The Texas Rangers are already eight games into their 2015 campaign, and while there’s still a lot to be decided over the next six months or so, there’s already one guarantee.
It’s going to be a long season. And it won’t be in that sort of “we made it to the Word Series” kind of long season.
Currently, the Rangers sit at 3-5 in the first week of action in this nice little lose-one-win-one kind of pattern for the most part. Of course going an even .500 this season would be an accomplishment for many who predicted this team fall flat once again and finish last in the American League West.
But for fans of the team, including myself, this predictable pattern will make for a long 155 remaining games.
Of course, what will make this season feel eternally long the most will be the injury bug once again. Already seven games in, the Rangers have had to pull three players from games due to injury concerns and two players have already been sent to the disabled list. Starting pitcher Derek Holland, who missed all of last year thanks to an injury caused by his dog (his dog!), lasted only an inning in Friday’s home opener before coming out. Now it’ll be at least a month before he picks up a baseball again, much less rejoins the big league team.
That gives grave concerns for fans who thought that last year’s nightmare season of injuries was as good as gone. Instead, it already appears that each game will bring that familiar old thought: who will go down for the season with an injury in this game? It wasn’t fun last year, and it won’t be very much fun this season either.
The injury to Holland also brings up another point in why this team will encounter a very long this season — pitching.
I honestly think that the hitting and the defense should be fine for the most part. There’s enough there, especially if the bats of Mitch Moreland and Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre wake up in a big way. But the weakest link for the Rangers is no doubt the pitching. As a team, the Rangers are already 19th in the league with a 4.09 ERA and have given up fourth-most earned runs at 30 (which is tied with fellow division opponent Seattle).
Already plagued by the season-ending shoulder injury to Yu Darvish, the Rangers were struggling to fill out the rotation will quality guys. Now the team is going to have to find another person to replace Holland, and I can almost guarantee that guy is going to struggle mightily this season.
Of course, maybe this all becomes a moot point? Maybe the bats wake up like they’ve shown the capability of doing this season with that 10-1 win at Oakland last week. Maybe they find a diamond in the rough in the rotation.
I know this is all reaching speculation with no firm basis, but hey, it’s going to be a long season no matter how you dice it up. Might as well find something to be positive about eight games in.