Mike Napoli had some big home runs during his time with the Rangers. (Image Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports)

Starting Lineup: Paul Clemens, Playing Outdoors, and a Giancarlo Stanton Trade Proposal

Five home runs by five different players in five consecutive innings. That’s what the Texas Rangers did on this date two years ago, defeating the Kansas City Royals by an 11-6 final. Mike Napoli got things started, connecting for a two-run shot in the 3rd off of Jeff Francis. Francis would give up a solo shot in the 4th to Ian Kinsler before coming out of the game. David Murphy added a two-run homer in the 5th, off of reliever Blake Wood. Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland hit solo shots in the 6th and 7th innings off of Nate Adcock.

To some degree the game was a microcosm of the Rangers season, as they rode a powerful offense (Napoli, Kinsler, and Beltre all topped the 30 HR mark) all the way to the World Series before losing in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals. Kinsler, Murphy, Beltre, and Moreland are all still parts of the Rangers lineup. Napoli has since left for Boston, for whom he homered yesterday against the Royals.

It takes both a deep lineup and some good timing to go on a run like that which the Rangers accomplished in this game. We’ve got a deep lineup of writers here across FanSided MLB so let’s check in once again with some of the work from this past week.

Patience is key for fans of the Houston Astros right now, as the team appears to be in the midst of a lengthy rebuilding process. There have been, however, a few glimmers of hope to come out of the this team so far on the young season. One of those happens to be the timely contributions that the team received from right-handed reliever Paul Clemens in the past week. The 25 year old rookie has twice come up clutch, shutting down an opposing offense that had torched the Astros pitching early in each game. As Greg Thurston, our Senior Editor at Climbing Tal’s Hill, writes, however, this could just be the beginning of Clemens’ legacy in Houston:

Clemens would leave the game after 74 pitches, one mangled finger, and one legendary performance. The cameras stayed on Clemens in the dugout as he pulled on the pinky to try and straighten it out a little better. Then, as he talked with pitching coach Doug Brocail, Clemens delivered a fist-bump with the same hand that housed the damaged digit. Legendary status achieved!

Major League Baseball has already taken some flack for their scheduling practices this month, despite the fact that there’s little way to predict snow storms in Denver, Chicago, and Minneapolis would end up postponing multiple games already this season. The Twins, in particular, have been taking a lot of heat for the weather – something that’s clearly out of the team’s hands. The frustrations have led to some openly questioning the Twins’ decision to make Target Field an outdoor stadium. Chris Holm at Puckett’s Pond argues, however, that the team made the right call in bringing outdoor baseball back to Minnesota:

Retractable roofs tend to lead to more games being played under the roof than necessary. Because they take time to open and close, teams with them often err on the side of caution and close the roof at first sign of inclement weather.

Finally for this week, we have one more conversation surrounding Giancarlo Stanton’s eventual fate – because the Miami Marlins have to trade him at some point. To date there have been many discussions but few reasonable solutions offered as to what the Marlins could reasonably expect to receive when/if they look to move Stanton. Old friend John Parent took a stab at a reasonable proposal over at Grading on the Curve, our recently rebranded minor league and prospects site. John’s idea wasn’t half bad, though it’s still unclear if either side would actually go for it. We’ll leave the specifics of his proposed deal for John to explain, but he comes up with a solution that just might be viewed as fair by even the sharpest of critics:

When all is said and done, if this trade were actually proposed it would take a lot of guts for either side to pull the trigger. It may take even more to walk away, however. The deal is probably the best one Miami could imagine in return for Stanton, whose escalating salary and unhappiness with the organization combine to mean he’s probably eventually going to be traded anyway. By holding on, you risk injury and the player losing value. It’s better to deal while interest is its highest.

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton Houston Astros Miami Marlins Minnesota Twins Paul Clemens Texas Rangers

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