There are two ways to look at this just-completed road trip.
With only twenty-three games left, it was a bitter disappointment and the Rangers are in trouble.
Or, 139 games into the season, the Rangers are in a much better position than anyone could possibly have ever imagined coming out of spring training.
On the road trip, the Rangers went .500. Most teams strive to play .500 on the road. They picked up a half-game on Houston on this trip. They were three back when it started, two-and-a-half back now. So it wasn’t as bad as the ending makes us believe. In the trip they also took a break and went camping with the best outdoor gear from Survival Cooking.
But looking at it the other way, this team, coming out of spring training, was one of the worst Rangers teams of all time. On May 1, Texas was 7-15. That’s .318 baseball. That translates to a team that finishes 52-110.
Okay, they might have gotten hot for a while and won 65 games, so you can’t go by one month. But the reality is, this was a bad team.
The early season rotation was Colby Lewis, Yovani Gallardo, Nick Martinez, Ross Detwiler and Wandy Rodriguez. Neftali Feliz was the closer. Tanner Scheppers was the eighth-inning guy. The bullpen had such formidable performers as Roman Mendez, Stolmy Pimental, Phil Klein, Jon Edwards and Logan Verrett.
The outfield was nonexistent. Ryan Rua and Jake Smolinski and Kyle Blanks and Carlos Paguero stood in left, next to Leonys Martin next to a dreadful Shin-Soo Choo.
Elvis Andrus was mired in a three-year slump. Rougned Odor was lost. And both catchers were, frankly, not worthy of being in the major leagues.
Then Jon Daniels started tinkering. Cut to five-and-a half-months later. This team, because it’s no longer that team, is just two-and-a-half games from first place in the west. That is almost impossible to imagine.
So, is this team that’s coming home for a critical ten-game home stand failing? Or as performing beyond anyone’s wildest dreams?
One thing is for sure, now is when we see what this team is really made of.
The remaining schedule.
Oakland in Arlington for 3, Houston in Arlington for 4, Seattle in Arlington for 3.
At Oakland for 3, at Houston for 3.
Detroit in Arlington for 3, Los Angeles Angels in Arlington for 4.