By Will Martin
2014 is a season the Texas Rangers would like to erase, forget, and never have to revisit. How’s that for stating the obvious?
The extent of injuries that befell the pitching staff, Prince Fielder, Mitch Moreland and others was vast, inexplicable, beyond unlucky and thoroughly frustrating for fans of the Texas Rangers.
We had an inkling that the news from a few weeks ago which could lead to a shutdown with Yu Darvish.
Now we have a new name to add to the list, Shin-Soo Choo.
It was announced late on Monday by the Rangers brass that Shin-Shoo Choo was going to have surgery to remove bone spurs in his left elbow.
This ends his season in 2014 with the hope he will be back at 100% for 2015.
As for Yu Darvish you can expect the same fate for him. Effectively shut down for the rest of 2014 while others get a chance to shine as the roster increases to 40 come September 1.
In the past few weeks we have read and we have been told that Derek Holland has been going the rehab route to get himself back into the rotation before 2014 comes to an end. Back spasms caused a delay in his routine and he now suffered a setback.
In a season of so much frustration and bad luck via injury decimation why rush the process?
Shut them all down to look ahead to 2015. This is the time of year you can give ample playing time to young talent, get a taste of the bigs, play a part in games that have meaning for opposing teams as September comes to a close, all while looking ahead to next year.
In the case of Yu Davish the lingering question that is going to be asked amongst players and fans:
Did Yu quit on this team?
Mind you, in other sports when there is a season to play, it is a given that you play through elements of bumps, bruises, cuts, abrasions AKA playing hurt…playing in pain.
Terminologies better suited to football, hockey and sometimes basketball.
There is a difference between being injured versus being hurt. Therein lies the $64,000 question as to the severity of the pain/inflammation Yu Darvish was said to be under when placed on the DL. If you read between the lines you might think there was a difference of opinion between player and skipper.
In the eight years Ron Washington has served as Rangers manager he has always been the first to defend a ballplayer from the slings and salvos of the media. Based on what has been reported in the past week to ten days there appears to be a difference of opinion as to whether or not Yu Darvish is hurt or injured.
Maybe this all could have been averted if Yu simply stated when asked, ‘I will pitch in pain. I will play for my teammates. If I can throw I will give it my best shot.’
We did not hear that.
Come the offseason the term ‘diva’ might get bounced around when discussing Yu being placed on the DL. There might also be some questions about his level of performance after getting shelled in multiple appearances against the Athletics and Astros.
Maybe Yu really was injured and his arm needs the time to heal.
The one question many shall ponder-myself included-is simply the following: If the Rangers were in a playoff chase would this conversation even be happening?
Just a thought. Mansfield product Michael Choice gets the call-up now on Choo’s behalf along with a slew of minor league talent to help close out a season of misery. A season to forget. A season where Murphy’s Law was an angry god. The Scott Bakers, Nick Tepesch’s, Miles Mikolas’, Phil Kleins, and the Jon Edwards of the world get an opportunity to shine in September.
That month where the days get shorter, shadows grow larger, and dreams of spring become more defined.
2015 cannot get here quickly enough. Best of luck to Geovany Soto and Chris Gimenez as they now head to teams with playoff aspirations.