This team in Arlington is a fun one. One week they take a series against the division champ Astros, then the next week they get completely dominated in a sweep. One week Joey Gallo looks like an MVP candidate, the next he looks like a AAA player who is struggling to hit the ball.
The Rangers are in a situation where they are trying to figure out whether to fight for a playoff spot or figure out a way to build for the future. These are 5 moves that we at Dallas Sports Nation want to happen for the Texas Rangers.
1. Bench Rougned Odor
Odor has been terrible, flat out. There’s no other way to put it. His batting average is .167 with 5 HR and 42 strikeouts this season in 28 games played. He’s signed for the next few seasons, and his salary will go up to $9.33 million next season and then $12.33M after that. What he needs is to take a step back and have a couple of games off to collect himself. Last season he hit 12 HR in the 2nd half of the season and hit .266 at the dish.
In Odor’s recent struggles combined with Elvis Andrus being put on the injured list, Willie Calhoun was called up on Wednesday and in return ripped a 2 run home run into right field in his first at-bat. Then he followed up with another HR on Thursday, bringing his totals to 6 for 12 with 2 HR, 5 RBI, and 4 runs scored. He’s on fire and Odor has to be feeling the pressure from Willie. It’s time to ride the hot hand, and Woodward sees it.
2. Call Up Joe Palumbo
The number 5 spot in the rotation have been UGLY. Shelby Miller has not been good, and he doesn’t look like he’s going to figure it out anytime soon. We saw Taylor Hearn get his call, then quickly go onto the injured with shoulder issues. In order to bring him up, someone has to get sent down. We saw Huang get optioned for Jeffrey Springs, but we could see Jurado or Gomez get sent down, or even Kyle Dowdy. All 3 are expendable and have not performed well recently.
Palumbo is one of the more MLB ready pitching prospects in the Ranger’s farm system. He’s averaging 12 K/9 in Frisco so far and is holding a 3.82 ERA. I caught up with John Moore (The Recliner Nerd) from Dallas Sports Nation to tell me about Joe Palumbo’s biggest improvement thus far.
“His fastball spin rate is major league caliber. He doesn’t get rattled when he gives up a run or a hit. He is a bulldog who focuses on his job.” -John Moore
Palumbo would benefit from getting to the majors sooner rather than later, and the Rangers can see him develop into the pitcher that he has the potential to be. He can step in as the 4th or 5th starter in the rotation and can work mid-innings to ween him into the pros on a pitch count in order to protect the young pitcher.
3. Extend Joey Gallo
Gallo, as I mentioned in my previous article, has been the MVP for this team and it hasn’t even been close. He hit his 13th home run if the season against Kansas City and his batting average is now .269…. yes, Joey Gallo who has a career high BA of .209 is hitting .269 right now in his best season as a pro. With back to back seasons with 40 home runs, the time is now to make a decision on Gallo before he reaches arbitration.
His patience at the plate has improved, as he has 32 walks on the year in just 37 games, but is still leading the league in strikeouts with 58. Most teams will take the trade off however if it means a player is free to swing in order to reach 40 HR and 100 RBI, which is real potential at this point. Sign Gallo before anything else, and you’ll have a star for the next 5-10 years.
4. Trade Mike Minor
Now before you destroy me and my budding career, hear this out. The Texas Rangers are in 4th place today. The Texas Rangers haven’t won the division since 2016 just before the rise of Houston. Since then, they have won 78 (2017) and 67 (2018) games. The team isn’t doing terribly bad right now, but they are who they are, an average team that will finish .500 or lower on the season.
Minor has been the leader and ace of this pitching staff, as he’s been excellent with a 4-3 record, 2.61 ERA to go with 56 Ks in 58.2 innings. His last few starts aren’t amazing on paper, but he has been pretty darn good:
Minor is an attractive asset for teams that are competing for a playoff spot. If they decide to trade Minor, it will be for multiple prospects,
5. Sign Dallas Keuchel
The Rangers need to make the move before anyone. It’s time to take a chance on the former CY Young pitcher and World Series champion. His asking price is high, yes, but once June 1st passes and the draft pick attached to Keuchel is no longer in place, teams will be lining up to sign the veteran. In his past 2 seasons, he has a record of 26-16, has an ERA of 3.34, and over 350 innings pitched, showing his ability to be available. He can easily be the 3rd best pitcher in the rotation, and has the potential be the 2nd or even the very best for your team if he returns to his CY Young form.
Jon Daniels has the power to convince ownership to invest the money, but recent contracts that have brought scrutiny and bad luck, referencing Prince Fielder and Shin Soo-Choo. It wouldn’t be the craziest thing for the team to reach out to Keuchel and find some interest in the proven lefty. But that would mean the Rangers are wanting to compete for a championship, but in order to attract talent, you need to have talent. A rotation that consists of Keuchel, Minor and Lynn could definitely peek the interest of future free agent, Gerrit Cole.
The moves they make will show the fan base if which direction the front office is taking this team. Hopefully, this team will compete, but if they fall out of contention, expect moves to be made.
Featured Image: nolanwritin.com