Why you should stay optimistic
By David Cash
May 17, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington (38) walks back to the dugout after pulling Rangers relief pitcher Shawn Tolleson (not pictured) during the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Blue Jays defeated the Texas Rangers 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Texas Rangers are in the worst slump of 2014. They have a record of 20-23 and are 7 games back in the American League West. Even with another great outing by Yu Darvish and a decent one by Robbie Ross Jr. they still cannot find the win column. Over their last 10 games they have only won 3 games and to make things worse the offense has been very quiet.
Over their last 7 games the Rangers have only averaged 2.14 runs per game while allowing 4.57. Also, over their last 7 games they are only 12 for 42 with runners in scoring position. With numbers like that, it is safe to say the offense is the bigger problem right now. They are currently in 4th place and are only ahead of the Houston Astros by 5 games.
To make things worse, the Rangers currently have 13 players on the disabled list and have placed a total of 16 players on the disabled list the season. As a comparison, the Los Angeles Angels have the second most players on the disabled list at 8 and the Cincinnati Reds have placed a total of 12 players on the disabled list.
But with all of the negatives, there is still room for some optimism. Derek Holland is still progressing well with his rehab and should still be back earlier than expected. Holland wants to start rehab assignment soon, but the latest test on his knee indicate it still needs more strengthening. There isn’t a time table on his return just yet, but it should be around or before the All-star break.
Also, around the same time the Rangers should get back Jurickson Profar and Geovany Soto. Both players will be a huge addition to the lineup. Rougned Odor has been a good callup for the Rangers, but is bat hasn’t been doing very well. Hopefully Profar will be able to produce numbers like he did in offseason ball. Also, right now the Rangers best option at catcher is Robinson Chirinos . Chirinos has been much better than J.P. Arencibia this season. Chirinos is batting .220 and Arencibia is batting .133. While Chirinos has done a lot better than Arencibia, that really isn’t saying much. Hopefully with the return of Soto, he’ll plug another hole in the lineup. Soto is a career .267 hitter.
It would seem that with the losing record of 20-23 and being 7 games behind the Athletics that the Rangers are not longer in the playoff picture. The Rangers are still a good baseball team and shouldn’t be counted out It does help that they do have the depth to help them over come some of their injuries. Players like Nick Martinez, Luis Sardinas and Rougned Odor have been a great addition to the club during this time.
Also, it has been done before. Remember the 2012 season when the Rangers lead the division every day but the last day? The Oakland Athletics could have packed up things and given up on the season. During that year on June 30th the A’s had a losing record of 37-41 and were 13 game behind the Rangers. At that time in the season the A’s had used the disabled list 14 times. Is this story starting to sound familiar? Sounds about like the Rangers this year. During the 2012 season the A’s managed to get healthy after the All-star break and turned their season around. During the first half of the season they had a record of 43-43, right at .500. During the second half they went 51 and 25 and won the division on the last day of the season.
Remember, baseball not a sprint to the finish line, it is a marathon. The Oakland Athletics has pretty much perfected the art of running it to the end, the Rangers need to find a way to stand back up and start to run towards their goal again. It can be done, it has been done and the Rangers will do it. They just need to get back some key players, play as a team and focus on one game at time.