Lack of impact bat makes Rangers stand pat
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers made their plans for the rest of the season pretty clear Wednesday when the trade deadline came and went without the team acquiring a hitter.
Find a way to scratch out four runs and see if their solid pitching staff can do the rest.
Texas tried to get an offense upgrade to go along with the acquisition of starter Matt Garza last week but nothing materialized. Now it will be up to the current group of hitters to try and get things going down the stretch.
There just wasn't a big bat to be had for Texas.
"There wasn't a lot out there that really appealed to us," Texas general manager Jon Daniels said. "I think that was really the biggest reason (for the lack of a move). You saw the names of the players that were moved, the offensive players that were moved, maybe I'm missing something but I don't really think there was one."
Daniels said the club added the impact player it needed last week with Garza. The addition of him and the fact that Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison and Neftali Feliz are getting closer to being able to contribute made the Texas plan clear for the final two months.
"The strength of this club is our pitching staff," Daniels said. "Not just one through 12 but arguably one through 15 or 16. That's how we're built. The guys have responded well here the last couple of days. We believe in this club and are ready to go."
Daniels used four runs as a reference and it's proved to be a good so far for the Rangers. Texas is 47-9 this season when it scores at least four times.
Getting to four has been tough recently and there could be more uncertainty in the Texas lineup. Lance Berkman might not be able to play for the remainder of the season because of his bad right knee. Nelson Cruz was in the lineup Wednesday but there's a chance he'll be suspended because of PED use as part of the Biogenesis saga.
Daniels said it will be up to whoever is in the lineup to pick up the slack, especially if they lose Cruz, the team's top home run and RBI producer.
"I don't think anybody's comfortable losing a significant part of your club but it's out of our control," Daniels said. "As far as if we were to lose him for a period of time, we don't have that skill set in house that's going to replace him on an exact performance level. I do think there's a makeup component here for our club."
Daniels wouldn't rule out an August move when a player has to clear waivers. The Rangers did it in 2010 when they added outfielder Jeff Francoeur. In 2011 the club was able to get left-hander Mike Gonzalez in August.
But if players like Mitch Moreland and David Murphy can break out of their slumps, the need for a bat will be lessened.
The players in the clubhouse are confident a quiet July 31 won't hamper them. And they also realize the pitching they have takes some of the pressure off them.
"We have the pieces in here to win games," second baseman Ian Kinsler said.