Texas Rangers Spring Training Report
Okay, Texas Rangers fans, how are we all feeling? Well, if you’re anything like myself and the millions of baseball fans around the world right now… then you’re probably quite deflated. The previously labelled Coronavirus, now officially registered as COVID-19, has swept the world (and I’m talking about in the hysterical, sensationalized way, not in the way it actually has caught those with standing ailments off-guard) and it has absolutely dismantled the sporting world.
The NBA has postponed their regular season, the NHL too, Masters Golf is off, NCAA Tournament is out. The English Premier League has been cancelled indefinitely, and last but not least, our beloved MLB has scrapped the Spring Training aspect of pre-season. It looks as though the regular season will not commence until sometime close to mid-April.
So what are we to do now?! ESPN and B/R are seemingly obsolete, my subscriptions are burning a hole through my pocket and we are all suddenly at a loss for what to do with our sports-mad sports-loving time. Well, at least for now, let’s take a look at how our Texas Rangers have fared thus far.
The Texas Rangers, up until the cancelling of Spring Training, were one of the hottest teams in baseball! Ok, ok, yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking… “So what?” Well, of course, form during this part of the season means little to nothing, but with a club so starved of recent success, let’s try to include some positivity here! The Texas Rangers sit at 3rd Place in the Cactus League with a 12-8 record and a .600 PCT, sitting only behind the Padres and the A’s. That’s pretty cool!
Now to the reality – the Rangers have been playing some pretty nice baseball. The pitchers have generally been doing their job on the mound when asked to perform and a few players in the field have surprised some of us. Now, that’s not to say that the season is looking bright and to expect a playoff birth, but it’s also a proverbial step in the right direction.
Right off the bat (sorry!), I must mention the player who has impressed me the most so far here, and that’s Isiah Kiner-Falefa. He has shown real poise both with the bat and at times fielding too, and that again is a step in the right direction. To be honest, I had almost lost faith in his ability to become a valuable contributor for the organization. He would move straight into the Shortstop position should Elvis Andrus become injured (touch wood) and he also has shown signs of competence at 3rd base. I’m still leaning towards Matt Duffy at the position right now. purely because of his experience, but it’s an interesting development to see Isiah push his way into contention in certain areas.
Another interesting battle within the ranks, in my opinion, is that at 1st base. I’m still going to give it to Ronald Guzmán for now, but Kyle Bird has impressed me too at times. Both of them have been a little underwhelming if I were to be so blunt and general.
I’m optimistic about this season, whilst at the same time abhorrently annoyed that we will be dealing with a delayed regular season. I think the added power on the mound with the Corey Kluber addition is incredibly important for the squad. If the pitchers who surprised us and performed so well in 2019 can do it again, we may give the AL West a bit of a shakeup. Having said that, we must also remain calm and vigilant with our expectations for what is to come. No crazy overreacting. And yes, I’m referring to the Rangers 2020 season, not COVID-19.
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