The Texas Rangers have played five games in the 2022 MLB regular season. They’ve lost four of them, which is bad, but they’ve had some fun moments, which is good, but they could’ve (and maybe should’ve) won all five of those games, and that’s pretty ugly.
So let’s talk about it!
Let’s take a look at what’s worked and what needs fixing after five games – a very rational amount of time to judge a baseball team into a season, he said, sarcastically. Why ISN’T the bullpen able to keep us in games? Why and how specifically is Marcus Semien struggling? I want to take a look at these questions and see what we can find out about the team early on.
I’m going to do my best to try and do one of these G/B/U posts once every five games or so, or maybe once every two series or something. Something to just keep fans up to date with the team who may not be able to watch every game like myself.
Texas Rangers: The Good – Plate Discipline
I could literally talk about this for hours, so I’m going to try to keep it as short and sweet as I possibly can. The Rangers’ plate discipline so far this year has been elite. Not just good, not just great. Elite.
Let’s do some comparisons with MLB rankings. In 2021, the Texas Rangers drew only 433 walks (29th). They currently sit at 8th (3rd in AL) with 18. In 2021, the Texas Rangers finished dead last in baseball with a .294 on-base percentage. They currently sit at 8th (3rd in AL) at .340. There is tangible improvement in patience in the batters box, and that is something the Rangers desperately need if they want to win ballgames in 2022.
Mitch Garver has spearheaded this offensive turnaround, as he sits at third in the A.L. with 5.10 pitches seen per at bat. Players like Adolis Garcia, who have a tendency to strike out a lot, are matching – and even surpassing – their walk to strikeout ratios. The Rangers are striking out significantly less than most teams in the league, at least early on. The problem isn’t that they’re getting on base, it’s that they’re doing it, and then not doing much with the baserunners, and we’ll get to that in the next slide.
The Rangers have been competitive in all five of their games so far. They’ll get blown out at some point, and they might even return the favor on a club at some point. But for 37 innings, the Rangers have had a chance to stay in the ballgame in every single one of them. Did they blow a 7-0 lead on Opening Day? Did they trail 6-1 in game 3? Of course they did, but that didn’t stop those games from being entertaining.
This year is going to be full of frustrating losses. I hate to say it, but there’s more on the way. There will be a handful of games this year that the Rangers lose in mind-numbingly infuriating fashion. The roster isn’t perfect, the prospects are still grinding, and there’s plenty of work to be done ahead to get this team back to championship contention, but this team will not lose 102 games, and they certainly won’t do it without a fight.