The heart of the Rangers offense, Mr. Adrian Beltre. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
I have good news and bad news for you, Texas Rangers fans. The good: We are just a few weeks from Spring Training and just 68 days from Opening Day. The bad: Opening Day has yet to be deemed a national holiday. We’ll keep working on it. Anybody know a senator?
With so little time left in the off-season (woo-hoo!), let’s look at some of the moves our Texas Rangers have made so far:
- We acquired Yovani Gallardo from Milwaukee.
- Robbie Ross was sent to Boston yesterday.
- Neal Cotts was not signed. (a non-move that is probably just as good as an addition)
Oh yeah…we also got a new skipper!
I like 2 of these 3 moves for sure. The Robbie Ross trade seems like a wash at this point, so I’ll hold on before deciding if I like that one or not. What is interesting though is that our big moves have all involved the pitching staff, whether it’s the rotation or the bullpen.
I’m sure no one objects to strengthening a rotation that was only 3/5 complete, prior to the Gallardo trade. (Not to mention that one of those three guys is about to turn 36 years old.) Post-Gallardo, I’m feeling pretty good about Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Yovani Gallardo, Colby Lewis, and Martin Perez (after the All-Star Break – also not a holiday yet – also still working on it). I’m sure the two Nicks will get worked in somehow as needed.
You know what I’m NOT sure about? Our offense.
While last year was an injury disaster of epic proportions, and definitely an anomaly/unrepresentative of what the Rangers offense can truly do, I’m still nervous. Nervous because we ranked 17th in run production in 2014. 17th!
Buster Olney thinks we have the 7th best lineup in the league going into Spring Training. I like hearing that even though I’m not sure I believe it.
I think we have the bats for a big explosion in Fielder and Beltre. But do we have the fire starters?
I almost typed the “Wash Ball” just now…guess I better rename that one. But you know what I’m getting at. Can we get our 1,2 – 7,8,9 guys on base often enough and get them wreaking havoc on the bases often enough to make the pecks into big bangs? (A little Mark Holtz reference for you old timers out there.)
Is Leonys ready to hit consistently at this level? Will spelling Prince at first make Moreland more consistent at the plate? Will Joey Gallo make an appearance in Arlington this season?
You know what else is a little unnerving? Figuring this all out under a guy that’s never been a Big League manager before. Then again, it was scary when the last first-time manager came in here and I’d say that turned out pretty well.
We’ll figure this all out soon enough. We’ll probably also talk about it incessantly for the next 68 days.
It’s almost time, Rangers fan. Almost. Time.