Looking for positives in a nine-game losing streak is like looking for common sense in Washington.
But Andy Ibañez is the offensive star of the second half, the only Ranger at all worthy of bringing a bat up to the plate with him.
After yesterday’s 3-for-4 performance, including his first career triple, Ibañez is hitting .375, with a slugging percentage of .500 since the All-Star Break. It’s only seven games but it’s been an otherwise bleak seven games.
He’s driven in a couple runs and scored a couple of runs in that time too. Not world beating there. But if nobody else is getting on base, it’s hard to drive anyone in. And if nobody else can hit, it’s hard to score a run.
As the Rangers use the rest of this fifth lost season in a row to sort out the carnage, Ibañez might earn a lot more playing time. As Nick Solak and Nathaniel Lowe continue showing they are not major league hitters, guys like Ibañez and soon to be teammate Curtis Terry should be given the chance to prove what they can do if given enough at-bats, playing second and first respectively. Maybe Terry and Ibañez can be offensive improvements there. You never know until you see.
One thing we do know is, Solak and Lowe are not earning their jobs. Neither are Kiner-Falefa, Eli White, and most of the rest of the position players. But the Rangers don’t have reinforcements for them.
So, all we can do is look for silver linings in very dark clouds. It might not last, but Ibañez, for this past week, is fulfilling the promise he showed in Triple-A when he hit .300 in 2019 and .352 in 2021.
As the Rangers head into Houston, they are just 23 games out of first. If Ibañez can lead them to a sweep against the Astros, then they are just 20 games out.