Back Off, Baseball Gods
Really, baseball gods? Seriously? What did we do to you? Is this a curse from Nolan Ryan or perhaps leftover bad karma from Tom Hicks? Is Globe Life Park built on ancient Indian burial grounds?
Whatever the case may be, we have one word for you.
No more injuries, please. We’re not sure how much more we can take. Then again, maybe Clark Griswold said it best, “Do you really think it matters, Eddie?”
No, it probably doesn’t matter any more at this point. At this rate, we’ll be plucking fans out of the stands as possible starters.
Martin Perez, our most promising young pitching prospect goes under the knife this morning with Tommy John surgery as just the latest in a long list of injuries that are plaguing our Texas Rangers. Matt Harrison – done for the season. Derek Holland – out until at least July with either a dog injury or hockey injury. But, do you think it really matters either? At least Tanner Scheppers is getting closer to returning.
Prince Fielder, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Jim Adduci, Jurickson Profar and Geovany Soto are all currently on the shelf. Meanwhile, the Oakland A’s have won nine of their last 10 in building a 7-game lead over Texas in the AL West (with the Angels and Mariners between them).
Yes, the common feeling among even the most optimistic of Rangers fans is that this season is slipping away, if not already gone. Somewhere Ian Kinsler is laughing, as the Tigers went into Boston this past weekend and swept the Red Sox, giving them the best record in baseball at 27-12. Relax, Ian. You still live in Detroit.
So do we simply give up? Do we focus our attention on dollar hot dog night or fireworks on Fridays? I’d like to think not. Here’s a couple of things to focus on while the Rangers look to right the ship:
Time for Beltre, Fielder & Andrus to Show Up
The Rangers’ offense has never really gotten it going this season, and while it is a team effort, the primary culprits are Adrian Beltre, Prince Fielder and Elvis Andrus. Beltre went as far as blaming himself for the team’s struggles on offense this past weekend.
“Collectively, we’re going through a slump,” he said. “It’s not the first time but we have to find a way to get out. (Prince) is a big part of our lineup and we miss him but we have other guys who should be doing better. I need to be hitting better. There’s no excuse there. I’ve got to start doing better and I think the struggle the team is going through is mainly because of me.”
The good news – Fielder is expected back on Tuesday when the Rangers welcome the Mariners to town. Andrus has shown baby steps in getting back to the hitter he has always been. If he, Fielder and Beltre can figure some things out, maybe this team can get back to scoring some runs.
Second baseman Roughned Odor has impressed since making his major league debut on May 8. Only 20 years old, he is considered the No. 2-ranked prospect in the Rangers’ system. Odor is fundamentally sound on both offense and defense, and his hitting is advanced for his age. His next steps – adding strength and muscle to his frame to help him deal with the long MLB season (especially in the heat of Texas).
Once Jurickson Profar returns from injury, Odor’s emergence could give Ron Washington a good problem to work with.
Yes, while some may be writing this season off, we’re only 44 baseball games in with 118 left to go. Besides, it’s too early to start projecting basketball or hockey moves for the off-season. Then again, there’s always Wednesday’s column…