Texas Rangers Spring Training Proving Highly Successful

SURPRISE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 27: Rougned Odor #12 of the Texas rangers (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
SURPRISE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 27: Rougned Odor #12 of the Texas rangers (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

Here are some of the reasons the Texas Rangers are having a great spring training this year and why fans should start getting excited.

With all due respect to Willie Calhoun who was just hit by a pitch (fracturing his jaw), things are generally going swimmingly for the Texas Rangers this spring. Texas entered spring training with a plethora of questions. Such is often the case with a rebuilding club.

But the Texas Rangers seemed to have more questions than most clubs. 60 percent of their starting rotation is new. The entire infield was a question mark. Even the outfield was unsettled as the Rangers tried to figure out what they can do in center field.

While all of the questions heading into spring training haven’t been answered, many have (or at least they’re trending that way). And all things considered, spring training is going well for the Texas Rangers.

Nick Solak

Nick Solak has been getting his chance to rotate in center field since the start of camp. And he’s looked pretty good doing it to. The Rangers want to find the best possible way to get their best hitters in the lineup as often as possible, and Solak’s ability to play center helps them do that. Now with Willie Calhoun out, Solak can slide over to play left field. The more things he can do in the field the more opportunities he gets to play. Things are going well for our favorite darling from 2019.

The Bullpen

Evaluating pitchers in spring training is generally above my paygrade. It’s inherently difficult because the stats never seem to matter as much as individual objectives, velocity and control. Everyone’s working on something different and we don’t always know what that is. But even without the insider knowledge it’s clear things are going well for the relievers. Jonathan Hernandez is hitting 97 mph and he’s striking out proven batters with regularity. Jimmy Herget, Derek Law, and Luke Farrell are showing promise. Jose Leclerc looks like his 2018 self rather than the 2019 version. Even Edinson Volquez has been making a case.

Rougned Odor

That’s all I’m saying. I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up should this fall apart and I don’t want to jinx him either. Keep your fingers crossed.

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Isiah Kiner-Falefa

The do-it-all Kiner-Falefa has been huge for the Rangers franchise, but as the club evolved and up-graded, his place on the team fell into question. The super-utility player has always been a valuable asset in the field but not so much at the plate. He changed that here in spring training. After a poor start, Kiner-Falefa has been one of Texas’ best hitters. He even found a way to improve on his power (something that was severely lacking last season).

Willie Calhoun

The significance of Willie Calhoun’s injury yesterday  can’t be unstated. Calhoun, 25, has been a shining star for the Texas Rangers. The Rangers’ starting left fielder is a cornerstone hitter, hard worker, and clubhouse favorite. Losing him for the next month or so is a significant blow. But before the injury, Calhoun showed more than enough in spring training to prove last season was no fluke, and he was indeed a cornerstone player for this franchise. If anyone had questions about Willie heading into the season, he quickly answered them.

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Greg Bird looks like a valuable batter. The starting rotation looks to be living up to their billing. The infield looks versatile and the outfield has depth. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, and spring training has misled us before, but generally speaking, things are going well for the Texas Rangers this spring