Robbers Evidence: McCarthy as Next Year’s Opening Day Starter? No Way!

Over on T.R. Sullivan’s blog – Postcards from Elysian Fields – blue-blooded, brain-washed Rangers fans are getting their hoped up about Brandon McCarthy.

I like Brandon.  I really hope he turns out to be a 15+ game winner.  I hope I’m wrong and that panther (who posted on T.R.’s blog) is right and McCarthy becomes the Rangers’ Opening Day starter in ’08 (although I’m not sure that’d be saying much).  But anyone who really believes that needs to WAKE UP!  Because you, me and every Ranger fan is getting hosed, and the fact that McCarthy (instead of a quality veteran) is on the roster is evidence of it.

First, McCarthy was supposed to be (as Little Jon Daniels said) “battle tested” and ready to produce now.  So, we shouldn’t have to endure any growing pains with McCarthy – the fact that we are proves that DanielsHart, again, made a dumb trade.  (I’ve merged them together in my mind since Hart is still around as a special advisor to Daniels, and based on Daniels’ bad signings, terrible trades, and complete lack of anything resembling an ability to put together a contending team, Daniels is clearly the Sith apprentice of Hart).

Second, for what we gave up for McCarthy, we could have gotten veteran talent (for example, Buerhle was reportedly available for less last season when Danks was “untouchable” and the D-Train was possibly available for an aggressive deal).  But when Little Jon DanielsHart, anything for a buck Cogen and bi-polar (cheap-stupidspedingspree) Hicks saw a chance to get a supposedly “rotation ready” pitcher who’s very inexpensive, suddenly Danks (along with Massett and Rasner) were more than touchable!

Third, other than maybe Keving Brown, when has a young, talented pitcher ever realized his potential as a Ranger?  Ssome teams (most notably the Rangers) seem to be able to manufacture good to great hitters with extreme frequency, others can’t.  Some systems/teams can produce quality starting pitchers (i.e. the Braves), others can’t.  The Rangers just plain can’t.  The Ballpark, the farm system, the weather, the team mindset and other factors may contribute to this particular Rangers handicap, but it’s real nonetheless.  And it’s about time we all just admit the problem, start the 12-step healing process, which concludes with finding a GM who can trade for proven starters (they clearly won’t sign here – Rocket, Unit, etc., etc.) who have honed their potential into realized talented front-line pitching.

It’s just nuts that pitching has always been the Rangers problem (the start to this season being somewhat of an exception since they can’t hit or field either), but they generally crank out offensive talent at will.  Let’s swap farm systems for 5 years with a team that can produce pitchers but struggles with hitters.   Problem solved – see you in the Series!

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3 responses to “Robbers Evidence: McCarthy as Next Year’s Opening Day Starter? No Way!

  1. It’s too early to push the panic button on McCarthy. The Rangers inability to develop pitchers is the biggest black mark on this franchise. Until that changes, the Ranger won’t be able to be competitive. Orel Hershieser showed some promise developing pitchers. If I were the Rangers, I would approach this problem as follows:
    1) Spend the money to get the best major league pitching coach that you can
    2) Get another great pitching coach as a roving minor league pitching coach, helping players at all levels,
    3) Draft nothing but pitchers in the first 3 rounds of every draft – no exceptions.

    Free agent hitters should be salivating to play in the ballpark. The opposite is true of pitchers. The result is the Rangers overpaying every time they get a free agent pitcher.

  2. In some ways, I agree with you about the Rangers ability to produce pitchers. Producing pitching has always been a big Rangers problem. Fixing the problem is going to be another thing altogether. Tom had a good comment on that above.

    But I think you’re not giving Brandon McCarthy enough credit. He has potential, and while you’re right, he was not as “battle ready” as he was touted to be, like Tom said above, you can’t press the panic button yet. While I personally don’t think he’s going to be an opening day starter anytime soon, if ever, he has the potential to be a good solid starter someday. I really don’t think Danks had or has any more potential than McCarthy. Massett might have been too much to add to the trade, in my opinion, but Rasner was just a throw-in. What do you want from a trade for two or three prospects, no matter how good they are? Curt Schilling? I’m sorry, but anyone who expected McCarthy to come to Arlington and throw zeros his first two months is just a little bit nuts. I’m still concerned about McCarthy too, and every start for him is still an adventure. But you can’t decide his worth, or future worth, less than two months into his tenure. One of the first things you have to learn when developing prospects, especally pitchers is patience, and a little (god forbid) optimisim.

  3. rangersorrobbers

    Tom & Jon –

    Great comments; thanks.

    Unfortunately, after 27 years as a Rangers fan, I’m out of optimism when it comes to pitching.

    After writing this post, I was listening to ESPN radio on the way home. They were discussing the same topic. The host said, “Pitching is the problem, always has been. Tune in to some other guy doing a similar show in 1987 or probably even 1977, and you’d hear the same thing.”

    So, it’s not that I’m pushing the panic button on McCarthy. I’m pushing the reality check button on the entire Rangers franchise and ownership.

    And Tom, I like the thought, but I’m not even optimistic that your 3-step plan would work.

    I think the Rangers need to learn that if you can’t develop or buy pitching, you have to trade for it. And they can’t trade prospects for allegedly more ready prospects. They need to trade for proven pitchers. No, I’m not expecting Shilling, but I do believe they could have bagged Buerhle and Willis last year, each of whom could have helped the team in the stretch last season and with Millwood, Padilla and who cares at #5, that’s a contending, would win more than 1 playoff game rotation (with two lefties – which does matter in the Ballpark). Trouble was, while at the time we had the trade chips to get them, both were more expensive.

    But Brandon’s here, and I’m rooting for him. But I also hope that more buzz from fans like us reaches Hicks and Daniels, and they invest some money and trade for someone ASAP that can contribute in the rotation for the next several years.

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