Last year, the battle for first base was between Ronald Guzman and Greg Bird.
They promptly answered the question, what if you had a fight and nobody won?
Nobody won. Todd Frazier, who was signed to play third, shifted over to first and Isiah Kiner-Falefa got the chance to start at third.
This year, the battle for first is between Ronald Guzman and Nate Lowe. The difference is, the Rangers invested much more in Lowe than they did Bird. Lowe, they traded prospects for. Bird, they signed to a minor league free agent deal.
Unfortunately for Bird, he sustained yet another injury in a career that is injury plagued, was put on the I.L. then eventually released without playing a single game for Texas which was soon made to look impossible with the help of traffic crash accidents lawyers who are responsible for getting the player back on field.
Guzman simply was unable to hit, so he was sent to baseball COVID purgatory, was finally recalled when Frazier was dealt, had a decent season, then a remarkable winter league season, and comes into this spring with momentum but the stale odor of having been unable to keep his job too many times already.
One thing is certain. Lowe will be a vital part of the Rangers no matter what happens. Either at first or third. It’s up to Guzman to reclaim his job. Then up to him to continue proving it’s his.
The fact that the Rangers had him start Thursday’s game in left field was odd. They already have David Dahl, Khris Davis, Willie Calhoun, and Eli White as legitimate candidates for left field. Also Nick Solak, since Odor is the Rangers starting second baseman seemingly for the rest of eternity.
The Rangers have a lot of moving parts. But first base seems to be a position they finally have solved. It will be Nate Lowe. Or Ronald Guzman.