Many Ranger fans didn’t expect this team to be a serious World Series contender before the season began, but at the same time, this team has somehow underachieved once again in Ranger fans’ eyes.
From injuries to pitching to hitting and putting up runs, this team has lost 8 of 11 games this season, having Ranger fans across the country asking themselves the question, “Who exactly are these Texas Rangers?”
The answer is simple: The Texas Rangers are an average to the below-average team. Sure, the team finally made some significant moves during the off-season, but it hasn’t been a great start for the team to say the least.
The Good, the Bad, the Hitting
Everyone knew before the season that the Rangers had NO ONE that pitchers feared as a game-changing hitter other than Joey Gallo, and quite frankly up to this point, no one SHOULD be afraid of this lineup. Todd Frazier is leading the team in hits, on-base percentage, and batting average. Shin Soo-Choo and Gallo are tied with 3 home runs apiece, but other than these 3 players, no-hitter strikes fear into an opposing team. As a team, the Rangers are hitting just .194 at the plate, a .283 on-base percentage, and a .339 slugging percentage, which puts them at 28th offensively in the entire MLB.
On the plus side, we are seeing more of the younger players get into the lineup more such as Nick Solak, Anderson Tejeda, and Stott Heineman. Whether it’s due to injury or poor performance by other players, Chris Woodward is not afraid to use them in the lineup as he sees fits.
Anderson Tejeda shined a bit, hitting his first career home run in the 7th inning of his MLB debut.
Chris Woodward spoke about Tejeda after his debut vs the Athletics:
“He did a good job. No fear, that’s one thing I love about him. The kid has no fear at all… he saw 5 pitches and swung at all five of them.”
If Tejeda gets another chance, which he likely could with Rougned Odor banged up and Elvis Andrus struggling with a sub .200 batting average, he could make a case to stay in the big leagues the entire season.
The youth will definitely have their chance to shine once the season progresses more.
Be sure to keep up with BetQL to see when is the best time to place bets on free over under picks on the Rangers.
Pitching? What’s Going On?
Let’s just say this before we begin. If the name isn’t Lance Lynn or Jonathan Hernandez, they have struggled at some point this season.
Corey Kluber was supposed to help this rotation fill out alongside Lynn and Mike Minor who has struggled in a couple of starts in his own right. But a torn teres muscled has obviously shut him down for a month.
Lynn has been phenomenal, posting a .049 ERA with an equally impressive 11.8 K/9, setting him apart from the rest of the pitching staff. Jonathan Hernandez, however, has been everything Ranger fans have expected since the beginning of summer camp. The flamethrower has a 13.5 K/9, blowing by opposing hitters in a relief role, becoming the best relief pitcher in the Ranger bullpen.
2020 Mike Minor has not been the same as 2019 Mike Minor, as he has allowed 15 runs combined over his past 2 starts against the Rockies and Athletics. It’s a long fall from 2019 when he posted a 3.59 ERA and was in the Cy Young race for the first half of the season. One factor has been the decrease of his velocity, where he has seen fastballs reach 92-93 mph in warm-ups or bullpen sessions, then down to 86-89 mph in-game situations, leading fans to question whether he is hurt or not.
Woodward said in the post-game zoom meeting:
“That was one thing I wanted to make sure he was ok physically. I was not going to send him back out if he said there was anything that didn’t feel right or feel tight.”
Minor isn’t hurt, but his velocity is definitely hurting. The bullpen hasn’t been great either though, as Hernandez has been the best. But with the loss of Jose Leclerc, the Rangers have no closer.
John Moore of Ranger Nation suggested Joe Palumbo as an option for the closing role saying:
“Talking with Joe he never seems rattled. Two errors in one inning of his first game this season. He never showed the frustration. He kept his composure and walked off the field with his head up. Most closers have an attitude. Joe Palumbo is a competitor.”
Could Palumbo be a closer? Maybe, maybe not. But the bullpen needs help in any way shape or form.
The fact of the matter is, the Texas Rangers are an average team at best.
If the team continues to struggle, we will see more and more of the Tejedas and Heinemans in the lineups to make their impact.
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