Changes need to be made to the Texas Rangers batting order. The current structure is much too top-heavy and there are way too many strikeouts clustered toward the bottom.
The Texas Rangers pulled out an improbable victory last night. Literally, they had lost the game for about three minutes prior to a call being overturned. It was a serious grind to a 3-2 win after 10 innings of play. The grind portrayed by one hit through eight innings of play and a 20-inning scoreless streak snapped in the 7th inning.
It has been tough for the Rangers’ offense to get into any sort of rhythm as of late. Reason being, the bottom of the batting order just isn’t getting it done. In last night’s game, the 5-9 hitters combined to go 2-for-17 with 10 strikeouts. Their 5-7 hitters were Joey Gallo, Rougned Odor and Robinson Chirinos. The trio has combined for 187 strikeouts in 136 games played this season and the highest batting average among them is .217. This prompts the question…why would these three players bat consecutively in a lineup?
Delino DeShields hit 9th in last night’s game. He contributed an 0-for-4 performance. The speedster is now hitting .135 with a .245 OBP over his last 25 games. Needless to say, he isn’t quite holding his weight as a starting big league center fielder. In fact, DeShields is two empty at-bats away from a batting average below his actual listed body weight. If he continues on his current pace, he could very well be out of a starting job in the not too distant future.
The Texas Rangers need to make changes to the bottom half of the batting order. The order needs to be adjusted and one or two guys need to be removed from the order altogether. Elvis Andrus‘ near return will require change; however, what can be done until then?
Dare I suggest promoting Rougned Odor to the second spot in the lineup? Odor has been hitting well of late. His slash line over the last six games is .300/.333/.400. His BAbip (Batting Average on balls in play) is a highly impressive .462 over that span. This proves he has been making very solid contact.
More from Texas Rangers News
- Early 2023 MLB mock draft has Texas Rangers selecting an Ohtani-lite
- 3 Texas Rangers outfield trade targets not named Bryan Reynolds
- Did Jacob deGrom really mean what he said at his Texas Rangers press conference?
- Martin Perez accepting the qualifying offer looking like solid deal for the Rangers
- 4 outfielders the Texas Rangers can still pursue this winter
Maybe, just maybe Rougned Odor is starting to pull it together. Batting him in front of Nomar Mazara and Adrian Beltre could give him better pitches to hit. It would also give Odor a chance to prove himself once again as a top of the order hitter.
Moving Odor to the second place in the lineup would allow Profar to hit fifth. Profar has been outstanding in RBI situations; therefore, he fits the bill of a fifth place hitter. The Texas Rangers could also try hitting Ronald Guzman fifth and Profar sixth. Gallo could hit seventh, Chirinos eighth and DeShields ninth.
There are so many ways to play it, especially given the crazy amount of lineup variations Jeff Banister tosses out there from game to game. Ultimately, the idea is to spread out the lineup. Mix contact hitters with power hitters. Specifically, separate the high strikeout hitters. You are asking for trouble with a lineup that has five consecutive hitters that could strikeout 180+ times in 2018.
Players that deserve to hit high in the order might have to hit towards the bottom. The Texas Rangers are that desperate for balance. As recent lineups have been constructed, there is very little run creation from 5-9 in the order. That is a serious issue.
Adjustments need to be made, plain and simple. The offense has talent and potential, but the talent must be used properly in order to tap into the potential.