ESPN.com’s rankings are out, courtesy of writer David Schoenfield. The Rangers don’t fare too well.
According to Schoenfield, the AL West looks like this:
Seattle, 6th best team overall in MLB
Los Angeles, 8th best team
Houston, 14th best
Oakland, 18th best
Texas Rangers, 25th best
The only teams worse than the Rangers are the Rockies, Twins, Braves, Phillies and Diamondbacks. But he does concede that “The Rangers are probably the most difficult team in the majors to evaluate. I could be way off here.” The question is, off by how much?
The main culprit, according to Shoenfield, is the rotation. After Darvish and Holland, the rotation is “shaky,” especially with Gallardo moving up to the American League, and bringing his shrinking strikeout totals with him.
Personally, I don’t think the Rangers are going to be this bad. And I don’t think the rotation will be a mess. But maybe the bar was set so low last season that anything is an improvement.
I do think, as Shoenfeild does, that Banister is a huge upgrade over Washington, as was proven at the end of last season with how the team dramatically improved with Bogar.
Maybe more than any player acquisition, having someone who knows where the chess pieces go, and when to move them, will be the biggest improvement Texas makes.
I will be curious to see other rankings and predictions as them come out.
But this one wasn’t flattering. This one was not a dozen roses and a box of chocolates for Rangers fans.
See his complete rankings from 1 through 30 here.