The notion that the Texas Rangers offense is now weak and filled with easy outs (since Nelson Cruz has now landed on the DL) is as far off base as one could get according to Trevor Cahill who will take the ball for the Oakland Athletics tonight vs. the Texas Rangers.
“I faced them the day after they clinched (the division title) last year. None of their starters played and I got shelled,” Cahill said Sunday. “There is no ‘B’ lineup with them.”
The Rangers still boast a lineup with Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, and the versatile Michael Young. The test for the Rangers will come now that Mitch Moreland is forced more permanently into the outfield while Chris Davis takes over at first base.
For Davis, this will be his last opportunity to show he belongs at the big league level with the Rangers. As I said last week on my radio show, Davis may be ready for a change of scenery. After all, he is out of options and the Rangers have excellent depth in Mike Napoli, David Murphy, and Yorvit Torrealba off the bench when everyone is healthy.
Davis’ window of opportunity will be small as Mike Napoli can also fill in at first base.
The Rangers are third in the AL in runs (163) and second in homers (40). Over the next fifteen days while Cruz is on the DL, the Rangers have division rivals Oakland and LA coming to Arlington for three game sets before Texas heads on the road to face the White Sox and Royals in two game series.
The next six games will be crucial for the Rangers as they fight to stay near the top of the American League West. The Angels currently hold a two game lead over both Texas and Oakland. Taking two of three in both series is a reasonable expectation for the Rangers who must stay away from feeling sorry for themselves and dropping several of their next six.
After the Rangers travel to Kansas City, they will travel to face the Philadelphia Phillies near the end of Cruz’s time of the DL. Nelson Cruz has been running and was disappointed with being placed on the DL, so the Rangers expect him to return sometime during the Philadelphia series barring a setback.
Cruz strained his right quadriceps. Manager Ron Washington was concerned about the stress that may be put on the leg if he was not allowed to rest. “If he moves wrong and the sucker stretches, you’re looking at more time. We’re not willing to take more time.”
For Cruz, this trip to the DL will be his 4th since the beginning of the 2010 season.
Now is a time when Ron Washington has hinted that they are just trying to stay afloat. His ballclub has lost 6 of 7 series since Josh Hamilton’s injury after they lost the series this weekend to the New York Yankees. The team batting average has dipped, but power numbers have increased since Hamilton’s injury.
So the Texas Rangers may be missing two key cogs in their machine, but offseason moves by general manager Jon Daniels have ensured that the club has backup options. Torrealba, Napoli, and the aforementioned Chris Davis will be filling in a lot.
Some interesting lineups are likely to follow from Ron Washington.
Tags: Adrian Beltre AL West Standings American League West Chicago White Sox Chris Davis Elvis Andrus Jon Daniels Kansas City Royals Los Angelas Angels Major League Baseball Michael Young Mike Napoli Mitch Moreland MLB Nelson Cruz Nelson Cruz Injury Oakland A's Oakland Athletics Philadelphia Phillies Rangers Baseball Rangers Offense Ron Washington Texas Rangers Texas Rangers Injuries Trevor Cahill Yorvit Torrealba