Texas Rangers farmhand Kyle Blanks was just named PCL Player of the Week on Monday, and late Tuesday the Rangers purchased his contract from Triple-A Round Rock to come join the big league club in Arlington. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, for this move to happen, Texas will be without Mitch Moreland for the next three or so weeks as he is set to have a minor surgical procedure to remove bone chips from his elbow, according to Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News.
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Thus far the Ranger offense has been Prince Fielder and Moreland (when healthy), but now Fielder will be forced to go solo. Moreland is batting .304 with one home run and nine rbi this season, and is second on the team in all three of those categories. With Moreland out for the next couple of weeks, Kyle Blanks looks to be a boost to a slumping Ranger offense, who have managed just ten runs in their past five games, one of which included a five run outburst against the Angels, their only win in that span.
Blanks was batting .327 with Round Rock to go along with his .419 on-base percentage, three home runs and eleven rbi. In the week that earned him Player of the Week honors, Blanks went 14-for-30 (.467) with three home runs and seven rbi. Needless to say, most of his production this season came in the past week, so this could be the best time to get him a look in Texas.
Last season with Oakland, Blanks was off to a solid start, batting .333 with two homers and eleven rbi in 45 plate appearances before a calf injury derailed his season. The 28-year old 6’6″ righty is a career .234 hitter with 30 homers and 105 rbi on his big league resume.
Four of the next five games for Texas come against pitchers within the division that have sub 2.00 ERAs in Seattle’s Felix Hernandez (1.61), Oakland’s Scott Kazmir (0.99) and Sonny Gray (1.98) and finally Houston’s bearded southpaw Dallas Keuchel (0.62). In between Kazmir and Gray’s starts will be lefty Drew Pomeranz, who has shown to be a little hit-or-miss early in his career. Of course, that’s the game that Nick Martinez will start, which may be a bit of a blessing, giving the Rangers an edge in at least one pitching matchup.
With the tough starters on the mound, it may be enough to cool the surging Blanks in the coming days. If there is a ray of hope, it’s that he tends to hit lefty pitching a bit better throughout his career with a .244 average compared to a .229 average against righties. Three of the next five games will be against southpaws, so look for Blanks to get some opportunities in the coming days.