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The Rangers Lack of a Good Righty is Still Baffling

Adam Morris already touched on this in his post game at Lone Star Ball, but I think it's worth repeating. This organization may have a good reason for having no right handed relief on the bench. Whatever that reason is, though, it's not readily apparent, and it helped the team lose tonight.

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Lefty Matt Thornton is brought in to face Josh Hamilton, David Murphy and Justin Smoak in the 8th, putting a one run game in the hands of .304, .262 and .150 OBPs against left-handed pitchers this season. And, yeah, that's a small sample size and Smoak in particular is probably better than that, but his best side has always been hitting from the left, the other two are obviously left-handed hitters and the odds of any of them getting on are lowered when facing someone of Thornton's caliber. That's just about as close to assuring yourself of a 1-2-3 inning as you could possibly get.

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The worst part is there's an option in house. Brandon Boggs is putting up an awesome .387 wOBA in Oklahoma right now. His career career minor league split shows to be favorable from the right side (.944 OPS vs. .792 from the left), and in more than 100 games in 2008 he put up a near-average .324 wOBA while playing good defense in the corners. He could be a platoon partner for Borbon and give the team a fighting chance off the bench in situations like tonight. And you don't have to spend any money or lose any prospects to get him.

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Instead, they keep two utility infielders for mysterious reasons. And, really, it's not even two, since Joaquin Arias doesn't have the arm to play short or third and doesn't hit well enough to justify the two games he's gotten at first. It's maddening, frustrating and impossible to understand why they actually seem to be making a choice to carry a weaker bench than they have to, and days where the worst case scenario they've built come to reality just make it so much worse.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.