If there was ever a time for the All-Star break for the Rangers, it's now. After splitting a series with the struggling Detroit Tigers, the Rangers only won one game against the Houston Astros. It looked like the Rangers were about to split the series with the Astros, who blew a 10-2 lead, but relief pitching gave the game back. Instead of having a five-game lead in the division, the lead is now down to three games. With the All-Star game right around the corner, the Rangers desperately need a break to reset and get back on track.
Texas Rangers trade for Aroldis Chapman
After another disappointing bullpen collapse against the Tigers last week, Rangers GM Chris Young had to make a trade to improve the bullpen. He did that when he traded for Kansas City relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman before the Houston Astros series. The Rangers sent pitcher Cole Ragans and minor league outfielder Roni Cabrera to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Chapman. He did not disappoint as he was throwing some gas on Sunday afternoon. He should help out the bullpen as a mentor to the young pitchers and close out games for the Rangers.
Heading out to the West Coast
The Texas Rangers are sending quite a party out to Seattle for the annual mid-summer classic coming up on July 11th. Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, Nathan Eovaldi, Jonah Heim, Adolis Garcia, and Josh Jung will be representing the Rangers at the All-Star game. The Rangers have never sent six players to the All-Star game in franchise history until this year. Four of them (Semien, Seager, Heim, Jung) will be starting for the American League. If you haven't watched the MLB All-Star game before, I would watch it this season.
The Rangers really don't get a break until the All-Star festivities coming up next week. They have a three-game series starting Tuesday against the Boston Red Sox on the road followed by another three-game series against the Washington Nationals after that. That's a lot of baseball for the Rangers to handle. Hopefully, the Rangers focus on the task at hand instead of dreaming of the break they have coming up. The Houston Astros are closing in on the Ranger's lead for first place in the AL West, and every win counts.
Texas Rangers Weekly Report: Who's Hot
I know this isn't one of the main players on the Rangers roster but what he's doing in the Arizona Complex League is just insane. The 17-year-old Walcott is hitting .412 with a 1.471 OPS through his first four games. He recently sent a ball over the wall with an exit velocity of 107 mph. I think he will be the heir to Corey Seager's position on the Rangers when he's fully developed.
The Rangers General Manager deserves to be on the Who's Hot list for the trade he pulled off for Aroldis Chapman last week. I thought we were going to have to give up a huge name in order to get a guy like Chapman in the bullpen. However, the Kansas City Royals took Ragans and Cabrera. That's textbook fleecing right there. I still think he will make one huge move before the deadline. Stay tuned to Nolan Writin for all your trade deadline news later this month.
Travis Jankowski had a really good game on Monday where his five RBIs helped the Rangers get back into the game against the Astros. His first home run of the year really came at a good time in the bottom of the fourth which sparked the rally. Just imagine if the Rangers really did let him go at spring training. They told him he was cut at spring training this year and the next day they told him to stay. He has really helped out the Rangers this season playing in the outfield and with his bat.
Texas Rangers Weekly Report: Who's Not Hot
Duran is getting on base and still hitting home runs but I do have some concerns about the amount of times he has struck out this past week. In the last week, he has struck out 13 times at the plate and that is somewhat concerning. I know he wants to crush the ball over the wall every time he is at the plate but he has to realize that getting on base is better for the team.
This is part of the game that I absolutely hate. As part of the Chapman trade, we must say goodbye to Ragans tenure as a Ranger for now. I remember when the Rangers drafted him back in 2016. Ragans was given all the opportunities to make this Rangers roster and had some flashes of greatness this season. I had a gut feeling when he got healthy again that he would end up on the trading block and I was right. I wish him the best with the Royal organization and hopefully, the Rangers consider bringing him back in the future.
It's pretty simple why he is on the bottom list this week. He only had one job getting three outs to end the game against the Astros and secure the epic comeback victory. However, he did not do that and gave the Astros a one-run lead and they eventually went on to win that game. I think Bochy needs to flip Aroldis Chapman to the closer and have Will Smith set him up from now on.