Ibañez earning it.

Andy Ibañez continues forcing his way into the Rangers future, collecting three hits in the Rangers 7-1 loss to the Yankees.

Three more hits for Andy Ibañez. And all of a sudden he is the leading Rangers hitter in batting average. He’d be second but the Rangers jettisoned their best hitter, Yohel Pozo, to the minor leagues. 

That’s the fate of being a Ranger. The better you do, the less attractive you are to the major league club.

Ibañez has been a hitting machine. It probably won’t be enough for next season. He hit in the minor leagues and was ignored for years. 

He hit .300 at Triple-A Nashville in 2019. The Rangers failed to call him up, instead running out a litany of swing and miss guys. He was stuck in the alternate site last year while the big league roster continued to flail.

All he did in 2021 was hit .342 in Triple-A Rock Rock before someone in the Rangers front office said, “Okay, I guess we need to reluctantly make this happen.”

They brought him up in early May. He struggled, but not much more than the rest of the roster struggled. It wasn’t good enough for the Rangers, who sent the twenty-eight-year-old Cuban native back down, written off again. 

When so many on the major league roster failed, Ibañez got called up again. Since July 1, Ibañez is hitting .299 with an OPS of .816, by far the best of any other Ranger.

For a roster that is so offensively challenged, Ibañez is a bright spot, the only infielder who has legitimately earned the right to a spot next year. 

Chances are, he will be back in the minor leagues next year.

Because, Rangers.