The Texas Rangers have officially started the 2021 season.
I think back to the 1966 Clint Eastwood film “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” Although the movie synopsis has no resemblance to the game against the Royals, the title does.

Nobody expects the Rangers the compete for anything other than a Top 5 pick in the 2022 draft.

There were some good things in the game; there were also some bad things in the game.

Maybe more importantly were the ugly things. Let’s break it down.


The Offense

I am not saying that this team is going to be an offensive juggernaut after watching one game. However, when you score 10 runs with no Home Runs, that is impressive. They hit close to .500 with runners in scoring position.

Royals starter Brad Keller is no slouch. This was his second year to start Opening Day, and the Rangers were all over him from the start. Keller even got ahead of Isiah Kiner-Falefa 0-2 before working a 2-2 count and then doubled to start the game.

Late in the game, the offense sputtered a bit, but they continued to work counts.

Eli White

A lot of us were caught off guard when the Opening Day roster was announced. With a right-handed pitcher on the mound, most assumed a left-handed heavy lineup would be put out there. But Chris Woodward gave White the nod over the left-handed-hitting Ronald Guzman. White ended up going 2 for 4 with a walk and 2 RBI’s.

John King

The LHP was one of the bright spots out of the bullpen. In a game where pitching was not good, King only needed 11 pitches, of which 8 were strikes to go three up & three down. Throwing strikes is what the organization has preached, and King was listening.


Leody Taveras

Taveras was 0 for 5 with four strikeouts. Again, this is only one game. But when you are competing with Eli White, who had a good game, it’s not a good day. Taveras might have felt the pressure to perform with White also playing.

If that is the case, it doesn’t look good. It means he folded under pressure. It would not surprise me if Taveras spends some more time in the minor leagues this season.

Kyle Gibson

There is no disputing that Gibson was just bad. He admitted that his sinker was the only thing he felt he had control of. The new cutter was not working as he wanted, and he could not get out of the first inning. Gibson is a good pitcher. His track record proves that.

While he was bad, he may prove that this was just a bad game. Time will tell us if I am right. No time to panic yet.


The Defense

When the Rangers have repeatedly stated that defense is a priority, it doesn’t look good to see three errors on Opening Day. Gold Glove former third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa was tentative on a throw home and ended up allowing an infield hit because of it. Jose Trevino was charged with a catcher inference and passed ball.

Both were significant in allowing the inning to continue. I state again that this is just one game, but it didn’t look good.

Nick Solak Turning Two

Photo: FanGraphs Baseball

This is a personal observation on my part. Nick Solak is not good at turning two. He seems to be slow in the exchange and out of place on the bag. His bat is good. The question is, how well does it have to be to make up for defensive inadequacies?

It seemed like a couple of fielder choices might have been double plays had someone else been on second.

Am I overreacting to ONE game? Maybe.


If Solak’s defense proves too much of an issue for his bat, who takes his place in the field? Most would think Anderson Tejeda.

The question would be whether or not he is ready offensively: Charlie Culberson?

Do the Rangers want to look towards the future with a 31-year-old? What about Brock Holt? The same question applies.

Maybe the solution is Eli White.
White was a middle infielder most of his career and moved to the outfield in 2019 after being traded to Texas that previous winter.

Featured Image: FanGraphs Baseball
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