Texas Rangers: Admiring Kyle Gibson’s low key excellence

Apr 18, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Kyle Gibson (44) Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 18, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Kyle Gibson (44) Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

I’ve been grudgingly keeping track of the Texas Rangers from a distance. The main reason is that they’re just terrible. Even after completing a sweep yesterday over the Kansas City Royals, the Rangers sit at 30-48, dead last in the American League West and possessing the third-worst record in all of Major League Baseball.

And I will hold off on my vitriol for ownership. Fact of the matter is, this team could be much better if, you know, they gave a flippin’ flip. Here we are in a top five media market, yet the Rangers are only 20th in payroll. If you care about baseball, and if we’re being honest with ourselves, we should be seeing a contender for a division title on a yearly basis in this town. Yet here we are.

Texas Rangers pitcher Kyle Gibson is quietly putting together a career year.

But like I said, I’m going to hold off–for now. There have been some nice bright spots for this moribund franchise. Outfielder Adolis Garcia has had an impressive and remarkable breakout campaign with a team-leading .279 batting average and 20 home runs while displaying a contagious passion for the game. Incumbent Gold Glove infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa continues to flash the leather and holds down the team’s second-best batting average (.271).

But the Ranger that is thriving the most this year is pitcher Kyle Gibson. Thus far, Gibson is 6-0. His ERA sits at 2.00, and this is even after a disastrous opening day outing in which he couldn’t hold a first-inning 5-0 lead. Also, that earned run average is currently good for fourth in the entire league.

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He’d be a much larger story if the Rangers were in sniffing distance of a wild card spot. But this is the Rangers and we know how it goes around here. Sure, we enjoyed a few years of baseball relevance a decade ago, but the front office ultimately chased the night for far too long, trying in vain to capture the championship that so painfully avoided them in 2011. So this is where we find ourselves currently. Gibson is in the midst of putting together a personal best season, in terms of his aforementioned ERA. To boot, if he stays healthy, he’ll also come close to or surpass his 196.2 innings pitched mark as well. Dude’s just pitching his heart out on an awful team.

In short, Gibson has been better than advertised. But in true Ranger fan fashion, there is a problem: Gibson’s contract is up at the end of next season. This currently makes him an extraordinarily valuable trade chip. With the league’s July 30th trade deadline approaching, any potential suitor would have a year of control on his existing deal if the Rangers decide to cut bait and try to build for whatever nebulous future they have in mind.

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So this essentially resumes our eternal plight. We’ll watch a good player on a bad team more or less show his way out of town by simply being a professional and playing well. Kyle Gibson has done absolutely nothing wrong in his time in a Rangers’ uniform. Yet the fan base will likely never see him contribute on a legitimate contender here because the team’s makeup is so horrible. If you’re new to this, welcome aboard!

  • Published on 06/28/2021 at 11:45 AM
  • Last updated at 06/28/2021 at 11:45 AM