The Rangers & Jim Thome

Thome

The Rangers may have missed out on their top offseason target, but they signed Adrian Beltre and they aren't done yet. Texas is pursuing Jim Thome, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney.

Any team looking to add thump against right-handed pitching is likely salivating over the .294/.430/.617 line Thome has posted against right-handers in his 20-year career. Last year was better than usual, as the slugger hit 25 homers and hit .302/.455/.698 against righties. But as productive as Thome is at the plate, he wouldn't fit effortlessly in the Rangers' lineup because he's left-handed and doesn't play defense.

Michael Young has a history of handling lefties better than Thome, but he probably wouldn't be available to spell Thome against southpaws. Mitch Moreland and Chris Davis both hit from the left side and struggle against southpaws, which makes Young a likely candidate to play first base against left-handers regardless of which first baseman wins the everyday job.

If Young plays first base against lefties, the Rangers would likely rely on Thome to DH, though he is nothing special against southpaws (career .763 OPS). Outfielders David Murphy, Julio Borbon and Engel Beltre all bat from the left side, so the Rangers wouldn't gain a platoon advantage if they were to DH Josh Hamilton against southpaws and replace him in the field.

A right-handed DH like Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez, Troy Glaus, Marcus Thames or Andruw Jones would allow the Rangers to DH Hamilton against some right-handers while a lefty-hitting outfielder like Borbon or Murphy played the field. The Rangers could DH Hamilton against righties even if they sign Thome, but not without depriving Thome of the chance to demolish right-handed pitching.

This is not to say that Thome isn't a fit in the Lone Star State. He is coming off a remarkably productive season and if he can repeat his 2010 performance, lineup shuffling would be secondary for the Rangers. Plus, the offseason isn't over. The team could sign Thome and adjust its lineup accordingly by making a secondary move or two.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.


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42 Comments on "The Rangers & Jim Thome"


Guest
GoRav114
4 years 5 months ago

As an O’s fan and someone who is praying the O’s pick up Vlad for a season, why is Texas dismissing him for Thome? Vlad is a right handed hitter who can play left field and DH. I would imagine that the cost is not much more for Vlad than Thome. Is there something the Rangers saw in Vlad that they don’t like for this year? He had a great year last year.

Guest
Bigred36
4 years 5 months ago

two reasons:
1. his sharp decline in the secnd half of the season at the plate; and
2. he is unserviceable in the outfield. evidently you missed the world series games in SF.

Guest
4 years 5 months ago

I guess you missed the World Series. gammaraze is correct. Putting Vlad in the field is literally like trying to put a man with no arms on first base.

Guest
GoRav114
4 years 5 months ago

I get it, thanks for the reply, but I would still rather have Vlad than Thome. They can both Mash the ball but it seems like Thome could break down and give you nothing at anytime now.

Guest
Bigred36
4 years 5 months ago

Thome “may” break down. . . . Vlad DID break down. His WS performance may have cost him any chance at a major league job in the future.

Guest
Seanb1223
4 years 5 months ago

And Vlad is a young player who you can count on? Look at Vlad’s second half numbers and compare them to Thome’s.

Guest
4 years 5 months ago

Vlad is NEVER going to play in the field again, barring EXTREME circumstances.

Guest
monpsd
4 years 5 months ago

Vlad played in the field last year.

Guest
Bigred36
4 years 5 months ago

and he stunk it up when he did. hate to say it….i say vlad in his prime–good speed and defense, very good arm. he was not even a shell of himself in the ws. i was embarrassed for him.

Guest
4 years 5 months ago

I must admit I have a man crush for Jim Thome. Enough said.

Guest
4 years 5 months ago

lineup vs. righthanded starting pitchers

1. elvis andrus ss
2. michael young 1b
3. josh hamilton cf
4. jim thome dh
5. adrian beltre 3b
6. nelson cruz rf
7.ian kinsler 2b
8. david murphy lf
9yorvit torrealba c

Guest
KempElyKershaw
4 years 5 months ago

I think the Rangers should take a flyer on Reed Johnson and sign Thome.
Then, vs LHP, Johnson takes left field, MY plays 1st, and Cruz or Hamilton can DH.
Hamilton may be a LHH, but his splits aren’t completely awful, he could do well in a small sample size.

