Yes, the Texas Rangers are 20-13 and are sitting in first place in the American League West. Is that really shocking? Not for me as I had predicted they would win their division this year. But what’s surprising is how they’re doing it especially with a patchwork pitching staff. But that’s not where all of the Texas’ difficulties lie. I’d like to point out a few players.
Murphy is currently hitting .183/.234/.298 on the season and I believe he should come back around to being the career .280 hitter that he is. I haven’t quite figured out what his problem is whether mental or physical. A lot of people believe he’s having problems facing lefty pitchers. So far this season his problem is against right-handed guys. He’s hitting .243 against southpaws and .149 against righties so far.
Great offseason acquisition. The only problem now is his difficulties with his right oblique muscle. He missed games last week and hasn’t played a game this week since talking himself back into the lineup on Sunday and proceeding to look uncomfortable at the plate. He’s hoping to avoid a stint on the disabled list but it might be what’s best for him. It would also give the team a chance to see how minor league catcher Robinson Chrinos does in the bigs and it wouldn’t require many moves as Chrinos is on the 40-man roster.
This one stings a bit. Texas refused to part with Olt in the offseason. He proceeded to struggle in spring training and had a horrible start to the beginning of this season before going on the disabled list with vision problems. If things don’t work out this could become one of the biggest missed opportunities in franchise history. By that I am talking of trading him.
Derek Lowe and Michael Kirkman
There isn’t a bigger beating than seeing these guys get called into a game. Now if Texas is up by seven or more runs then I’m okay with it. The saving grace here is that they’ll lose their jobs in the pen once Joakim Soria and Neftali Feliz return. The downside? Kirkman could have been great and is out of options meaning he would likely be designated for assignment.
Several fans held their breath last night when Profar was pulled from a minor league game after injuring his hand. Well he’s okay and not going to the disabled list. He’s struggling right now (hitting .216/.322/.275) and I am still of the belief that he should be traded before Ian Kinsler or Elvis Andrus if Texas wants something big in return. I know that some fans, okay a lot of fans, really want to see him playing beside Andrus with the Rangers. They talk of how great that infield would be. But would it? Profar is currently ranked as the fourth best defensive shortstop in the organization behind Andrus, Leury Garcia and Luis Sardinas. Looking at scouting reports could leave some to believe that Sardinas may actually have a better future ahead of him than Profar.
Something mechanical went wrong and Buckel is struggling in finding the plate this season. It’s become so bad that he was moved to the bullpen and, when that didn’t work, he was sent to extended spring training. Hopefully he works things out or he’ll be one of the biggest busts ever.
Until next time, I’ll see you in the cheap seats!
James Holland is a lifelong fan of baseball and his hometown Texas Rangers. He also has a blog at clawandantlernation.com and is a senior columnist for shutdowninning.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @SDIJamesHolland.