The Texas Rangers were finally brought back down to earth this week by former World Series Champions, the Atlanta Braves. Honestly, this is a good thing because it shows the Rangers, they still have a bit to go before they are World Series contenders. Hopefully, Rangers General Manager Chris Young was watching that series to see what we need to acquire at the Trade Deadline this season.
Upcoming Road Trip
The Rangers are going to be gone for a little bit after the Colorado Rockies home series. They won't return home until the Rangers take on the Seattle Mariners on June 2nd. The Rangers will first travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates who have been a surprise team this season. They will then travel to Baltimore to take on the Orioles. They will then finish the road trip off in the city of Detroit taking on the Tigers. This will be a test for the Rangers as they will be on the road for a bit. Hopefully, the Rangers have a successful road trip and create some space from the surging second-place Houston Astros. Let's take a look at which Rangers are hot right now and which ones aren't.
Texas Rangers Weekly Report - Who's Hot
Rangers' fans should not even be remotely surprised that he is on the Who's Hot list again. He crushed a grand slam to dead center against the Oakland Athletics to cap off the West Coast road trip. The fact we were able to get him for cash considerations from the St. Louis Cardinals is just straight highway robbery. I'm sure that the Cardinals are kicking themselves for not asking more for him in return.
Nathan Eovaldi has done some remarkable pitching in the last couple of starts, especially against the Oakland Athletics. Against the Athletics, Eovaldi pitched 8.2 innings allowing only 3 hits, and struck out 12. Eovaldi pitched 28 2/3 shutout innings which was the longest streak in MLB this season. Unfortunately, it was ruined by the Atlanta Braves when the Rangers returned home from California. He could end up being a better pickup than Jacob DeGrom for the Rangers if he continues to pitch like this for the remainder of the season.
I couldn't forget to add one of our minor league pitchers who pitched one of the best games of his career. Leiter lit up the field in Frisco the other night striking out 10 batters, allowing only four hits, and giving up three runs which happened at the end of his night. This is the Leiter that the Rangers have been waiting to see. I don't know what he's done differently after the first two games of the season but it seems to have worked as he is all of a sudden a dominant pitcher. All I have to say is keep it up, Mr. Leiter.
Texas Rangers Weekly Report - Who's Not Hot
I'm sure that's now how he wanted his first career start in the majors to go. Cody Bradford was called up when the Rangers returned home to take on the Braves. Bradford allowed seven hits and had 6 earned runs against the Braves before Bruce Bochy pulled him. In all honesty, it felt like the Rangers threw Bradford to the wolves in order for the starting rotation to get some extra rest after that West Coast road trip. The Braves are known for feasting off left-handed pitchers. I know Bradford will be back up and have a better outing.
Josh Jung has had a decrease in production on the back end of the West Coast road trip. In the past week, Jung has only nine hits and seven strikeouts. Hopefully, that AL Rookie of the Month award didn't get to his head last month. He is a pro and I'm sure he will get another hitting streak going again soon. Sometimes the best hitters will hit a slump and it seems like Jung is in the middle of one as we speak.
Unfortunately for the other Vanderbilt pitcher the Rangers have, his season is over. It was announced this week that Kumar Rocker would be getting Tommy John surgery on his elbow which will end his season. He was doing so well and getting close to being promoted to Frisco to join his former teammate, Leiter. Hopefully, the Rangers take it easy with him and make sure he's 100 percent before bringing him back.