Commentary: May be time for Rangers to look to future

Published on Wednesday, 5 July 2017 23:44 - Written by PHIL HICKS, Sports Columnist

John Tyler football coach Ricklan Holmes will not like what I’m about to write. His Lions have the Cujo mindset of “Never quit, Never die.”

But I think it is time for the Rangers to look to next season.

Growing up a Roger Staubach fan, you are taught to never leave a game because Captain America would find a way to win. I think it doesn’t apply to the Rangers this season.

I know the Rangers are still in the wild card race (3 1/2 games out entering Wednesday’s games), but with 17 blown saves (Texas had 17 blown saves in all of 2016) it does not give the most die-hard Rangers fan hope. That is 13 saves in 30 chances. The MLB average is 12 blown saves with the Cleveland Indians at the top with 20 saves in 23 chances.

But pitching is not the only problem.

Normally, the Rangers are one of the top hitting teams, but not this year. As a team they are hitting .239 (tied for 27th with the Cubs), just ahead of the Athletics and Padres.

Only Elvis Andrus (.301) is hitting over .300.

And the strikeouts - oh, the strikeouts (793, fourth in baseball behind the Rays, 836; Brewers, 821; and Athletics, 807). With that many whiffs, there are finally breezes flowing through the stands on the hot July nights at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

The Rangers can still score runs with 421 (seventh in baseball) but they are back to relying on home runs (128, tied with the Yankees for fourth).

Nearing 20 games back of the Astros, it’s time for Jon Daniels to look for the future and don’t give away any more young prospects.

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Fireworks by J.B. Moss

J.B. Moss, the former Bullard Brook Hill and Texas A&M standout, hit a two-run inside-the-park home run in the top of the 20th inning to help lead the Boise Hawks to a 7-5 win over the Eugene Emeralds on Tuesday in Eugene, Oregon.

Moss’ shot was a line drive to the center field wall. Moss has two homers and eight RBIs since joining the Boise, Idaho, team. He also has four doubles and is hitting .233.

The Hawks are an affiliate of the Colorado Rockies in the Class A-Short Season Northwest League. Moss did not start the game. He entered in the bottom of the 18th inning to replace center fielder Steven Linkous.

The Rockies signed Moss to a minor league contract on June 6 after he was released from the Atlanta Braves organization on May 29.

Moss has previously played for the Danville Braves, Carolina Mudcats and Florida Fire Frogs.

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Cody Brown signs pro contract

Cody Brown, former UT Tyler and Tyler Junior College pitcher, has signed a professional baseball contract with the Utica Unicorns of the United Shore Professional Baseball League.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime and it is what I have been striving for my whole life,” said Brown from Fulshear, a community in northwest Fort Bend County. “Playing at UT Tyler gave me the chance to mature and grow as a baseball player and helped me to become the best player I could be. Being surrounded by the players and coaches at Tyler helped prepare me for this opportunity.”

Brown earned three of his 10 victories in the postseason for the Patriots in 2017, posting a 2.79 ERA in 84 innings of work. He was named to the American Southwest Conference first team and earned all-region honors from the ABCA and D3Baseball.com. His 90 strikeouts are the fifth most in a season at UT Tyler and his 10 wins are the second most for the program.

The USPBL is an independent league, which was started in 2016 in the Detroit metropolitan area and has had 14 players sign contracts with MLB organizations.

Utica is coached by former Major League Baseball player and manager Jim Essian.

Brown began his collegiate career by helping TJC to a pair of NJCAA World Series titles. He then pitched one season at Sam Houston State before transferring to UT Tyler for his senior season.

Brown reported to Utica and officially signed his contract on Monday.

The other teams in the league are the Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers, Eastside Diamond Hoppers and Westside Woolly Mammoths.

 

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