The Texas Rangers were hoping this would be another playoff run season. Things haven’t worked out that way for Jon Daniels and Ron Washington, mainly due to a rash of severe injuries to several of their marquee players.
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Since their magical season of 2010 when they managed to make it to the World Series and again in 2011 the Rangers have normally been leading the division. As well as leading the division have have lead the league in home run totals, (200 in 2012), second most wins in 2011 (96), and several other categories. It seemed that everything that could go right did go right for them. It seemed like no matter what the score was in the 8th inning, the Rangers were still going to find a way to win.
This season has been the polar opposite of those glory days. Now it seems like when the opponent scores anything at all the Texas Rangers don’t have a chance to win. So far this season over the 75 times the opponent has scored 4 or more runs they have only managed to win 8 times (4 on the road and 4 at home).
To give the Texas Rangers credit they do have 15 shutouts, which is the best in the American League. Overall they are ranked second behind St. Louis who have 18 shutouts. The Rangers had 19 shutouts back in 2011.
But, clearly there is a distinct difference between this team and the 2011 team. Right now if the pitching doesn’t keep the score low or shutout the opposing team, they will likely lose. And to be honest, it’s not a horrible thing that they are losing right now. This team is primarily focused on developing players, testing out players and seeing overall what will work for next season. To put it in the best terms, right now it is like early spring training for Ron Washington and John Daniels.
The Rangers have broken a club record of players used at 56 and a club record of using 35 different pitchers. They are closing in on the all-time record of 37 different pitchers used, which is currently held by the San Diego Padres. The 56 players includes 17 different rookies used this season, also leading the league and second most ever for the club (record is 19 back in 2008).
The Rangers lead the league this season in non-pitchers (position players) pitching this season. So far they have used 3 different players, Mitch Moreland, Chris Gimenez, and J.P. Arencibia. The Rangers are also the first time since 2009 to use 3 position players in the 9th inning during a season. And if you want to look deeper in that stat, they also lead in most catchers being used as pitchers. J.P. Arencibia marked the 9th time a position player was used to pitch in a game for the Rangers. The Rangers have used a position player to pitch 5 times over the last 3 seasons, which is more than the previous history of the franchise. Granted, all teams are using positions players to pitch more often in blowouts. This season overall a position player has been used to pitch 17 different times.
Early this week the Rangers were on another epic streak of 48 consecutive games where the bullpen didn’t pick up a win. The most consecutive relief appearances without a win is 54 which happened in 1979. The bullpen managed to get break that streak on Aug 10 against the Houston Astros.
Also, there has been a revolving door at first base this season. The Rangers have used 10 different first baseman this season. And to go along with the flavor of the day first baseman, the lineup is different every day. This season they have used a total of 93 different lines up over 121 games this season.
The Rangers also had a streak of 38 games started by right-handed pitchers going until last night when lefty Robbie Ross was recalled from Round Rock. The last lefty to start for the Texas Rangers was Joe Saunders back on June 30.
This season has been very tough and a lot of these stats are numbers that Ron Washington, Jon Daniels, the players and even fans will wish to forget. It’s easy to try to blame someone and want someone fired, but the injuries are the key thing to blame. With a disabled list that’s been used 24 times, has 13 players currently on the disabled list, and 1,462 games lost it would be hard for any team to find success. Ron Washington overall has done a good job with this team and things should look better next season. Hopefully at this point next year, all of this will be a distant memory.