With last night’s 4-1 loss to Houston, the Rangers fell to 4-18 on the road. The future is going to be lined with losing. And it’s not just that the next eight games are on the road.
It’s that, yesterday, Jon Daniels laid out the road map for 2021.
It’s a full-on youth movement. He said don’t expect free agents to be brought in or trades to be made that would bring in players who would be a road block for the kids they are looking at now. He wants 2021 to be a continuation of what 2020 has turned into, a learning lab, giving these young players every opportunity to prove what they can do.
They have already started their on-the-job training. The results are mixed but it’s a process. You can’t expect guys to get it right away. In Mike Trout’s first crack at the big leagues, back in 2011, he got into 40 games, batted .220, had an OPS of .672, and really didn’t dazzle anyone. The next year he was Rookie of the Year and finished an eyelash away from winning the MVP.
That’s not to say there is a Mike Trout among this crop of Rangers youngsters. It is to say, this is, hopefully, a building block year.
Best-case scenario is these guys bond and gel by going through these struggles together and come out on the other end a cohesive unit.
The challenge with this youth movement is that two of the major slots are clogged by Andrus and Odor, and no matter how much public threatening Daniels does, he is not going to move on from them. The money and the sentimental attachments are just too great.
So, the youth movement is on. It will be fun to see what these kids can do. It might not be pretty and there might be a lot of losing. But it’s time to see what the Rangers have in their system.
Oh, and the youth movement is cheaper than paying for proven players.
Kyle Gibson (1-5, 6.14) vs. Lance McCullers (3-2, 5.79)