Thome may cost a few million, but Reed Johnson could be an easy cheap pickup.

Guest
4 years 5 months ago

Are you seriously hinting at platooning Hamilton? Even mentioning that anywhere is blasphemy.

Guest
4 years 5 months ago

I think Thome will wind up going back to Minnesota, Vlad goes back to Texas, and Manny winds up in Oakland or Tampa Bay.

Guest
4 years 5 months ago

Considering there is no use whatsoever for Vlad, that makes no sense. At least with Thome, he MIGHT fit at first a few games a month. On the other hand, you put Vlad in the field and you might as well forfeit. Also, consider the Rangers have already said they are no longer pursuing him.

Guest
PennMariner
4 years 5 months ago

Manny will not wind up in Oakland with Matsui already in the fold.

Guest
Pete
4 years 5 months ago

As an A’s fan, I really hope the Rangers commitment to Young prevents them from getting Thome or Manny.

Guest
4 years 5 months ago

The embedded photo looks much nicer than the “picture at the top” approach from before.

+1 for aesthetics.

Guest
PushDown
4 years 5 months ago

Actually it was pretty cool, cuz aside from the fact that it takes a while to load and even longer to scroll past, the pic kinda made the article look legit, ahah i dont know if its just me. It’s just refreshing for website that only posts text.

Guest
dwarfcatt
4 years 5 months ago

Being the chief whiner, I agree with this. This is an improvement.

Guest
PushDown
4 years 5 months ago

jezus christ, Ranger fans are going to have to bring baskets to the game cuz the rangers are going to be hitting out alot of souvenirs

Guest
bjsguess
4 years 5 months ago

I love the idea of Thome coming in. Just needs a good platoon partner to take the 200 or so PA’s when facing a lefty starter.

Although – anyone banking on a repeat of 2010 is living in a fantasy. Thome was just a monster last year. He held up physically and played incredibly well. Don’t think the Twins OR Thome could have improved upon 2010.

Guest
diesel2410
4 years 5 months ago

He’ll only land in Texas if they offer him at least $4 million and a full time DH role. Does Texas even have that available? Young is there…

Guest
Bigred36
4 years 5 months ago

for the moment, but i’m betting kinsler ends up traded or on the bench, and young moves to 2b.

Guest
4 years 5 months ago

and WHO is going to offer Thome $4mil+ AND a full time DH role when he had less than 400 plate appearances last year and Vlad and Manny are still looking for jobs?

Guest
4 years 5 months ago

I love what Big Jimmers did for the twins last year but anyone who wants to use him anymore often than the twins did last year could be in trouble. He needed a lot of days off and continues to have back issues. He was used very well last year, definatly more than was planned for with Morneau going down, but I doubt he puts up the same numbers and avoids injury playing more than a part time role. That being said best of luck to Thome he was an absolute pleasure to watch last year but 8 mil or 2 years is way to steep.

Guest
Alldaybaseball
4 years 5 months ago

I like the pictures in my opinion they make it look new and updated.

Guest
4 years 5 months ago

So if I have this right, and a Thome deal happens…
1B – Young/Moreland
2B – Kinsler
SS – Andrus
3B – Beltre
C – Torrealba/Treanor
OF – Hamilton, Cruz, Borbon/Murphy
DH – Thome/Young

With a batting order of Andrus, Young, Cruz, Thome, Hamilton, Borbon/Murphy, Beltre, Torrealba, Kinsler. Of course this line up is based off of career stats such as AVG and OPS in particular spots in the lineup. Hamilton is a career .399 hitter with 1.130 OPS while batting 5th. Not everyone is a perfect fit, and most would probably just set it up like this: Andrus, Young, Hamilton, Beltre, Thome, Cruz, Kinsler, Torrealba, Murphy/Borbon. But at least I put a little thought into it. Comments/Questions/Concerns welcome.

Guest
vtadave
4 years 5 months ago

Pretty sure the reigning MVP wouldn’t be hitting fifth in ANY lineup, even one this stacked.

