think Elvis Andrus will opt out at the end of this season?
-- Dominic C., Euless, Texas
Too early to tell, and his injury isn't going to help matters. Ideally, a player would like to be coming off a strong season before he opts out of a contract. Andrus does have the same option next year as well. What ultimately may happen is the Rangers and agent Scott Boras renegotiate the current contract and buy out Andrus' ability to opt out.
Is Timothy Lincecum going to be able to contribute at the Major League level this year or next?
-- Shane S., McKinney, Texas
Lincecum is on the 60-day disabled list and is eligible to come off on May 28. He will spend most of the month pitching in the Minors on a rehab assignment. That will tell if he is Major League ready. Right now he is healthy and just needs the full buildup of a normal Spring Training.
Why isn't Tom Grieve doing broadcasts this year?
-- Ron R., Fort Worth
Grieve will do the same 65-70 games he did last year, mixing in with C.J. Nitkowski and Dave Raymond. He didn't do many games in April because that's the way the schedule fell, but you will see him more as the season progresses. He turned 70 in Spring Training so he has earned the right to cut back on the workload.