When to hit the panic button


The Texas Rangers season hasn’t exactly gone as planned.  With several big signings and trades almost everyone had them picked easily to make the playoffs.  At the beginning of the season it was very hard to argue against it.  They had one of the best in the majors, in fact before the season started Buster Olney ranked it as the overall best.

Having Shin-Soo Choo, Elvis Andrus, Prince Fielder, Adrian Belter and Alex Rios in the lineup is enough proof to support Olney’s claim.  But now the Texas Rangers played just over 2 and half months of baseball and things haven’t gone well.  It’s hard to imagine things being any worse.  They have used the disabled list 20 times this season.

Despite losing key players such as Matt Harrison, Derek Holland, Prince Fielder and Martin Perez the Rangers have actually played very well.  They have had some rough patches, but they still have some of the anchors in place.  Yu Darvish continues to give the Rangers a win when they really need it.  Also, Adrian Beltre and Alex Rios have made a dynamic duo in the heart of the order.

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There are several of players making their own contributions making truly a team effort to keep them on the right track.  Even though the Rangers are 2 games under .500 they are still only 2.5 games behind for the final Wild Card spot.  Since they are still pretty close the playoff race there really isn’t any reason to worry just yet.

Even if they don’t reach .500 isn’t a huge worry, yet!  Right now most of the teams in the American League are not running away from the Rangers.  But, after the All-Star break teams that are truly going to make a push for the playoffs should start to make some separation.  When that happens the Rangers will need to do what they can to keep up and to advance in the race.  If they start to fall more and more behind by August, then that’s a good time to panic.

With the number of injuries and the outright weirdness of them this season is reason enough to worry about the season just yet.  Remember, they are doing well with the players they have called up.  But, if injuries continue and they lose more of their key players, then that will be a good time to worry.

Lastly, if the Rangers start to trade off their big stars such as Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus or Alex Rios for younger players then that’s a good time to worry.  If the Rangers are sellers at the trade deadline that pretty much signals that the front office has given up on 2014 and is looking to reload for 2015.

But, keep calm and don’t worry just yet.  Right now the Texas Rangers are just few games out of the playoffs.  They are starting a 9-game west coast trip against the Angels, Athletics and Mariners.  During their last road trip they went 7-4, if they can do that again they might be able to gain some ground on the A’s and in the Wild Card.