Whenever the MLB season is able to start, what lineup can we expect from the Texas Rangers? Who gets the start on the mound to open the year?
The start of the MLB season is delayed, something that has been well chronicled by this outlet as well as others. Instead of focusing on the fact that we won’t likely see baseball being played until May, today let’s focus on what product the Texas Rangers might be putting on the field whenever the season is able to start. On Wednesday, we took a look at Willie Calhoun’s recovery from a fractured jaw which could have him ready to go by the time the delayed season starts. Alongside Calhoun though, who else makes it into the Rangers’ “Opening Day” lineup?
- DH Shin-Soo Choo
- SS Elvis Andrus
- RF Joey Gallo
- LF Willie Calhoun
- CF Danny Santana
- 3B Isiah Kiner-Falefa
- 1B Todd Frazier
- C Robinson Chirinos
- 2B Rougned Odor
- LHP Mike Minor
Battles for Spots?
Mike Minor Gets Opening Day Nod
The Texas Rangers are in the fortunate position of having three starting pitchers who could justifiably named the Opening Day starter. Based off league-wide name recognition, Corey Kluber would make sense, however the offseason acquisition has yet to play for Texas and missed much of 2019 due to injury. Lance Lynn more than earned this opportunity as well posting an fWAR that trailed only Gerrit Cole and Jacob DeGrom last season. However, with two strong years in Arlington under his belt and the feel club leader, Mike Minor should get the honor of starting the season on the mound. The lefty was stout again in 2019 and has more than earned a chance to start on Opening Day once again.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa Gets Starting Role
Entering the spring, it seemed logical for Todd Frazier to open the season at third base with either Ronald Guzman or Greg Bird winning the job at first. However, neither Guzman or Bird did much to cement themselves as the main player at first and in the meantime, Isiah Kiner-Falefa erupted at the plate posting the best offensive numbers in the organization during Spring Training. Just prior to Spring Training being ended prematurely, Chris Woodward discussed the need for Guzman or Bird to step up but there really wasn’t a chance. That gives IKF the chance to start the season at third with Texas opting for the best offensive lineup they can produce to open the season.
Nick Solak Misses Out
With Willie Calhoun planning no returning to action prior to the start of the season, the easy fit for Nick Solak in the lineup is gone. He entered the offseason as a dark horse in the battle for center field with Danny Santana but Chris Woodward poured cold water on that race early on this spring noting the plan to proceed with Santana in center for the foreseeable future. Texas will make a concerted effort to get Solak plenty of at-bats but for now, there isn’t a logical way to get him in the Opening Day Lineup.