The Texas Rangers fielded their 60th player of the season on Tuesday, setting a new major league record. That’s right: no team in the history of professional baseball – all 145 years of it – has used more than 60 players in a season. Sigh. (Michael Kirkman became #61 on Wednesday.)
So let’s look back at the season in which your Texas Rangers used their starting lineup like a carousel.
#33, 45, 54 – If only we had you: Martin Perez, Derek Holland, and Matt Harrison. Perez threw 26 straight innings of scoreless baseball in April then this elbow decided to take a long vacation – see you next July. Derek Holland made a masterful, albeit extended comeback. Matt Harrison may be hanging up his cleats and soul-patch for good.
#19 – The turnstile: worn by Seth Rosin (who?), Hector Noesi (huh?), and Daniel Robertson during 2014. Rosin, to the shock of many, made the club out of Spring Training and lasted 8 days before JD cut him loose. Noesi came over from Seattle and lasted 6 days in a Rangers uniform before taking his talents to South Chicago. Robertson, one of the few pleasant surprises in 2014, has hit .293/.361/.364 after the acquisition from San Diego in late April.
#21, 28, 44, 47 – The wily, stopgap, disappointing veterans: Carlos Pena, Mike Carp, Jerome Williams, and Joe Saunders. Pena played in 18 games, hit 1 homerun, and set the record for most pop-up miscommunications. Carp took up space on the diamond and provided a fishy amount of puns. Williams and Saunders both rocked ERAs over 6 in limited, stressful starts.
#3, 12, 12, 16, 73 – The Ian Kinsler Jurickson Profar replacements: Luis Sardinas, Josh Wilson, Rougned Odor, Donnie Murphy, and (again) Rougned Odor. The 30 year-old journeyman, Wilson hit .239 and provided a few late-inning hits to secure a handful of victories back when we had hope. Murphy lasted a few weeks longer than Wilson (thanks to a DL stint) and saw his batting average sink below the Mendoza line – see ya. Odor occupied two numbers during 2014, switching from 73 to 12 midseason.
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#6, 18, 84 – Taken from us too soon: Kevin Kouzmanoff, Mitch Moreland, and Prince Fielder. All first basemen … we now have no first basemen. Kouz earned player of the week honors on multiple occasions and hit .362 in Fielder’s absence. Unfortunately, the baseball gods unmercifully quashed our hope. Kouz had recurring back issues from a tumble down a flight of stairs several years ago. Moreland’s ankle gave up in early June. Fielder’s neck couldn’t handle the stress of being the ESPN’s body issue coverboy (#ThingsYouCantUnsee).
#28, 44 – You done good, now get outta here: Joakim Soria and Jason Frasor. Soria beared fruit in the form of Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson and promptly injured himself pitching for the Tigers – take that Kinsler! Frasor got switcheroo-ed with Cory Patton.
#7 – A lot more bad than good: JP Arencibia.
#25, 32, 36, 37, 39, 39, 47, 49, 50, 57, 62, 63, 64, 64, 65, 67, 68 – The rest: Scott Baker, Pedro Figueroa, Miles Mikolas, Shawn Tolleson, Daniel McCutchen, Ben Rowen, Phil Irwin, Aaron Poreda, Michael Kirkman, Nathan Adcock, Jon Edwards, Matt West, Phil Klein, Brad Snyder, Alex Claudio, Justin Germano, and Ryan Feierabend.
Here’s to hoping the only number we need in 2015 is #1.