When Jon Daniels was assembling the 2014 Texas Rangers roster, I don’t think he was expecting the disaster that would unfold.
He wasn’t expecting Prince Fielder to contribute nothing for the months of April and May and then miss the rest of the season. He wasn’t expecting Derek Holland to sustain a weird injury before Spring Training and be out for the first half of the year. He wasn’t expecting Geovany Soto to miss 10 to 12 weeks and I’m sure he wasn’t expecting Jurickson Profar to not even take the field this season. And let’s not forget Martin Perez’s Tommy John surgery and Matt Harrison’s potential career ending back surgery.
With all of that being said, how in the world can anyone blame Jon Daniels for this tough season? But there are a sect of Rangers fans that are still angry over Nolan Ryan’s departure from the franchise, and are placing their blame for this season at JD.
But I just don’t see how that makes sense. NO ONE can be prepared for an injury epidemic like the Rangers are dealing with. Players are missing games because they are getting hurt from sleeping funny. SLEEPING FUNNY. There’s no way to blame a general manager for that.
People act like Daniels did nothing to improve the club this offseason. But he did sign Shin-Soo Choo, who has been the best offensive player the Rangers have. Yes, Fielder has been a bust this season, but at the time that was a brilliant trade. Daniels thought he was getting a guy that could hit 40 home runs and bring power to a lineup that sorely needed it.
This season is obviously a lost cause for Fielder, but it’s very possible that he can come back next season and bring a lot of what he was expected to bring this weekend. But at the time of the trade, it looked like Daniels was filling a need.
Jul 31, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels takes questions from the media at a press conference after the trade deadline had passed at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Not only did it look like JD was finally bringing a big time bat to Texas with getting Fielder, he also thought he was opening the door for top prospect Jurickson Profar to become an everyday player by getting rid of Ian Kinsler. That was he beauty of that trade: it was killing two birds with one stone.
Kinsler clearly didn’t want to assume a leadership role and at some point, Rangers had to decide what to do with Profar. But Daniels isn’t a psychic. I don’t think he thought Profar would end up hurting his shoulder in Spring Training, and that he would be shut down again after hurting his shoulder again while sleeping.
As far as pitching goes, it’s not JD’s fault that Martin Perez went down with Tommy John surgery, and don’t forget that Perez was pitching lights out before that. The same goes for the Matt Harrison injury. His rotation was supposed to be Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Martin Perez, Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis.
On paper, that looks like it could be one of the top rotations in baseball, but it’s hard to recover when he only thing anyone can really point the finger at Daniels for is not being able to re-sign Nelson Cruz after the Baltimore Orioles were able to get him on a one-year deal.
But even with all the chaos, the Rangers are floating around .500 and some how in contention for the second wildcard spot in the American League. Sure it’s been a hard year, but please Rangers fans, don’t blame Jon Daniels. It’s just silly.