Opening day is
tomorrow Thursday. Soon, baseball will be back. The clean slate of a new season. Who will collect the first Rangers hit of the season? Who will hit the first Rangers home run? Who will get off to a red-hot start? Who will start the season ice cold?
Will this be the season Joey Gallo finally breaks Mark Reynolds’s single season strikeout of 223? He notched 207 last season, and is really coming into his own. We can cheer him on all season on his quest for mortality.
Will this be the season of the amazing Rougned Odor or the dreadful Rougned Odor? You never know which will show up at any given month. The good one is very good.
Will Ronald Guzman take a step forward? He had a respectable rookie season. Not noteworthy. Not even eyebrow raising. But he’s young and has a high ceiling.
In fact, the same can be said about every one of this young core—Gallo and Odor and Mazara and Guzman.
Will Willie Calhoun finally crack the major league lineup? Or will be turn out to be just another guy who couldn’t quite make it? The road to the Hall of Fame is paved with those.
How many times around the rotation will the projected five starters make it before one or more breaks down? The 2019 Rangers are expecting a lot from this Tommy John Quintet.
Will Jose Leclerc be the real thing or was last year a flash in the pan?
Nobody is expecting anything out of this team as a group. The only reason it doesn’t have last place cemented is because the Seattle Mariners did everything they could possibly do in the offseason to get worse.
It won’t be a great Rangers team in 2019. It won’t even be a good one. But it will be baseball. It will be our team. And it will have interesting story lines.
The offense got worse by virtue of losing Adrian Beltre. Even though he didn’t have a great 2018, any offense that loses Adrian Beltre is diminished. The additions of Jeff Mathis and Asdrubal Cabrera did not make the team better. Maybe Cabrera matches Beltre’s 2019 numbers. But going from Robinson Chirinos to Jeff Mathis is going from a Ferrari to a Prius offensively. Rather than getting better in the off-season, the Rangers are hoping they get better during the season.
The rotation isn’t as strong as the rotation that started last season because last season there was the hope of Cole Hamels.
Last year’s team won 67 games. We found out later that manager Jeff Banister lost the clubhouse with his lack of communication. Nothing but positive vibes and real energy seems to radiate off new skipper Chris Woodward. Then again, he has yet to manage through one single major league inning.
On paper, this team is not as good as last season’s in any aspect except manager. I see this offense being woeful this season. Too many holes in the lineup caused by high-strikeout guys. I see the rotation falling apart early and then it’s a steady stream of Not Ready For Primetime pitchers.
Putting all this into the big RangersRounding3rd supercomputer, I predict a repeat of last season: 67 wins for the 2019 Texas Rangers.
Of course, your mileage may vary.