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05-07-2012, 04:20 PM
  #473
Rust Heisenberg
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Terrible news really. I dunno why everyone includes Schultz in our plans for next year but if we were to get him he's likely not going to be on the opening day roster. Torts likes to give his players ample time to assimilate to the system and the system in place right now is that Schoenfeld thoroughly prepares his players to mimic the big club's style in a less pressured environment.

I don't think Sauer is coming back to begin the season next year, I wouldn't even count him in mid-way. Earliest I see him returning is in March and that's being generous as this might actually be the end of his career. I know some are dramatic on this board but with the recent discussion of player safety and lingering problems after multiple head injuries (Junior Seau) I wouldn't be surprised to see the Rangers being extra careful with Sauer (possibly shutting him down for all of next year too if there is no visible improvement by Nov-Dec).

Therefore, with near certainty that Sauer won't be back by the beginning of next year, and with near certainty that if we were to sign Schultz he would begin the season for our minor league affiliate, I believe we will resign Stralman, and I would look at our defense looking like this to start the season:

McD-Girardi
Staal-MDZ
Erixon-Stralman

Figure Stralman as our odd man out. He'll be on a tight leash. If he falters look for him to be traded out when they believe Schultz is ready. I would even argue that if Schultz impresses Sauer will also be traded.

If we don't sign Schultz, and Sauer can not play for next year, expect Stralman to get the same treatment he is getting this year, having a lot of attention given to him by the coaching staff after every game to help him improve.

Edit: Also, wouldn't be surprised to see MDZ shift down to the 3rd pairing if Erixon bulks up by next season. He's more defensively sound than MDZ, so that wouldn't surprise me either.

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