After another week in the books, the Rangers can finally take a break after a 10 game road trip. Losing 9 of the last 12 games makes the All Star break a little more welcome, and one pitcher couldn’t get to an extended break fast enough. I have a couple of notes for you this week, so let’s check it out.
As Shin Soo-Choo has been on his first half tear, he extended his on base streak to 51 games by hitting his 18th HR Sunday vs the Orioles. Only 50 players since 1908 have reached the milestone, which include the likes of Ty Cobb and Joe DiMaggio. With a batting avg over .290, 18 HR and 43 RBI on the season, has the first time All Star become a valuable trade piece? His hitting is no doubt an asset for contenders, but is his injury history an issue for teams willing to spend prospects on an aging DH? Teams like the Indians or Phillies could agree to some sort of deal where the Rangers will pay most of Choo’s contract and give up a minimum prospect to acquire the veteran hitter, and it would benefit the home team tremendously by unloading an ugly contract. But until then, enjoy watching Choo represent the Texas Rangers in the All Star game. “CHOOOOOOO”
Cole Hamels on the other hand, has been the opposite of good, which is, well, bad. Over his last 4 starts, he has given up 18 runs in 17 innings, raising his ERA on the season to 4.36. He improved to 5-8 vs the Orioles on Saturday, throwing at least 6 innings for the first time since June 19. In that span, he has less strikeouts than earned runs with 17. His value on the trade market is hurting at the moment, but he may have 1 or 2 more starts before the trade deadline to change his fortune. It’s not a secret that he wants to be traded to a contender, but with the deadline creeping up, his time may be running out to make a case for himself.
- Joey Gallo continues to struggle at the plate, taking his lowly .187 batting average into the All Star Break along with his 131 strikeouts. Expect him to struggle in the box through the rest of the year.
- Jurikson Profar is hitting .243 with 9 HR and 46 RBI on the season. He’ll continue to get playing time after the All Star Break, but with 17 errors this year, will his defensive shortcomings become an issue in the 2nd half?
- Keona Kela converted yet another save, pushing his total and perfect record to 23 of 23 save opportunities. He sports a 3.27 ERA with 40 strikeouts in just 33 innings.