Each time Texas Rangers fans have tuned in to a game this season it seems like they have a different first baseman. The season is just a little passed the halfway point and the Rangers have already used 7 different first basemen. That isn’t a lucky number 7 either!
2014 Texas Rangers first basemen:
- Prince Fielder (60-day disabled list – out for the season)
- Mitch Moreland (60-day disabled list – out for the season)
- Donnie Murphy (15-day disabled list – May 8 – May 23)
- Chris Gimenez
- Carlos Pena
- Brad Snyder
- Adam Rosales
It’s safe to say that anyone but Texas Rangers are having a hard time keeping up with the revolving door they have placed at first base this season. One big question is why did the Rangers sign Carlos Pena. Pena was recently released by the Los Angeles Angels and the Houston Astros. The Houston Astros cut him!
"Peña is not only the best first baseman on the roster, he’s the only first baseman on the roster. – Art Howe (Moneyball)"
Which seems true for the Texas Rangers this year. Pena is basically the only first baseman they have, but no team is equipped to go 4 deep on the depth chart for first baseman. Peña hasn’t had a great year at that plate since 2007 and is just an average first baseman now. After 39 at-bats this season he’s only batting .128 and already has 8 strikeouts.
I’m not sure what the Rangers are expecting, but they would be better off letting Chris Gimenez play first base and allow Adam Rosales, Donnie Murphy or anyone else as far as that goes to back him up.
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Once Geovany Soto returns after the All-star break they’ll be looking to make room for him. I would expect that is exactly what they’ll do. Pena has been here just a short time, and it is hard to judge how well he’ll do until after 100 at-bats, but I don’t expect things to change much for him.
Gimenez has a solid batting average of .289 (22 games/81 at-bats) and is more than able to play first base. Also, since Gimenez is a player that the Rangers will have around for several more years, it makes more sense to allow him to put in more time to develop than to waste time on the aging Peña .