Hunter Pence is hurt.
Nomar Mazara is hurt.
Joey Gallo is hurt.
The Injured List is getting crowded with Rangers outfielders.
Fortunately, Willie Calhoun is ready to go.
Both Mazara and Pence are due for MRIs today to determine the extent of their injuries. One, or both, could go on the IL. But Pence, being the freak of nature he is, thinks he will be fine. After the game he said, “In all honesty, it is already feeling a lot better. I definitely did not feel anything extraordinary, so that’s a good sign. It grabbed on me a little but the fact that I feel a lot better, I’m moving pretty good, is a good sign.”
Fortunately, Gallo’s injury hasn’t hurt the Rangers. The lost their best offensive threat and are 10-6 since Gallo went down. And that’s a testament to the depth of their bench. Unlike in past seasons, the Rangers bench is strong. There is no wasted player, no twenty-fifth man who is a light-hitting utility player just barely hanging on. No Hanser Albertos or Pete Kazmas or Adam Rosaleses. (Although an argument could be made, cynically perhaps, that the Rangers have those all-glove, no-stick utility men, they are simply starters in Jeff Mathis, Rougned Odor, and Ronald Guzman.)
So, if both Pence and Mazara have to join Gallo on the IL, or even one of them, the Rangers should be able to weather the storm, especially with Calhoun returning. The worry was what roster moves to do with Calhoun when he comes back, who to send down. Those always have a weird way of working themselves out.
Of course, if the Rangers do lose Pence, with both him and Gallo out, the challenge would be replacing the production from the club’s top two RBI leaders.
But no challenge seems to be daunting to this team. The 11-3 pounding at the hands of the Reds yesterday notwithstanding, this team is showing no signs of slowing down when key players are missing.
And that is the sign of a winning team.
Mike Clevenger (1-0, 0.00) vs. Lance Lynn (7-4, 4.40)
Game time: 7:05