The Texas Rangers had been on a nice little run over this past week, winning four consecutive games prior to last night’s contest against the Rays. The Rangers had scored 21 runs over the last three games in the winning streak, a welcome sight for an offense that had struggled mightily for most of the season. It could be that the Rangers are finally turning that long awaited corner.
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Now, just as the offense is starting to kick into gear, reinforcements may be arriving soon. Josh Hamilton and Mitch Moreland are set to begin their rehab assignments, with Moreland beginning his later on today and Hamilton starting his on Sunday. That offense, which just a week ago, looked as though it was in need of a spark, could be getting two important bats back soon.
Moreland is not just one of the better hitters for the Rangers this season, but is also a defensive upgrade over Prince Fielder. Prior to being sidelined due to elbow surgery, Moreland was one of the two players on the Rangers with an OPS+ over 100. Putting his bat back in the lineup can only help the offense continue to surge forward.
Hamilton, meanwhile, is the ultimate lottery ticket. No one can say for any certainty as to what the Rangers can expect from Hamilton, who looked completely lost in Los Angeles. Can he get back to being the player he once was? Will his return to Texas turn him back into that offensive juggernaut who was routinely punishing baseballs?
If both Hamilton and Moreland can get back to being the players they had been, then the Texas Rangers offense may find itself in a good spot. There are already plenty of positive signs that the offense is getting on track – in the past seven days, the Rangers have scored 41 runs, the fifth most in baseball while producing a .257/.329/.449 batting line.
It appears as though the Rangers are starting to turn a corner, as they have won four of their last five games. Perhaps the returns of both Mitch Moreland and Josh Hamilton will be that boost they need to get over the hump.