The Texas Rangers opened the 2009 season by blowing out Cy Young winner Cliff Lee and the Cleveland Indians. The Rangers won 9 to 1 thanks to home runs from Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Hank Blalock. Ian Kinsler continued where he left off last year before injuries shut him down, he was 3 for 5 with 2 RBIs and a run.
Kevin Milwood only allowed one earned run in 7 innings of work. This is impressive in comparison to the last two seasons where he has had ERAs over 5. In the eighth inning CJ Wilson struck out one and allowed no hits. Frank Francisco closed out the 9th inning allowing no hits and stricking out one.
The Texas Rangers president Nolan Ryan and pitching coach Mike Maddux have taken a different approach to the pitching staff this year. They removed pitch counts and pitchers reported attended a work out program before spring training. It is only one game, but if things continue this will be a fun season to buy some ticketsand head out to the ballpark in Arlington.
2009 Roster Changes
The 2009 roster is different than last years due to the departure of DH/OF Milton Bradley, OF Frank Catalanotto, and C Gerald Laird. Gold Glove shortstop Michael Young will move to 3rd base this year to make room for rookie SS Elvis Andrus. Andrus turned a double play with Ian Kinsler in his opening day debut. Hank Blalock will DH this season, the last on his current contract. Frank Catalanotto’s release cleared room for OF Andruw Jones whose time with the Dodgers last year was simply horrendous. Jones was overweight and batted .158 with 76 K’s in 75 games. The Rangers are no doubt hoping that Jones can regain his swing and gold glove skills as a CF so they can either move Josh Hamilton to right field or trade Jones at the deadline.