I’d go:

SS Andrus
3B Beltre
LF Hamilton
RF Cruz
DH Thome
2B Kinsler
1B Moreland
C Torrealba
CF Borbon

Guest
4 years 5 months ago

Ok, you just put Hamilton in a spot in the lineup where he has a career OPS of .858 compared to 5th where he has an OPS of 1.130, not to mention that his avg drops from .399 in 5th to .292 in 3rd. This is not to mention you got rid of Young completely. 2nd is Beltre’s second worst spot in the lineup with at least 100 ABs (statistically speaking) and worst with at least 250ABs.

Guest
vtadave
4 years 5 months ago

I’d research the topic of “sample size” if I were you.

As for getting rid of Young, that’s becauase I’d much rather see what Moreland can do. We already know what Young can and can’t do.

Guest
vtadave
4 years 5 months ago

I’d research the topic of “sample size” if I were you.

As for getting rid of Young, that’s becauase I’d much rather see what Moreland can do. We already know what Young can and can’t do.

Guest
4 years 5 months ago

You can say all you want about how they hit in a certain spot of the lineup, but it doesn’t mean jack. There’s no way they bat Hammie 5th. If you don’t know that, then I don’t know what to tell you.

Guest
dc21892
4 years 5 months ago

This would be a great move for Texas. Let Young handle first base. Don’t stick him at DH. Let Thome take over DH and they’ll be a very strong team. Still need another arm or two, though!

Guest
MadmanTX
4 years 5 months ago

I believe that the Rangers and JD know what they are doing. Maybe they do have a later move up their sleeves to obtain a pitcher from another team.

Guest
stl_cards16
4 years 5 months ago

Not a fan of the pictures. Killing my phone and the .mobi version never has all the info that we find here.

Guest
dwarfcatt
4 years 5 months ago

Agreed.

I question the trade off being made between the “easy to load, easy to read, easy to digest a ton of information all at once” model vs. the “more attractive visually, but harder to load, harder to navigate, harder on handhelds” direction.

They’re attractive, in general I am a fan of pictures. I just don’t believe they are the right fit for this website.

It’s like putting chocolate sauce on my steak. I love chocolate sauce. I really do. It’s great on the right dish. But when I’m ordering a steak, having all that chocolate sauce in there is just going to upset my stomach.

Guest
FriedCalamari
4 years 5 months ago

first-world problems of today!!

and I only go on mlbtr through the computer so I fortunately don’t have that much of an issue with the pictures

Guest
Hardball52
4 years 5 months ago

Its 2011, complaining about a couple pictures a day is ludicrous. Mobiles even should be able to handle this fine, but if there is an issue on mobiles then it should be applied to the *gasp* mobile version of the site. Nothing wrong with some pics to liven up the site.

Guest
Bigred36
4 years 5 months ago

The better option is to make Kinsler the utility man and to start Young at second.

Why?

He can’t hit lead-off. That belongs to Andrus.

He can’t hit second. He can’t get a runner over to save his life.

He’s not the real deal at 3, 4, 5, or 6. He swings from the heels.He really is not the equal of any of those in spots 3-6.

He’s not a first baseman, so that leaves him out at 7.

He can’t get runners over, which 8 and 9 hitters have to be able to do.

Welcome to the bench, Ian.

Instead, how about:
Andrus SS
Young 2b
Hamilton LF
Beltre 3B
Cruz RF
Thome DH
Murphy CF
Moreland 1B
Torrelba C

Give playing time to Borbon and Kinsler off the bench spelling thte infielders and outfielders, respectfully. Put Murphy in CF and take some of the pressure off Hamilton, and give us a legit hitter at 7.

This would maximize all that the Rangers would have.

Guest
4 years 5 months ago

Kinsler has batted in every spot in the order, except cleanup, and has done relatively close to the same in every spot. Michael Young, on the other hand has very few ABs out of the top 3; no way he gets removed from the 2nd spot, in my opinion.

Guest
neoncactus
4 years 5 months ago

I agree. Young will not move out of 2nd spot unless he lands in a big slump. Hamilton is set at third and Wash said Beltre will hit 4th. Cruz makes sense 5th and Kinsler 6th, although Wash has said he may move Kinsler back to leadoff. I love the lineup, even without Thome, and the bullpen, still not sure about the rotation.