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Ponson to Rangers


Boy Howdy

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I have always thought and still do that Ponson would make a decent closer if he was ever moved to that role. He would always seem to breeze through his first inning or two which is all you need to pitch when closing games. Not saying the Rangers will be smart enough to try to switch him, but I think eventually some team will. That is about the only way I see him resurrecting his career such as it was.

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Whaddaya say Moose?

13 starts for Sidney with a 6.08 ERA?

Sounds like a good prediction to me, though I'd be a bit shocked to see him get 13 starts. Then again, Texas is always hurting for pitching...

Sidney has been in the game for 10 years. That fat bastards going to get a pension...which absolutely makes me sick.

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If Sidney is healthy, he'll be a winning pitcher for the Rangers. If his elbow won't stand up to pitching regularly -- and I doubt if it will -- he won't last long in Arlington either.

All you need to do is to look at his ERA for the Cardinals in April and May of 2006 -- 3.13 and 2.79 respectively -- to see how a healthy Ponson is capable of pitching. He's only 31 years old this season and could have a half dozen or more good years left in him if he could remain on the wagon and avoid injuries. I'm skeptical however, that his elbow will ever stand up to a season's worth of pitching without surgery.

As I predicted, despite the Cardinals desperation for pitching and the professed willingness of La Russa and Ponson to work together, they passed on him. Words are cheap; I don't believe either La Russa or Ponson's quotes in the article.

As for a potential St. Louis reunion, Ponson said, "I'd have no problem at all. It was really nice to see those guys. I talked to Tony a little bit. What's not to like here? It's a great stadium, a great city, great fans. If I have an opportunity here ... definitely."

.... Though Ponson insisted publicly that he was willing to pitch in any role for a guaranteed contract, he emphasized during negotiations with the Cardinals his desire to only start. In his only relief appearance after being deleted from the rotation, Ponson drilled two Chicago White Sox hitters and received a profane reprimand from his manager on the mound.

.... "There are no hard feelings. None," La Russa said. "I didn't feel that way. And his agent had been telling us he was fine with it."

Sidney needed a job; he was willing to take a shot with St. Louis. It's interesting, however, that he told St. Louis he was only interested in a starting role -- which he undoubtedly knew La Russa wouldn't guarantee, whereas he's been quoted elsewhere that he was willing to pitch out of the bullpen if that's what it took.

Follow Up story

.... General manager John Mozeliak on Friday notified the agent for free agent Sidney Ponson that the club had no interest in signing the former Redbird at this time.

.... The Cardinals left the session impressed but believing they have sufficient arms and too few exhibition innings to introduce another pitcher unable to contribute by opening day.... "Number one, he was impressive," manager Tony La Russa. "Everybody that saw him had a positive take on how he threw. But for our club ... if he was a lefthanded reliever, we're not deep there.".... Citing complications caused by importing another pitcher in need of innings, pitching coach Dave Duncan withheld his support for Ponson when approached by Mozeliak.... "You don't know where he's at conditioning-wise or anything else," Duncan said. "You would have to feel he had so much more upside than anybody we have that you have to go for it."

Actually, the Cardinals are pretty desperate for pitching right now. Braden Looper looked terrible at the game I attended yesterday. Joel Pineiro, Todd Wellemeyer, and Anthony Reyes are all unknown quantities, to put it kindly. (To put it unkindly, what we do know about them isn't very good.) Clement, Mulder, and Carpenter won't be ready on opening day. The best that the Cards can hope for is to remain "in contention" by the time Carpenter and Mulder are ready to pitch effectively. Ponson -- if he's healthy -- would contend with Adam Wainwright to be the best starter on the team. But to put him back on a team with Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan in charge would be like pouring gasoline on a fire.

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I have always thought and still do that Ponson would make a decent closer if he was ever moved to that role. He would always seem to breeze through his first inning or two which is all you need to pitch when closing games. Not saying the Rangers will be smart enough to try to switch him, but I think eventually some team will. That is about the only way I see him resurrecting his career such as it was.

It's foolish to turn over the key job of closer to someone who isn't already a tried and tested closer.

(Sorry, I really need to stop.)

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Texas may be making a Psych unit now with Hamilton, Ponson, Bradley, and Padilla. Add that to the injury risks of those guys along with Jennings, Millwood, everyday Eddie Guaradado and the Texas roster could a MASH unit nightmare.

As far as trying to predict Ponson's #, i have a sneaking suspison that he will be just good enough to be moved at the trade deadline and then crater on his unsuspecting team much like Gagne last year.

But hell, if Sydney Pontoon does well, more power too him. It would be a nice story to see him kick the bottle and go become a sucessful pitcher.

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If Sidney is healthy, he'll be a winning pitcher for the Rangers. If his elbow won't stand up to pitching regularly -- and I doubt if it will -- he won't last long in Arlington either.

All you need to do is to look at his ERA for the Cardinals in April and May of 2006 -- 3.13 and 2.79 respectively -- to see how a healthy Ponson is capable of pitching. He's only 31 years old this season and could have a half dozen or more good years left in him if he could remain on the wagon and avoid injuries. I'm skeptical however, that his elbow will ever stand up to a season's worth of pitching without surgery.

He did have surgery on his elbow in October 2006.

IIRC, it was minor "clean up" type surgery, perhaps he needs major surgery.

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