There has been a lot of hype surrounding the Rangers this past off season and even into spring training. The 2010 season comes with great expectations for the 25 man rooster all the way up to Ron Washington and the coaching staff. It has been quoted that the Rangers expect to win 92 games and the American League West.
Coming into the off season the Rangers had quite the challenge to plug the holes of the roster with the limited payroll available. To free up more payroll they shipped Kevin Millwood to the Orioles for reliever Chris Ray. So they have singed players who have come at a discount either due to suffering from injuries in the past couple of years or being at the end of their career.
The Rangers had the worst 2010 Cactus League record and the worse spring training record in the American League. The worst record in baseball goes to the Pittsburgh Pirates whom won 7 games over spring training. Granted it doesn’t matter what a team does in spring training, it is still somewhat of an indication of how they will do once the season starts.
Once thing about spring training is nobody is in their regular routines and the opening day starters hardly get a chance to appear as an entirety in spring training. So there are players in games just waiting to be shipped to the minors and it is a challenge for some pitchers to be effective if they are only out there for a couple of innings.
During spring training several players have missed time due to soreness and injuries. Catcher Jarrod Saltlamacchia has missed time due to back spasms and scar tissue breaking apart from his off season surgery. Second baseman Ian Kinsler is projected to start the season on the disabled list due to a high ankle sprain.
Reliever Darren O’day is suffering with inflammation in the back of his right elbow and is questionable for opening day. Shortstop Elvis Andrus is suffering form a sore left wrist and had a cortisone shot in it earlier this week so he should be ready to go by opening day. So maybe by the middle of April the Rangers can have their complete starting lineup take the field for a game.
The expectations for the Rangers are high in 2010 and other than missing a few key players out of the lineup here and there, they need to figure out what it is going to take for them to win games. The Rangers have a solid 25 man roster now , so it is just a matter of every one of the 25 individual players working together as a team. If the team were to struggle early in the season, the jobs of Ron Washington and his coaching staff are on the hot seat and he could be replaced before the end of the season, if not before the all-star break.
In general Rangers news it was reported on mlb.com that the sale of the Rangers from Hicks Sports Group to the Greenberg group should be finished sometime around April 19. Both sides had hoped for this to be accomplished before opening day, although with about 36 hours remaining before opening day it’s not going to happen. The sale of the Chicago Cubs a couple of years ago kept getting pushed back, but it eventually happened and the same should happen in the sale of the Rangers.