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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Articles tagged: Texas Rangers

4 MLB teams poised to surge in the second half

The Major League Baseball All-Star break provides a great opportunity for teams to rest, sit back, and reassess where they stand. Some teams know they’re out of it. Some know they’re performing a little above expectation and will have to work very hard to keep it up.

Then there are the teams who feel that they can do even more. Perhaps they had good, but not great first halves. Perhaps they were outright disappointments. They know, deep down, though, that they have the talent to do even better than they did — and will be looking to kick things into high gear once the second half starts.

Here are four teams that may well get hot in the second half.

4) Texas Rangers

It is far too late for the Rangers to catch the Houston Astros in the American League West, but if they play their cards right, they definitely have a chance to make an impact on the wild card race. There is a lot of talent here, and even some evidence that their 43-45 first half record is a bit unlucky.

Texas has been middling in all departments, but injuries have had a huge impact on their fortunes. On the pitching side of things, ace lefty Cole Hamels has made just eight starts due to an oblique injury. Hamels is 4-0 and his replacements haven’t really been able to hack it in the Texas rotation. A healthy Hamels, paired with Yu Darvish and a solid Andrew Cashner, would make the Rangers significantly better every fifth day — assuming Texas doesn’t elect to blow it up.

There are also indications that the Rangers are beginning to get their struggling bullpen in better shape. They’ve never been able to settle on a closer, but Matt Bush, Alex Claudio, and Keone Kela are capable of giving this team good relief innings.

Surprisingly, the Texas offense has been a real problem, sitting 14th in the American League in batting average at the break, making up for the deficiency with some power. Still, it’s easy to imagine how much better they’d be if they had some guys on base for those extra base hits, as Elvis Andrus is the team’s only .300 hitter. Adrian Beltre has appeared in just 35 games due to injury, and if they can keep him healthy, that will be a major improvement in itself. If the likes of Rougned Odor and Jonathan Lucroy can pick up their offensive numbers a bit, do not be surprised to see this team make a run.

3) Boston Red Sox


Report: Rangers could be open to trading Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels

The Texas Rangers entered the All-Star break with a 43-45 record, and they happen to play in the division with the best team in baseball. Because of the incredible season the Houston Astros are having, the Rangers are a whopping 16.5 games out of first place.

Could that inspire them to become sellers at the trade deadline?

According to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, the Rangers are considering the possibility of listening to trade offers for starting pitchers Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels if they don’t turn things around by July 31.

Although there is plenty of baseball left, the Rangers already need to be thinking about the wild card and not the division. They’re currently just three games out of the second wild card spot, so they’re hardly out of contention.

All that said, Darvish is in the final year of his contract. He’s 30 and has already undergone Tommy John surgery, so the Rangers have a big decision to make with him. If the Rangers believe they are destined for a below average finish in 2017, they may change their minds about what they said prior to the season.

Darvish is 6-8 this year with a 3.49 ERA. Hamels, who missed two months with an oblique injury, is 4-0 with a 3.51 ERA.

Report: Rangers could trade Jonathan Lucroy

For the second consecutive summer, Jonathan Lucroy could find himself on the move.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Texas Rangers could be open to dealing Lucroy, who is set to become a free agent at season’s end, possibly for bullpen help.

The Rangers are 40-41 and pretty much out of the AL West race, with only an outside shot at the wildcard. The two sides tabled extension talks in March, and it’s quite clear nothing will get done on that front. The only problem is that Lucroy’s trade value might be down a little bit — he’s hitting .263 with just four home runs so far in 2017.

Matt Bush loses closer role, Rangers will use committee

Matt Bush

The Texas Rangers continue to be unsettled by a struggling bullpen, and they’re once again making a change at closer.

Manager Jeff Banister said Saturday that the team was removing Matt Bush from the closer’s role and going with a “no roles bullpen” for the foreseeable future.

Sam Dyson started the season as Texas’s closer, but was ultimately removed from the role in April after blowing three saves in six appearances, allowing 13 runs in 4.1 innings. Bush replaced him, blew four of 14 save opportunities in that span, and ultimately lost the job after giving up four hits and three earned runs to the Chicago White Sox in just a third of an inning on Friday.

Rangers using tweet from Astros’ Alex Bregman as motivation

Alex Bregman

The Texas Rangers and Houston Astros begin a four-game series on Monday, and Texas will have a little extra motivation entering the games.

According to the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant, a tweet from Houston third baseman Alex Bregman that was sent on Sunday is being used by his opponents as bulletin board material.

Here’s a look at the tweet:

The Rangers interpreted that tweet as an acronym to say “beat the s— out of the Rangers.”

Grant says the Rangers printed out a blown-up version of the tweet and had it on a bulletin board in the clubhouse and on card tables around the clubhouse.

Bregman is batting .250 to start the season for the Astros. His team entered the series leading the AL West with a 16-9 record, five games ahead of the Rangers.

Texas Rangers selling 2-foot long, $27 tamale hot dog

Ballpark Arlington

The Texas Rangers have developed a reputation for producing jaw-dropping, gut-busting, over-sized food items at their ballgames, and this season will be no different.

Actually, there will be something new this year that is worth a headline — their 2-foot long, $27 tamale hot dog.

GuideLive.com says the Rangers will be selling an “MVT” at games this year that will feature their 24-inch “Boomstick” hot dog inside of a tamale. The “Most Valuable Tamale” as it’s known is topped with chili, nacho cheese and sour cream.

If you’re planning on eating and ordering one of those, we recommend you bring an entire family and wear some pants with an elastic waistband.

Photo: Rich Anderson/Flickr

Report: Rangers have tabled extension talks with Jonathan Lucroy

The Texas Rangers may have to prepare for their catcher to hit free agency at season’s end.

According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Rangers have tabled contract talks with Jonathan Lucroy, potentially opening the door for his departure at season’s end.

Lucroy was the Rangers’ big trade deadline acquisition last July, and has a long track record of being one of the game’s more reliable catchers. He hit 11 home runs in 47 games after the Rangers acquired him, and though the catcher position is demanding, he’s still fairly young by baseball standards at age 30.

It’s worth noting that Lucroy might not be the only big-name catcher hitting the open market at season’s end.