The 2014 Hot Stove season has begun and the Texas Rangers are busy at work trying to fill the holes on the roster. Currently the roster sits at 40 after they reactivated 9 players from the 60 day disabled list.
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The most notable players they activated was Yu Darvish and Prince Fielder. Both should be ready spring training and are two key players the Rangers will need next season. Darvish’s stint on the 60-day disabled list was more precautionary than anything and he’ll more than likely being to rehab sometime this month.
Fielder had neck surgery during the 2014 season and only played 42 games this season. Which comes a huge surprise considering his only missed 13 games during the previous 8 seasons. It’s hard to say how the Rangers would have done last season if Prince Fielder would have been 100% all season since the injury bug seemed to bit everyone, but it’s important for him to arrive to spring training healthy and ready to go.
The Texas Rangers made a huge bet on him producing and being a power hitter in the lineup. Last season it was very evident that they missed him in the lineup and Adrian Beltre had no one to protect him.
The Rangers also activated Martin Perez, but he won’t likely be back until mid-season. He started off the 2014 season with a bang going back-to-back complete games only allowing 3 hits. He still appears to be the Rangers number 3 starter once he comes back.
Also, Tanner Scheppers, Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando were reactivated. Harrison says he’s doing all he can to return and to give it his best shot to return, but that seems very doubtful. The Rangers shouldn’t count on Harrison to every pitch again. Ogando and Scheppers are also two big question marks. Both have suffered injuries over the last few seasons and it makes you wonder if it is because of the transition to a starting pitcher role. Both in their prime were very good, maybe if they are sent back to the bullpen they can find some a little bit of what they used to have.
Mitch Moreland, Jurickson Profar and Shin-Soo Choo were also reactivated from the 60-day disabled list. It seemed like during the 2014 season the Rangers tried their best to find places for Moreland. They tried him in the outfield, DH and he could have played some at first-base. At the plate he didn’t deliver often enough and sadly he was one of the Texas Rangers to be bitten by the injury bug. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Rangers part ways with Moreland.
Jurickson Profar missed the entire 2014 season, which allowed Rougned Odor to prove himself at the big league level. It seems now that Profar will be the one proving himself during spring training to win a spot on the roster. If things go Odor’s way, Profar could be starting the season off in the minors.
Lastly, Mr. On-base Shin-Soo Choo was more like twist an ankle on a base this season. Choo, like many other of the Rangers got injured, but he tried to battle through it. It seemed like his foot issues lingered on for the entire season, which caused issues in the outfield and at the plate. Choo should rebound next season, but it makes you wonder if they shouldn’t put him in right-field or DH.
Luckily most of the 9 players on the 60-day disabled list will be ready for spring training. Hopefully in 2015 the injury bug will not be an issue again.