If Spring Training teaches anything, this one taught us two things:
One, the Rangers have an offense good enough to win with. Prince Fielder doesn’t have to win Comeback Player of the Year honors to be a huge boost to this lineup. If he could just get near his typical hundred RBIs, that would do wonders for this offense.
Look at the RBI leaders from last year:
That is not a typo. That is the definition of the word woeful. And, probably a whole lot of other words, four-letter an otherwise.
By comparison, over-the-hill and unwanted Ryan Howard drove in 92 runs for the awful Phillies. He would have led the Rangers by 15. (I am not advocating getting Ryan Howard, merely using him for comparison.)
It’s not Beltre’s relatively low team-leading RBI total that is so telling. It’s that Odor’s 48 were third best.
Get Rua for an entire season, a healthy Choo, a revitalized Andrus, and it won’t take much to be miles ahead of last year’s last-place team, which is very encouraging.
Until you look at…
Two, the Rangers have a rotation that will keep them mired in last place. Texas may have the worst starting staff in the American League. This team has an ace in Derek Holland, and four number-fives.
For the second year in a row, there is simply not enough talent on the major league level, and not enough reinforcements ready to step in and make a difference. Last year the front office admitted the team was left “exposed.” They still are.
If last year’s RBI totals were difficult to look at, take a gander at these Spring ERAs if you are so bold:
Imagine what this team could do with two more quality starters.
This is shaping up to be a Rangers team that scores a lot of runs, but philanthropically returns the wealth.