The traditional benchmark for evaluating on your team is to wait until you are a quarter of the way into the season.
The Rangers are slightly past that, having played forty-eight games. And the honest evaluation is, this team sucks. There is no other, more gentler way to put it.
It’s time to stop looking at things as slumps and start looking at them as realities.
The Rangers are now dead last in the American League in team batting average. Dead last in on-base percentage. Dead last in slugging percentage. Dead last in OPS. And at the very top of the league in striking out.
Every one of those team stats is heading in the wrong direction, too. Which means, this team is only getting worse.
Delino DeShields is batting .236. He’s the leadoff hitter.
Jurickson Profar is batting .228. He’s the third-place hitter, traditionally the overall best hitter on a team.
Robinson Chirinos is batting .202. His backup, Carlos Perez, is batting .158.
Joey Gallo is batting .199. But he hits home runs.
Odor is batting .169. He doesn’t hit home runs anymore.
Ronald Guzman is batting .187. He is the shining star of the farm system.
Ryan Rua is batting .176. He rarely plays. And there’s a reason why.
Carlos Tocci is batting .080. He’s been banished to the pretend DL where pretend major league hitters are stashed.
Yes, the two best hitters are out right now (Elvis Andrus at .324, Adrian Beltre at .314). But that just underscores how weak the rest of this roster really is.
Only Mazara, Choo and Kiner-Falefa are at .250 or better. And Mazara and Choo are mired in slumps.
What’s surprising, though, is that with this anemic of an offense the Rangers run out on a nightly basis, yesterday was just the first time the team has been shut out.
Of course, they have scored three runs or fewer in forty-five percent of their games. But they had always managed to score something.
What’s even more surprising is that, in this the year of the no-hitters and a year with so many game that have gone into the seventh inning with no hits, this team has not been no-hit yet.
It’s not for lack of trying. Yesterday their pop gun offense generated two hits.
After the game, Rangers manager Jeff Banister declared, “We’re a better ballclub than this.”
No, they aren’t. A week or a month into the season, maybe it’s a fluke. Forty-eight games into the season, it’s a ballclub that is as bad as this.
Yes, this is a very young lineup. Yes, most of these are kids still developing. So all you can do is keep running them out and hoping they figure it out. Because, face it, it’s not like there are any alternatives or reinforcements waiting in the wings.
The Rangers ran an ad yesterday for the upcoming Yankees series. It said that plenty of good seats are still available.
If this losing continues, two more good seats should be available. The one the general manager sits in. And the one the manager occupies.
Masahiro Tanaka (4-2, 4.73) vs. Bartolo Colon (2-1, 2.82)
Game time: 7:05