The good, the bad and the ugly from the Rangers 1st half

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ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 04: Yu Darvish (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 04: Yu Darvish (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images) /
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ARLINGTON, TX – JULY 7: Cole Hamels
ARLINGTON, TX – JULY 7: Cole Hamels /

The Ugly

The Jonathan Lucroy trade

The Rangers have made some questionable trades over the past several seasons. Trading a future Cy Young finalist to the Cubs for Ryan Dempster? Check. Dealing Chris Davis to the Orioles for Koji Uehara? Yeah. Or what about trading one of the game’s elite second baseman for now retired Prince Fielder?

Unfortunately, the Jonathan Lucroy deal appears to be fast approaching the same level as the rest of these monstrosities.

A season ago an argument was to be made that Lucroy was the best catcher in all of baseball. His offensive rating was nearly five whole points higher than the second-place Buster Posey. All while providing good defense.

It’s as if Lucroy woke up on Opening Day and completely forgot how to play baseball.

He’s in danger of setting career lows in home runs, batting average, wRC+, and WAR. His offensive rating is currently 24 points lower than it was a season ago.

It’s not just his offense that’s taken a nose dive. Baseball Prospectus had Lucroy as the seventh best defensive catcher last season. This year he’s ranked dead last.

Something is wrong with Jonathan Lucroy. Meanwhile, Lewis Brinson has torched Triple-A pitching this season, fast tracking his path to the majors.

With Lucroy set to be a free agent at the end of the season, I’m willing to bet my life the Rangers don’t get half the return the Brewers got for him just a year ago.

Sam Dyson and the bullpen

Part of me feels it’s time to stop beating a dead horse. Another part of me believes it’s impossible to overstate just how bad Sam Dyson was this season. And yet another part of me feels that ‘Sam Dyson and the bullpen’ sounds like a heartland band from the 70’s.

It’s not even an exaggeration to suggest that Dyson was on his way to one of the worst seasons of all time. He had a -2.61 win probability added just a couple of weeks into the season, already good for the 42nd worst of all time.

Of course, the Rangers and Dyson would go on to part ways, and the bullpen would go on to dominate. Except it didn’t.

The team continues to house the bullpen with the sixth highest ERA and the most blown saves. The teams’ inability to find consistency at the back-end of the bullpen continues.

With the three most expensive relief contracts of all time all coming within the past season, it’s hard to imagine the Rangers breaking the bank anytime soon for relief help.

Of course, Sam Dyson is doing great in San Fransisco

If you didn’t see this one coming, I suggest you watch more Rangers baseball. A struggling player gets let go just to find success elsewhere.

Since joining the Giants, Dyson has a 2.92 ERA in 12.1 innings converting all three of his save attempts.

He’s struck out 12 batters, five more than his time with the Rangers in four fewer innings. He also has given up 1/5th of the earned runs.

Mike Napoli’s awful, Mitch Moreland is good

I couldn’t help but scratch my head when I saw the Rangers gave Mike Napoli $6 million more than the Red Sox gave Mitch Moreland.

Sure, who cares about defense at first base? But the decision to spend more money on one of the worst defenders in baseball in exchange for a minor upgrade at the plate seemed questionable at best.

Well, that would be if it was an upgrade at the plate, which it hasn’t been. Moreland has set himself up to set a career high in WAR while well on his way to another Gold Glove.

Meanwhile, Mike Napoli is the only qualified player in baseball with a negative WAR.

Hindsight is 20/20 though. I’ll admit, I bought into the ‘Party at Napoli’s’ hype.

Cole Hamels mustache

Cole Hamels has battled injury this season, but when he’s on the field he’s been good. The problem isn’t his play. It’s that god-awful mustache.

Hamels’ headed into the season sporting a beard that would make Brian Wilson jealous. He opted to ditch the beard upon returning from the disabled list in favor of a Borat-style mustache.

Perhaps I’m bitter because of my jealousy towards Hamels’ ability to grow a beard. After all, as a man who grows a patchy beard at best, who am I to judge?

But let’s not forget the last time the Rangers had a left-handed starter who sported a creepy mustache. Yikes.

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