When one thinks of Opening Day, it is a time of hope and fanfare. The previous season, whether for better or for worse, is left behind once and for all, as teams look ahead to the new year before them. Home openers, even if they are not specifically Opening Day, are truly special, since that is the time when the fans get their first real look at the lineup.
For the Texas Rangers, the pageantry of the home opener lasted all of one inning. Following a season where the Rangers were best by injuries and failed to live up to expectations, the injury woes struck once again. Derek Holland lasted one inning, allowing a run on two hits before departing with tightness in the back of his shoulder. An inning later, Shin-Soo Choo was removed due to spasms in his upper back. Then Ryan Rua sprained his ankle running into the corner in the outfield. Add in the Rangers loss, and yesterday was a complete disaster.
Yesterday was a true reminder of how fragile the Rangers hopes are this season. Holland only made six appearances last year recovering from a knee injury suffered at home. Choo struggled last season before missing the final month to have a bone spur removed from his elbow. Yu Darvish is already out for the season. Is there any light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, and is that light not a train coming to flatten those of us on the tracks?
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Fortunately, the injuries to Shin-Soo Choo and Ryan Rua are not expected to be serious. Choo is officially day to day, and while Rua may see a stint on the disabled list depending on how badly his ankle is sprained, it could have been a lot worse. Holland’s shoulder issue is a lot more concerning, as his shoulder tightness was revealed to be a strained shoulder, which could sideline him for six weeks.
As things stood with the Texas Rangers heading into the 2015 season, it was expected that the Rangers would need quite a few breaks to go their way in order to compete. The American League West was expected to be a tough division, and with the Rangers having lost their ace, it was expected that this season could be a struggle. Add in the injury to Holland, and the Rangers have already lost two of what were expected to be their top three starters.
Opening Day, and particularly home openers, are supposed to be a time of celebration and optimism. Instead, yesterday’s home opener became the scene of the Texas Rangers worst nightmares.