The Texas Rangers are not as bad as we think they are

Jun 27, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers right fielder Joey Gallo (13) Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 27, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers right fielder Joey Gallo (13) Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports /

It wasn’t too long ago–Mother’s Day, in fact–that the Texas Rangers were actually a .500 ballclub. At that time, I’d deemed them as fun to watch at the very least. I even allowed myself to squint and envision a team that could surprise everyone and maybe worm their way into the wild card picture.

Then the bottom fell out. Between May 10th and June 20th, the Rangers posted a 7-28 mark, thereby quelling any notion of a team that could at least hold our interest until the All Star Break. That was the Rangers’ team we thought we were going to get, and for 40 days in the late spring, that’s exactly what they delivered.

A horrid late spring ruined what’s been an OK year for the Texas Rangers.

But in holding true to the ebbs and flows of any baseball season, the Rangers have managed to turn a bit of a corner in the past two weeks. They’ve posted a very respectable 8-4 record in their past 12 games (this entry was being written as the Rangers were down 3-0 in the fifth inning on Sunday).

Granted, that 7-28 ebb thus far looks to be the defining characteristic of a mostly unremarkable season. But much like pitcher Kyle Gibson, whose understated excellence was featured in this space last week, there have been some bright spots along the way. Rookie centerfielder Adolis Garcia, despite cooling off a bit, still possesses a team-best .270 batting average in addition to being tied for the team lead in home runs (20) with right fielder Joey Gallo.

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Speaking of Gallo, he has been on a white-hot streak at the plate as of late. In the last two weeks, he has hit 9 home runs, all while batting .368 with an on base percentage of .510, a 1.079 slug rate, and a 1.589 OPS percentage. For someone like me who has been pretty down on Gallo for most of his career, I have to tip my cap and give credit where it’s due. Those are monster numbers that have carried the team through their most recent hot streak. Further, Gallo’s valleys aren’t as profound as they used to be, and his peaks are as high as ever. It seems like he might finally be fulfilling the massive potential we were all told he possessed.

The only problem with Gallo’s surge is that the Rangers are likely to be sellers at the trade deadline. And since he’s their most valuable trade chip, he’s a likely candidate to be moved on or before the July 30th non-waiver deadline. The aforementioned Gibson is also part of the swirling trade rumors as well. Both are linked to the Yankees–because of course they are. Excuse me while I stifle a gag.

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In a perfect world, you’d like to see both Gallo and Gibson stay and try to form a base for a contender. This is truer with Gallo given his relative youth compared to Gibson. Even then, Gibson is putting up a career year and may be worth keeping. Either way, the package of players, prospects, or picks will have to be right to justify the movement of anyone. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy their pluck. When the Rangers are on, they’re still a lot of fun.