First of all, I would like to apologize for the lack of posts that have been going up. For those of you who follow me on social media, you know that personal conflicts have taken some time away from writing (If you don’t, my new Twitter is @ChrisSilveyMLB). I apologize for that and assure you that there are more frequent articles ahead.
To be straight-forward, the Rangers are not performing at the level we anticipated going into the season. As of today (May 10th) the Rangers are 14-20, and dead last at 8.5 games behind the division leading Houston Astros. So what happened? There are a few factors that have led to the Rangers rough start-
To start on the offensive side, the Rangers have struck out as a team at least 10 times in 15 of their first 34 games. Yikes. Strikeouts are a fundamental part of why the offense has somewhat struggled to produce wins through the start of the year. Even the hotter hitters in the lineup, such as Joey Gallo, have tangled with K’s, leading to a pedestrian .217 batting average as a team (Second worst in the league). The setbacks in Adrian Beltre’s injury have not helped the team either.
Although the strikeouts are a big problem, pitching has been the biggest concern, specifically the bullpen. They have blown 9 saves already this season through 34 games, while only converting 3. Yes, you read that correctly- the Rangers have blown three times as many saves as they have converted this year. That number is a league-worst, and it’s a big part of the woes that have led to their last-place record. “I’ve gotten my *** handed to me pretty much every time I have been out there”, Said former closer Sam Dyson. “I just need to attack hitters and make better pitches, and do whatever I can to block it out”. Dyson was removed as the closer after blowing 3 save opportunities to start the season.
The Rangers have a team 3.94 ERA and are hoping to improve their bullpen moving forward. With injuries to Cole Hamels, Tyson Ross, and Jake Diekman, the current pitching staff will have to hold down the fort long enough to allow reinforcements to come in for the latter half of the season. Easier said than done, of course.
The first month hasn’t produced all bad news though. Joey Gallo mashed his way to 11 home runs, good for second in the American League. The Rangers have also looked good on the bases, swiping a league-leading 25 bags this season. However, if the Rangers cannot figure out their pitching struggles, they will have a hard time catching the Astros as they take their shot at the division title.
Chris is a full-time student and soldier in the United States Army. He has been writing about Rangers baseball since 2014, but is a life-long fan. Follow Chris on twitter @ChrisSilveyMLB to stay updated on posts and Rangers news. You can view advertising opportunities and help Chris by donating to his patreon page- http://Patreon.com/ChrisSilvey