The final week of a strange 2020 MLB season is set to get underway and the Texas Rangers get one final chance to build for next year.
The Texas Rangers began the week with a Monday afternoon game against the Los Angeles Angeles. Texas led early but ended up losing 8-5. They won just one game of the four-game series yet still won the season series six games to four. Texas fell to 19-35 on the season with an abysmal 6-22 road record.
The Rangers will travel to Arizona to take on the Diamondbacks in a two-game series before returning home for the last four games of the season against the Houston Astros.
While this season didn’t turn out quite how the team had expected there is no need to dwell on the failures. Instead the team must focus on the bright spots, especially the emergence of the young talent on this team.
Manager Chris Woodward has already stated that Leody Taveras will be his starting center fielder next season. Joey Gallo and Nick Solack will likely fill in the corner spots with Willie Calhoun competing. I fully expect Eli White to start 2021 in the minors.
Ronald Guzman’s turnaround and Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s defense have all but assured them of starting jobs at first and third respectively. Elvis Andrus will be back (not a pun due to his injury) and we all know how committed the organization is to Rougned Odor so look for Anderson Tejeda and Sherten Apostel to also start in the minors though they will surely compete for a bench role next spring.
This is Jeff Mathis’ last season under contract with Texas. Will the Rangers re-sign him or are they confident enough to go ahead with the tandem of Jose Trevino/Sam Huff? Logic here says they will either bring back Mathis or find a cheap option in free agency or via an off-season trade. The reason being is Sam Huff’s accruement of playing time and teams love to be able to have the extra year of club control when it comes to their top prospects.
General Manager Jon Daniels has already stated that Texas will be working with a lower payroll next season so don’t expect a flurry of activity during the hot stove season. The rebuild will continue next season as the youth movement carries on.