After last night’s marathon with the Houston Astros, the Texas Rangers entered play tonight with a record of 5-5, and that’s certainly to be expected.
With all the injuries they have been forced to endure, if the Rangers can be around the .500 mark when April ends, everything should be pointing up.
I understand expectations are high and they should be. Since their World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011, it’s win the whole thing or bust.
The players understand that. The coaches understand that. The front office understands that.
And they, along with all of us, expect it.
Teams and players around the league also expect the Rangers to be there. They now have a reputation, and their reputation continues to build.
Yes, I know the Rangers traded for Fielder, but the Rangers were a top target – if not the top target — on his radar when he entered free agency two years ago, but the Detroit Tigers simply offered more years and more money.
The fact is, he wanted to play here.
It’s because of the reputation this organization has built that draws the ire, jealousy and respect of all organizations around the league.
Here’s the point: The Texas Rangers are built for anything.
We have all seen how bad injuries and ineffectiveness has hit the New York Yankees, the Evil Empire of baseball. They are too impatient to grow their own talent, so they just buy everyone else’s.
When their luxury Sudans – the Teixeiras, Grandersons, Jeters and A-Rods – blow a tire or suffer a fender bender, they don’t have the insurance to cover the cost of their absences.
There are only two organizations that can sustain injury havoc to their teams and continue to field a high-level team. One of them is the St. Louis Cardinals, and the other is the Texas Rangers.
The Cardinals can deal with losses to their team via injuries or free agency, but they are so thick in their farm system they can just call guys up and remain highly, highly competitive.
The same goes for the Rangers.
Key bullpen pitchers Tanner Scheppers and Robbie Ross are currently integral parts to the rotation, but when Matt Harrison, Colby Lewis and, eventually, Derek Holland return from injury, they will get flexed back to the bullpen.
But the organization is so deep and so intuitive when situations call for the team to acquire help from outside – like they did with Kevin Kouzmanoff, Donnie Murphy and Josh Wilson – that they are able to sustain when times get tough.
Heck, they called up Nick Martinez – a guy that should’ve started the season off in AA – to make one start on the Major League level.
Martinez, 23, started against the Tampa Bay Rays on Apr. 5 and went six innings, surrendered three earned runs on four hits, three walks and three strikeouts for a quality start.
Needless to say, Martinez – in his first career start – got the job done. He was immediately sent back to AA Frisco to make room for Yu Darvish on the active roster the next day.
These are just a few examples of how versatile and talent deep this organization is, and everyone involved with the Rangers – literally and figuratively – should be proud.
It does appear as if they are scrambling to put a lot of calk in a lot of cracks, but they are able to do so with ease.
Take a chill pill, Rangers fans, it’s all gonna be okay.
Come September, your Rangers will be at full strength and right in the pennant chase.