Don’t let the 15-16 record fool you…the Rangers had an extremely successful spring training. Aside from the injuries that have hampered some players’ development, essentially everybody benefited from the cactus league in some way or another. A few things stood out from the crowd in the hustle and bustle of spring though.
1. Delino DeShields
DeShields proved once again that he is not to be ignored and simply stowed away at AAA Round Rock. With a league-leading 12 steals and a .316 batting average, it’s hard not to make a case for him to be on the opening day roster. Given the current outfield situation, it shouldn’t be unlikely for him to see time in the lineup, or even as a pinch runner. Still, it’s hard to deny him major-league status given his raw speed and his ability to get on base.
2. The rotation is set
With A.J. Griffin all but locking up the fourth spot, the rotation looks to be in good shape, with Griffin following Perez, Hamels, and Darvish. The Rangers will likely start the season with only 4 starters, since they won’t need a fifth one until April 15th. At that point, the Rangers are hopeful that Andrew Cashner would be ready to make his Rangers debut. Should plans fall through, Mike Hauschild is going to start the season as a reliever in the bullpen, so they have some options from there.
3. The Rangers proved they have depth
With a lineup that consists of Odor, Lucroy, Gomez, Beltre, and Napoli, there isn’t much to worry about in the offensive category. However, the Rangers showed that they have people to fill holes where need be in case of injury. The pitching category dosen’t look too bad either. When Tyson Ross recovers from surgery, the Rangers will actually have six starters, meaning they will have an abundance. That’s something Ranger fans haven’t heard in a while. It’s reassuring to know that young guys are stepping up, and both the big league club and Round Rock look as stacked as ever.
Things are shaping up to be a wonderful opening week and we are just five measly days away from opening night. The wait is almost over, and next week, it will once again be time for Rangers baseball.
– Christopher Silvey