The Texas Rangers announced Monday that Josh Hamilton would undergo season-ending surgery for a knee injury. With that news coming down, it’s starting to become more apparent that he needs to start thinking about his post-playing career.
There’s no doubt that the Texas Rangers sit in a much better position now than they did a year ago. But there’s one exception to that — Prince Fielder. The 32-year-old designated hitter has had a rough start to May and it’s time to move him out of the clean up spot in the lineup.
The Texas Rangers have one of the best offenses heading into the 2016 season in a few months. But if this lineup is to truly be feared by opposing pitchers, the Rangers have to add one more bat before the start of the upcoming campaign.
Against all of the odds at the beginning of the season, the Rangers have found themselves in thick of the playoff hunt with roughly a month-and-a-half to go in the season.
Heading into action Tuesday night, the Rangers were just three games behind the Houston Astros for the top spot in the AL West and just a game behind the Baltimore Orioles for the second wild card spot.
The biggest issue with the Rangers becoming buys in the waning days of July is that they’re not really contenders. Currently Texas sits in third in the American League West behind the Astros and Angels. In fact the Rangers sit eight games behind the Angels for first place in the division and five games behind the Minnesota Twins for the second wild card spot. That’s hardly considered contender status, even with this expanded playoffs.
And I don’t really get why the Rangers would want to try to get a player that may or may not work out and will, in all likely hood, get them into a spot to be a contender.
Thanks to a multitude of injuries just over a fourth of the way through the season, Gallo got the call up to Arlington from Frisco, putting him in the limelight for the entire country to see. Gallo actually got off to a great start with the big league club, ripping a 2-run hit in his first plate appearance and then hitting a 2-run home run the next time up. It got even better when he sent a gigantic blast over the wall in Dodger Stadium against Clayton Kershaw.
But the fun in the majors ran out Tuesday, with Gallo being sent to Triple-A, a level in which he has yet to play, in order to make room for Josh Hamilton. And that’s really the best thing that can happen for Gallo at this point in time.
Going into this season, the outlook for the Texas Rangers’ offense was anemic. Last year was so frustrating with so many guys going down with injuries and not a whole lot of moves made in the offseason, there wasn’t a whole lot to look forward to this season.
But fast forward to today, 64 games into the season, and things are still looking incredibly better for the offense. Prince Fielder has become the hitter everyone thought he would be when the team made the trade a year-and-a-half ago. Joey Gallo has shown the potential he has once he gets used to facing major league pitching. And Delino Deshields, though now on the disabled list, has come out and taken the leadoff spot.
And once Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton return from the disabled list here in a few weeks, this lineup could easily be the most feared line in all of baseball.
For the past year-and-a-half or so, the Rangers trade with the Tigers for first baseman Prince Fielder looked like a complete dud.
Fielder only saw the field for 42 games last year, hitting just three home runs and batting in only 16 runs before ending his season with neck surgery. And then this year got off to a rough start. At the end of April, Fielder had only one home run, five doubles and 10 RBIs as people wondered if the Rangers had made the right move.
But since the calendar turned to May, Fielder has gone, dare I say, Josh Hamilton (pre-2012 obviously) for the Rangers. In this month, Fielder has hit eight home runs and driven in 25 RBIs while posting a .701 slugging percentage headed into Tuesday’s game at Cleveland.
Over the last week or so, the Rangers have shown signs of life. As of Monday night’s win, Texas has won six of its last eight games, including a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros on the road. The offense has come alive as well, scoring 39 runs in that stretch. Monday night, the Rangers belted three home runs for the first time in a while.
And while the team is still only in fourth in the division and six games behind Houston, there are a number of signs that the Rangers can at least make a run at it this season.
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