By Martin Iheke
Thank goodness the All-Star break is here for your Texas Rangers. They certainly did not close the unofficial first half of the season on the right foot. It has been nothing but a nightmare scenario this season with all the key injuries and the inability of some of the younger players to step in and step up. They headed into the break with an eight-game losing streak. They are 38-57 and dead last in not only the AL West Division but in all of MLB. If you had told me going into the start of the season, that the Rangers would have the worst record in baseball at the All-Star break I would have said you are nuts. So how did this team get to this point? Well, let us look at all the key injuries that played a big part in this downward slide.
– Starting pitcher Derek Holland had surgery on his left knee causing him to miss most of the season so far, but could be back by next month.
– Promising young second baseman Jurickson Profar has a torn right shoulder muscle and was supposed to miss the first two months of the season. He re-aggravated it and now will miss the rest of the season.
– Starting catcher Geovany Soto had surgery on his right knee and has not played one game this season. He could be back after the All-Star break.
– Starting first baseman Prince Fielder who was acquired in a trade from the Detroit Tigers will miss the rest of the season due to having a herniated disk in his neck which required surgery.
– Starting pitcher Martin Perez, who started the season off on a good note, had Tommy John surgery on his left elbow and may not be back until the second half of next season.
– Starting pitcher Matt Harrison, who briefly returned after missing almost all of last season due to back issues, will miss the rest of this season again and now might consider having to retire because of more back issues now affecting his spinal cord.
– First Baseman Mitch Moreland who replaced Fielder at first base did not last long because he too has to miss the rest of the season after having surgery on his left ankle.
There have been other injuries that have plagued the club with ace Yu Darvish, third baseman Adrian Beltre, relievers Alexi Ogando and Tanner Scheppers missing some time as well, but the names I listed above have been devastating to the team.
Despite this all, it really is not an excuse for why this team now has the worst record in baseball. You still have to go out and play the game and the Rangers lately seem like they have packed it in for the season. They are 3-22 in their last 25 games with two separate eight-game losing streaks mixed in there. They have the second worst team ERA in baseball behind the Colorado Rockies and the third worst team fielding in baseball.
There are some questions I have going into the unofficial second half of the season. Will the Rangers continue playing like this for the rest of the season or will they be professionals and play with some kind of pride? Could players like right fielder Alex Rios or shortstop Elvis Andrus be on the move at the trade deadline? I do not know the answers to those so we can only watch and see. The only thing I am thankful for right now is that the All-Star break is here.
7/18 @Blue Jays 6:07 p.m.
7/19 @Blue Jays 12:07 p.m.
7/20 @Blue Jays 12:07 p.m.