…And, okay, every season since 1972. But in the absence of a World Series victory, or appearance, or playoffs, or “don’t get swept by the Astros”, we’re given an opportunity to do a few things we haven’t been able to do in recent years.
I’m not talking about seeing the prospects (though: Hey there Jake Smolinski. Nice week you’re having there). I’m talking about completely and utterly useless exercises like I’m about to embark upon.
As of Friday morning at 12:47am (when I wrote this) 28 men have taken the hill for the Texas Rangers in the 2014 season. This number leads me to wonder: if I were a General Manager tasked with creating a 25-man roster, given only these 28 guys to choose from, how would that look? You’ll have to suspend your reality here, not so much because of the premise, but because we’re assuming all 28 of them are healthy.
Without wasting any more time, let’s waste some time.
This is the easy part. Who would be my starting five?
1. Yu Darvish – Double off the wall against the Mets notwithstanding, I don’t want him anywhere but the mound. If I could put, “Left-Handed Yu Darvish” as the 5th starter, I totally would, but he hasn’t pitched left handed this season. YET.
2. Matt Harrison – Maybe I just did this whole article so I could hope his career isn’t over.
3. Martin Perez – Sorry this part of the article is so boring and obvious.
4. Colby Lewis – Has a legacy here. Also, I just can’t think of anywhere else I could put him. Go ahead; imagine Colby Lewis playing any other position-golf coach at TCU doesn’t count.
5. Nick Tepesch – I guess.
I’ll skip straight to the position players now, since only super nerds will care what the bullpen looks like in this scenario. (Hint: It’s whoever was left over).
C – Chris Gimenez – There’s a reason I waited until after he pitched in a 15-6 massacre to write this article.
1B – Tanner Scheppers – I know, Moreland was the obvious choice here, but I like Tanner’s height and Moreland wasn’t hitting that great this year anyway, so I will #TakeTanner at first.
2B – Ben Rowen – Throwing delivery seems most suited to copy the patented Adrian Beltre charge-and-throw at third, but arm strength is an issue, so I put him here. BONUS: his groin-level submarine double-play relay could be a great equalizer for take-out slides.
SS – Nick Martinez – Former college shortstop gets the nod here, and also if this were a movie, he would totally be cast as the shortstop.
3B – Jason Frasor – I get the feeling he would dive at everything on the left side of the infield, which would at least be entertaining, and might give us some sentimental reminders of a more successful time.
RF – Miles Mikolas – Dude, you ate a lizard! You go play right field.
CF – Alexi Ogando – former outfielder, and seems like the best remaining athlete. Attempts to nail a runner at home would likely result in many outs (at first or third base).
LF – Neal Cotts – I’m legitimately interested to see if he would take worse routes than Shin-Soo Choo. Also, his body is held together with baling wire and other probably indestructible materials, so go ahead and bang into the wall all you want.
DH – Scott Baker – He’s been doing the starters’ job all year long, so this seems fitting, no?
Backup Catcher – Roman Mendez – at 6’3″ and *air quotes* “190” pounds, he looks like a catcher. Also, has a good mean face.
4th Outfielder – Daniel McCutchen – I think I subconsciously put him here because I want a McCutchen in our outfield.
Utility Infielder – Hector Noesi – The Adam Rosales of pitchers.
BULLPEN – Okay, nerds.
Closer – Joakim Soria – Used to have the coolest nickname in sports.
Set-up man – Neftali Feliz – Should never not be in the bullpen again.
Robbie Ross – Should never not be in the bullpen again, also.
Mitch Moreland – Come on, you’re as curious as I am to see how this would pan out.
Pedro Figueroa – sure
Aaron Poreda – why
Shawn Tolleson – not
DID NOT MAKE TEAM
– Joe Saunders – Not even on this team. Get out of here, man.
– Justin Germano – I literally forgot that Justin Germano pitched for the Rangers in 2014.
– Seth Rosin – Sorry man.
– Phil Irwin – Maybe you can be the Manager, you have a good manager name.
I wanted to see if this idea would work, so I ran this idea by a few people, and at least one person predicted that a team arranged like this could win 90 games.
So hey, Jake Smolinski, huh?