The Texas Rangers have lost their mojo.
Yes, I know that’s an Austin Powers reference, but it holds true in this sense of the word as well. While they’re not finding the next hot girl to be with, they certainly are flirting with disaster.
The four-game lead that used to belong to the Texas Rangers has shrunk to a single, solitary, game over the Los Angeles Angels heading into the weekend. A lead that has never looked so uncertain.
When the trade deadline ended and the dust cleared on all the running around being done by general managers all over baseball, the Rangers were looked at as a team that had been a big “winner.”
Since then, they’ve lost ground to a team most were surprised didn’t make a move at all. Apparently, the Angels’ front office knew more than we did. Though the Rangers upgraded their bullpen, the team in Southern California knew Texas’ rotation would be the weak link that would allow them to hang around in the AL West race.
The Rangers can’t afford to lose even a single game because they end up being the ones watching the scoreboard and hoping the Angels do them a favor. They become scoreboard watchers, and it’s not something they can afford to become.
Time to kick tires on Kinsler trade?
This is not going to be a popular opinion because I know there are a lot of Rangers fans who really like Ian Kinsler. This is in no way a personal attack on the second baseman, but I think it’s time for Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels and CEO Nolan Ryan to at least see what they could get in return.
Since a 4-for-6 performance against the Minnesota Twins on July 25, Kinsler has just 2 hits in 34 at-bats.
“(Kinsler) wants to get it done so badly,” manager Ron Washington told the media. ”You just have to weather the storm. I think people get tired of seeing the popups. They get frustrated, but nobody is more frustrated than Ian.”
If the Rangers want to do something about Kinsler, at least move him down in the lineup. This team cannot continue to allow him to lead off if he can’t get on base. Being the leadoff hitter means you are the catalyst, you are the lead dog. Right now, he’s hitting more like the eighth hitter than the lead man.
I’m not saying you hand him over to a team in return for a bag of baseballs or a nice box of cigars, but do your due diligence and see what other teams are willing to give you in return.
The Rangers have a prospect in their system, shortstop Jurickson Profar, whom they are very high on. It’s the reason they were not willing to trade him at the deadline regardless of who they got in return.
If he is as close to the big leagues as most seem to believe, where are you going to put him if both current shortstop Elvis Andrus and Kinsler still are with the team? If you want this young man to play every day, you need to give him the opportunity.
If you trade Kinsler, you can move Andrus or Profar to second base. Hey, if you can move Alexi Ogando from a reliever to a starter, you can move Andrus or Profar to second base.
Adams much better second time
Mike Adams’ debut for the Rangers couldn’t have gone much worse.
After getting the first two outs, he gave up the game-winning home run against the Detroit Tigers. It took 30 pitches for him to get through that one inning. The conditions were terrible, but Adams wasn’t about to use that as an excuse.
Two days later, Adams got another chance and, this time, he showed why the Rangers like him so much.
It took just eight pitches for him to get through the inning, and he looked like the dominate reliever we all saw in San Diego.
“My blood pressure was way down today,” Adams told the media after a 5-2 win over Detroit on Thursday. “The other night, I was all over the place, but today felt more comfortable.”
That comfort could be a great thing for Texas because if he’s as good as he was Thursday, he is going to be a solid reliever.
Lee blanks San Francisco
I know this will pain a lot of Texas Ranger fans, but former Ranger Cliff Lee pitched a shutout Thursday night against the San Francisco Giants. Even more painful? He did it in San Francisco, a place Lee struggled during the World Series last year for Texas.
He went nine innings, giving up seven hits and striking out eight.
Hey Cliff, where was that last October?