It hasn’t been the best of starts for the Texas Rangers.
Sitting at a record of 4-7 and ranking No. 4 in the AL West standings, this slow start is unfortunately something that die-hard Rangers fans have gotten accustomed to dating back to the 2014 regular season. Despite the sub-.500 start and winning just 3 of their last 7 outings, the Rangers had some good things going for them last week that included several efficient individual player performances.
Following an opening series at Globe Life Park in Arlington that featured the Rangers dropping 3-of-4 to the defending World Series Champion Houston Astros and being outscored in that series by two-times as much at 22-11, the Rangers somewhat rebounded when they traveled to the Bay Area to take on the Oakland Athletics. In a four game Monday-Thursday series against the Athletics, the Rangers managed to split the series and pick up 2 wins. Starting pitchers Cole Hamels and Martín Pérez both picked up their first wins of the season, which was huge for a starting pitching rotation that wasn’t stable during Spring Training.
After slugging it out on the road, the Rangers returned home and dropped 2 games in a 3-game weekend series versus the Toronto Blue Jays, and in that sole win the Rangers saw lots of promise in offseason signee Mike Minor. In the last slot of the starting rotation, Minor redeemed himself on Saturday night following an ugly display in his first start by striking out 7 batters and allowing just 1 ER in 6.0 innings pitched.
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) April 8, 2018
On the offensive end, the Rangers had a string of red-hot players who stepped it up.
One player that did stand out amongst the crowd was 29-year-old veteran shortstop Elvis Andrus. Now playing in his 10th MLB season, all with the Rangers, Andrus is batting .372 which ranks No. 5 in the entire American League. In the last seven games alone, Andrus got 9 hits, brought home 2 RBIs, recorded a walk, and only struck out once in 30 plate appearance in route to having a batting average of .300 over the week. Equally important to note, Andrus leads the team in hits with 16 of them, and also leads the team in the on base percentage category that currently sits at .426. As noted before the 2018 season went underway, Andrus’ continued improvement from last season will play a vital role in how the Rangers’ season pans out.
Another Ranger that put on a show last week was outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who annihilated 3 home runs, hit 9 balls in play, and racked up 6 RBI on his way to hitting .310 over that span. Choo’s .310 batting average for the week propelled his season total batting average to .325, good enough for second best on the team behind Andrus.
Aside from Andrus and Choo playing well, first baseman Joey Gallo also played superb baseball throughout the week. Following a breakout 2017 season where Gallo had career-highs in home runs, RBI, and batting average, Gallo displayed a few solid outings over the past week. Even though Gallo’s batting average was an ice-cold .172 on the stat sheet, in 29 opportunities at the batter’s box Gallo drove in 6 RBIs to give him a team-high 8 total RBIs for the season. An integral part of Gallo’s RBI total resulted from him knocking out 5 hits, 2 of which were home runs.
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) April 8, 2018
With 151 games remaining, it might be too early to predict where the Rangers will stand once this season concludes. One thing that is for sure though, the effort is still there.
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