One week until pitchers and catchers report. Baseball activity is about to start. Everyone is stretching away the sleep and knocking away the rust and looking ahead to the upcoming season.
MLB Network TV put out its top ten at every position. The Rangers had two players there. Robinson Chirinos was the number seven catcher. Joey Gallo the number eight right fielder.
MLB.com handicapped the division. Not surprisingly they have Houston winning and Oakland being a strong contender on their heels. As for the Rangers, how they do will really fall on how well Corey Kluber is able to come back from his injury-plagued year and how real was Jordan Lyles’s 7-1 end of 2019.
There’s no reason to think Mike Minor and Lance Lynn won’t have strong seasons again. So, there’s also no reason to think this team, with that rotation, can’t shoot for .500.
But this is the opposite of Rangers teams of the past. The typical Rangers team was built on offense that pounded the other team into submission and pitching that pounded the Rangers into submission. Now it’s the pitching that’s the strength and the offense that’s the Achilles heel.
In the past the Rangers would lose a lot of 9-8 games. With this pitching and this offense, expect a lot of 4-3 games.
Last year, this was a team that dominated the bad teams but disappeared against the good ones. There are a few more good teams this year, with the Angels and White Sox making vast improvements.
But that’s why they play the games. Now, they just have to get to it.