Games like last night’s 8-2 loss to Kansas City lead to questions. Questions like:
Q: How is Eli White the leading hitter on this team? And, what does that say about a team that Eli White is the leading hitter on it? And, how can Eli White be any team’s best hitter when he is hitting just .276 with an OPS of just .830.
Q: How is Martin Perez the best pitcher on this team? And, what does that say about a team when Martin Perez is its best pitcher?
Q: Why is Marcus Semien still batting at the top of the order? Yes, he has the pedigree. Yes, he is here for a long long time. Yes, he is going to eventually hit his weight. But he’s not doing it now. And he is killing this team at the top of the order. You want your best hitters up there so they get more at-bats. Right now, you want Marcus Semien to have fewer at-bats. Because that means fewer outs he is going to generate. Just take a look across the diamond. Kansas City’s offensive leader is Whit Merrified. Merrified is the straw that stirs the drink. But this season, he is off to a horrendous start. He came into last night’s game hitting just .139 with an OPS of .386. His OPS+ was 4. That is not a typo. 4. Meaning, he is 96 percent worse than the average major league hitter. So, what did the Royals do? They dropped him to the bottom of the order. That way, he isn’t pressing. He isn’t expected to be “the man.” And he isn’t expected to clog up the offense. The Rangers need to take that approach with Semien.
Q: What do Michael Jackson and the Texas Rangers defense have in common? They both wear a glove on one hand for no apparent reason. The Rangers committed four more errors last night. And had a few other plays that were just boneheaded. They had almost as many errors (four) as hits (six). That’s not a recipe for winning.
Q: What is this team? There are moments when this team seems to finally be turning the corner after the long, dark rebuild. Then there are moments when it looks like they are decades away. That must be what a team treading .500 looks like. Great some days. Not so, other days.
Q: Since there are two hitting coaches with the Rangers, who gets the blame for this mess? The Rangers have bona fide major league hitters on their roster. You wouldn’t know it seeing them slink up to the plate night after night after night. When Willie Calhoun was sent down, he blamed the hitting coaches. It’s bad form to blame others. But, maybe he was right. Maybe these guys are trying to fill Rangers hitters with so much new age analytical garbage that they are seeing diminishing returns. That has to be a much easier reason to swallow than suddenly every one of these guys forgot how to hit.
Q: When will Marcus Semien hit his first home run? Last season, he hit 45. When will he hit his first home run of 2022? Will it be before or after the All-Star break? You make the call. As of now, he is on pace to hit 0 home runs.