ARLINGTON, Texas – The overall numbers for the Texas Rangers at the All-Star break look awful.
Texas is going nowhere in the American League West and has the worst record in baseball. The club has already matched a record for pitchers used in a season and set an all-time record for players used by the All-Star break at 50.
But believe it or not, there have been a few bright spots for the Rangers.
Here are five things that have actually gone right for the Rangers in the first half.
1. Adrian Beltre hasn’t let up: Texas manager Ron Washington has referenced Beltre several times in the last month as the Rangers have dropped 22 of 25 games. The term that Washington uses is professional. And despite an early-season stint on the disabled list, Beltre has been the biggest constant in a Texas lineup that’s been injured, inconsistent and awful at different points of the season. He is the team’s Triple Crown leader, topping the Rangers in batting average (an AL best), home runs and RBI. T
2. Robinson Chirinos has established himself: When spring training started, Chirinos was the third option at catcher behind Geovany Soto and J.P. Arencibia. Arencibia is now in Triple A and Soto hasn’t played yet because of injury. When Soto returns for the Toronto series, it will be interesting to see how the playing time is divvied up. The numbers Chirinos has put up in the first half will be hard for Soto to match. And defensively all he’s done is throw out 23 baserunners (a 45 percent clip). Soto can’t match those numbers either.
3. Nick Tepesch has shown something: All-Star Yu Darvish has been the ace of a rotation that’s trotted 12 pitchers to the mound. But if you had to pick a No. 2 for the Rangers right now, it could be Tepesch. "The fight that Nick Tepesch has shown," Washington said when trying to find positives in the first half. While a quality start isn’t necessarily an indication of a good season, Tepesch is second only to Darvish on the Texas squad with five quality starts. And he’s done that in just 10 starts since getting called up from Triple A.
4. Rougned Odor has grabbed second base job: Jurickson Profar stopped by Arlington last week to check in but he’s still not doing any baseball activities and is only working his lower body in rehab. At this point there’s no need for the offseason second baseman to push things. The job now belongs to Odor. Sure he’s had his slumps offensively and has been erratic defensively, but Odor is also just 20 and is playing every day. And as good a prospect as Profar was or is, Odor has an "it" factor that has many seeing him as the everyday second baseman whether or not Profar is healthy.
5. The trade bait is healthy: As injury prone as the Rangers have been, it would be even worse if the top trade targets were on the disabled list. That’s not the case though. The four players who will draw the most interest in the next two weeks â outfielder Alex Rios and pitchers Jason Frasor, Neal Cotts and Joakim Soria â have been able to avoid the DL all season. At least the teams that figure to be interested know they’d be getting players who have avoided the injury plague that has gripped Globe Life Park and its occupants.