Tyson Ross came back after being away for more than a year.
Carlos Gomez came back after being away for more than a month.
Mike Napoli came back after being away three weeks.
The Rangers have most of their parts back. At least for one night, it paid huge dividends against the equally disappointing Seattle Mariners. Both teams are hovering around .500, both were expected to contend, both have yet to do much more than tread water.
But with the lineup at full strength now, it appears the Rangers have eleven players for nine positions. Last night Gallo and Mazara sat. The challenge now is going to get everyone playing time and balance the fragile eco system.
Six weeks ago, the Rangers had an entire roster full of number nine hitters. Now roles are getting more defined. Last night ever Rangers starter had at least one hit. Four had two.
No need to start printing playoff tickets yet. It was just one game. We’ve seen this team win ten of those in a row, then turn around and act like they had never played the game before. And if there is one thing this team has done well this year it’s beat under .500 teams like themselves.
The test of this reinforced lineup is going to come when they face really good teams, even though last night they did beat, in James Paxton, a really good pitcher, one who smother the Rangers on two hits and no runs in April.
The smothering was done last night by Tyson Ross, making his first start since opening day of 2016. Ross was better than anyone could have imagined, holding the Mariners to just two runs and two hits in 5.2 innings.
If this team gets Cole Hamels back, the rotation will be just as formidable as the lineup was last night.
It will be interesting to see what this team can do when it gets closer to full strength.
Yovani Gallardo (3-6, 6.11) vs. Martin Perez (2-6, 4.56)
Game time: 4:05