As far as Spring Training goes, that was a pretty neat game. Some thoughts:
- Derek Holland got the start today, and it was leaps and bounds better than his last outing in the Alamodome in San Antonio. He went 5 full innings while only allowing 4 hits and a walk, with 7 strikeouts. He only needed 61 pitches to do so, and since the Rangers had a plan laid out for the pitching today, he ended up throwing more in the bullpen after his 5 innings were up. Texas will of course need Holland to be more consistent this season if they hope to repeat in the AL West, so today was a good start toward that.
- Ian Desmond played center field again today, and he's got me convinced now that at some point in 2016, he'll be switching positions with Delino DeShields. DeShields is easily the faster of the two, but Desmond once again flashed a superb arm in nailing a runner at home so easily that there was no slide attempt. While I was initially a bit taken aback by the Desmond signing, I'm coming around more and more by the day.
- Hanser Alberto and Pedro Ciriaco continue to each hit the ball well in their attempt to win the utility job. Honestly, at this point, I'd have a hard time picking between the two, and I don't envy the coaches and front office for having to do so. My gut tells me Ciriaco might get the nod simply because Alberto can go back to Triple-A for awhile. Then again, I've been wrong before.
- In the end, today was about Matt Bush. I published a piece on Bush this morning, and he came out and threw 2 solid innings, only giving up a walk. His fastball touched 97, and he was able to confound hitters by coming back with offspeed offerings below 80. It's not exactly a bold prediction, but I believe Bush will be pitching for the Rangers at the Major League level at some point in 2016. Just a good story for a guy who is attempting to get his life back together. You can disagree with him being given the opportunity to play baseball, but I simply can't get on board with that line of thinking. The Rangers have shown a decent track record with these types of players, and it'd be a great story if this one ends up working out for both sides.
- Oh, and Texas won, 5-0. Not that Spring Training scores really matter.