Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Texas Rangers 2018 season preview



        In a very forgetful year, the Texas Rangers tied with the Seattle Mariners for third in the AL West with a 78-84 record. They missed the playoffs, and traded Yu Darvish at the trade deadline. With the team facing a serious decision, the team had some moves to make. Let's take a look at what they did in the offseason.

        Notable additions: LHP Mike Minor LHP Matt Moore, RHP Jesse Chavez, RHP Doug Fister, RHP Tim Lincecum, C Juan Centeno, 1B Tommy Joseph, RHP Edinson Volquez, RHP Shawn Tolleson, OF/P Anthony Gose, INF Darwin Barney, RHP Kevin Jepsen, LHP Jon Niese, OF Destin Hood.

       Notable subtractions: OF Carlos Gomez, RHP Andrew Cashner, 1B Mike Napoli, RHP A.J. Griffin, RHP Tyson Ross, RHP Miguel Gonzalez, RHP Jason Grilli, LHP Dario Alvarez.

       What they did well: Moore and Fister were much needed additions to their rotation. Plus, Mike Napoli is out of town.

        What they did bad: Nothing, besides released Bartolo Colon.

         Sneaky sleeper: Jonathan Lucroy had a horrible season until his midseason trade to Denver, but his backup, Robinson Chirinos had a pretty good season. Despite driving in just 38 batters, Chirinos still mashed 17 homers, pretty good for a catcher.

        Incoming outbreak: The main part of the Darvish trade, Willie Calhoun, one of baseball's top prospects, probably won't start the season with the team, but the 2B/LF has a very good chance to play a lot this season. After playing in 13 games last season, Calhoun will open many eyes this season, trust me.

         Unsuspected slump: Once one of baseball's best aces, Cole Hamels is slipping. With a weak 4.20 ERA in 148 innings, Hamels is starting to fall into the "average" group right above the "below average" group.

          Blue-chip Bopper: This would be where I write my Adrian Beltre paragraph. But, that is a Nomar Mazara. It always seems like Mazara has an insane start, slows down, and finishes with average numbers, like 20 homers and a .253 batting average, which he yielded in 2017.

          Astounding ace: Hamels again. They don't have anything better.

          Here's their projected lineup.

 CF Delino DeShields (R)
 SS Elvis Andrus (R)
 RF Nomar Mazara (L)
 3B Adrian Beltre (R)
 1B Joey Gallo (L)
 2B Roughned Odor (L)
 C Robinson Chirinos (R)
 DH Shin-Soo Choo (L)
 LF Ryan Rua (R)

          Here's their projected rotation.

 LHP Cole Hamels
 LHP Mike Minor
 RHP Doug Fister
 LHP Martin Perez
 LHP Matt Moore

 Keone Kela (R) is their closer, with Tony Barnette (R), Alex Claudio (L), Matt Bush (R), Jake Diekman (L), Jesse Chavez (R) and Jose Leclerc (R) in the bullpen.

 C Juan Ceteno (L), U Jurickson Profar (S), OF Drew Robinson (L) and OF Carlos Tocci (R) are on the bench.

 Finally, for my prediction, I think the Rangers, a team in need of pitching, will miss the playoffs in 2018.

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