As 2011 gets further and smaller in the rear view mirror, and 2017 is just a few blocks away, it’s worth assessing how far we have travelled in six years, and where we are headed. Is this Rangers team anywhere near that Rangers team?
That Rangers team had this infield, from first to third: Moreland, Kinsler, Andrus, Beltre. This Rangers team will have this infield: Napoli, Odor, Andrus, Beltre. Offensively, Napoli is much better than Moreland, Odor and Kinsler might be a wash. Defensively, not close. Kinsler was gold-glove caliber, Odor has a glove of lead. Moreland is a tick above Napoli. Overall, this infield and that infield are comparable.
That Rangers team had Murphy in left, Hamilton in center, Cruz in right. This Rangers team has DeShields/Rua/Profar in left, Gomez in center, Mazara in right. Hamilton won the MVP. There is no MVP wearing a Rangers uniform this year. This outfield, position for position, is not nearly as good as that outfield.
That Rangers team had Napoli behind the plate and Young DHing. This Rangers team has Lucroy and Choo. That Napoli had one of the most magical offensive second halves. Michael Young is a near Hall of Famer. Edge to that team.
That rotation was Wilson, Lewis, Harrison, Holland, and Ogando, with Feliz as the closer. This rotation is, or is supposed to be, Hamels, Darvish, Ross, Perez, and Cashner, with Dyson closing.
This rotation’s one and two are much better than that rotation’s one and two, Hamels and Darvish compared to Wilson and Lewis. Three and four, hard to call. If if if if if if if if if if if if if if if if if if if if if if. That’s how many ifs are next to Ross’s name. That Ross could be better than that Harrison, who was pretty good.That Holland is a tick better than this Perez. Cashner will be lucky to have an ERA below 7.00. .
Closers are closers. Interchangeable drill bits. When one breaks, you run to Home Depot and get another. So closer comparison are moot. Every team has four pitchers on their staffs who can close.
So, as we park the car and head into 2017, how far have we come from 2011?