So, since my last post things have not gotten better. On June 9, Jamey Newberg wrote this. I thought he was being entirely too optimistic then, and I think he was WAY TOO OPTIMISTIC now. Basically his premise was that the Rangers have been decimated by injuries (true), the A’s could not continue to win games at the pace they were winning (also true), and that when the Rangers get Kinsler and Moreland back everything will change and the Rangers will begin to win again (not necessarily true and looking more and more unlikely). If you take Kinsler’s two starts in AA Frisco and then his two starts with Texas, since he’s been back, he’s 0-16. He hasn’t had a single hit since coming back from the injury. Will Kinsler go “ofer” for the rest of the season? No, but why should we expect him to come back and be a .300+ hitter the rest of the year? Especially since he’s only a .273 hitter lifetime. When Moreland got hurt he was putting together his best string of offensive performances in his major league career. Should we expect him to come back from a month long injury and just start where he left off? I’m going to err on the side of caution on both these cases. That’s one reason why I’m much less optimistic than Newberg.
Additionally, what are we going to do with Profar, Kinsler, and Andrus. Elvis is in the middle of an absolutely horrible slump. Jon Daniels is insisting that they keep Profar at the Major League level, and Ron Washington is insisting on playing his veteran Kinsler. I read today that they are beginning to get Pettis to work with Profar on outfield drills. Really? They are going to take one of the top defensive prospects in the country and make him change positions? As far as the lineup goes, lately it’s looked like Wash is just throwing crap at the lineup card and hoping it sticks. Yesterday he had Profar leading off and playing third, Kinsler batting third and playing second, and Beltre at DH. This month we’ve seen numerous guys play first base, Murphy has pitched, and Geovany Soto has played third. Elvis has led off, Ian has led off, and now Profar has led off. It’s as if management just doesn’t know what to do with this team right now. Add that to the reasons I’m not as optimistic as Newberg.
Look, I know this all has to do with injuries, but I also know this is why I’m not nearly as excited about the near future as Newberg is. The pitching is still decimated. Who knows when Lewis, Harrison, Feliz, Soria, or Ogando will be back. Until then we are going to have to keep piecing the rotation together with AAAers. And everyone on the offense (other than Beltre) is in a huge funk. They can’t hit and they can’t hit with runners in scoring position. A buddy texted me the other night after Martin led of an inning with a double. “It would have been better if he had just stayed at first. Better chance they’d drive him in with a homerun. Now that he’s in scoring position 0% chance he’ll score.” He was right. There are only two teams worse than the Rangers, in the American League, at hitting with RISP: the Mariners and the Astros. In the month of May, as a team, they hit .283 overall. That was good for second in the league. In June they are hitting .219, again, third to last.
Tonight they start a four game series with the A’s, then they go to St. Louis to play the best team in baseball. Color me pessimistic that they are going to get out of this with less than a 5 game deficit in the division.