The Rangers have entered the all star break 2 games back and are facing some of the same issues that are almost like a broken record for the franchise. There have been a lot of exciting things happening with team this year as they have done better than most expected. As we head into the second half of the season, let’s look at some things that need some help and maybe some ideas to help turn the season around and find another post season run.
Once again, this seems to be the crutch of the Rangers. Not saying anything bad here, just as usual with the Rangers the problem lies within the pitching rotation and bullpen. This year is different than past years because so many of our pitchers are ending up on the disabled list. Matt Harrison, Colby Lewis, Neftali Feliz, Alexi Ogando, and now Yu Darvish are all spending time on the DL, and some of them have yet to even see playing time so far. With so many quality arms missing time, or the season to this point, it seems amazing the Rangers have done as well as they have to this point. It is thanks to guys like Tanner Scheppers and Martin Perez who have stepped up when needed too. Also serviceable appearances by many other players and some luck as well.
The Rangers need to focus on finding another pitcher, whether it is for the bullpen or starting rotation. Another arm to eat quality innings would help this team catch their second wind and make a push to the post season.
I wrote earlier in the year the Rangers need to trade him and cash in on his “top prospect” value. But as we have watch the season go on, he has proven to be a valuable asset because he has been playing numerous spots around the field and has been able to give guys much needed rest. While I still think they should trade him for a pitcher or even a big bat, I wouldn’t complain if they decide to keep him for the rest of year. There is some debate to whether his stock has started to fall because he hasn’t been as stellar as one would expect him to be.
If the right deal comes along and the Rangers can acquire the right player who won’t end up being a “Rental”, he could prove to be a main piece. Otherwise the time he gets to play could end up helping him become a common name in the lineup for years to come.
What will happen to Nelson Cruz? It has been rumored he will be suspended soon and it has also been rumored he won’t be suspended this year. Which makes fans wonder if the uncertainty of his status is causing him to have lower numbers than years past, either way; he probably won’t be back next year anyway. It would just be nice to see him pick up his production in the second half of the year and help push the rangers into the post season.
The Rangers will begin the 2nd half of the season at home against Baltimore. This will also feature putting Ivan “pudge” Rodriguez into the team’s hall of fame. Hopefully John Daniels has a trick up his sleeve or two because the Rangers need some help, both pitching and hitting. If everyone could get healthy then we could see the team make a strong push, but there is some doubt over who will return and who may be down for the rest of the year. It isn’t like the Rangers are going to be in danger of not being in contention, but you can always improve and make a push toward the playoffs.
There is still a lot of baseball left to play and the Rangers are in a good position to reach the post season and try to make another World Series.