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Three things to explore for the Rangers halfway through August

Three things to explore for the Rangers halfway through August

The Rangers grinded out another victory on Friday in a ballpark known for teams outslugging the fluff out of each other. Grind is an excellent way to describe the Texas offense this season, but there are other things to look at as the team keeps riding the positive momentum throughout the dog days of summer.

The second base debate

Every time a Rougned Odor post comes up and the comment section floods, it reminds me of reading political post comments. Fans are passionate about their team, and that’s a good thing. Still, there’s so much more than throwing a player to the wolves. The Rangers have given Odor a lot of chances not just in 2020, but for the last three to four years. Rougie delivered the game-tying single in Friday’s win over the Rockies, but does that change anything regarding the team’s last thread on Rougie? According to Chris Woodward, no. “It’s day one. It’s better. My message to him will always be, ‘You’ve got to keep doing that every day,'” Woody said after Friday night’s game. “We can’t have the fallback and try to search for it every time. Really good first day for him, hitting the ball hard all three times.”

Derek Dietrich’s Rangers career is starting strong. He has overtaken Shin-Soo Choo for 2020 hit by pitches (Choo’s specialty), but he’s reached base in all five plate appearances with the team. Dietrich brings another type of energy similar to Todd Frazier that can become contagious. “There are three things: power, versatility, and energy. I think all three things were appealing,” Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels said after the signing of Dietrich. The Rangers have some mixing and matching to do in the next few games, and remember, Danny Santana, is eligible to come back. The ball remains in Odor’s castle, but it’s real close to getting infiltrated.

Time for Trevino to shine

With Robinson Chirinos going to the injured list, the club called Jose Trevino to fill that second catcher’s role. Trevino came in for a defensive replacement after Dietrich hit for Mathis on Friday. Even with that, Lance Lynn commented on Trevino’s preparedness, “Trevi came in and did the same thing [Jeff and I] were doing there. He paid attention as the game went on, and it was huge.” Trevino was sent to the alternate training site two weeks after Opening Day but rejoined the Rangers in Denver this weekend. Jose enters Saturday one for four on the season with a key RBI single in the Rangers victory on July 29 vs. Arizona.

For Jose, he feels like he is ready to go and took that gigantic leap as a professional major leaguer. “I feel like I’ve taken a big step forward. Whether that’s offensively, defensively, mindset. Getting comfortable with a lot of veterans guys, getting to know them on a personal level,” Trevino said before Friday’s game. Jose’s defense speaks for itself, and with the club keeping only two catchers on the roster, Trevino’s playing time should skyrocket, giving Rangers fans a sense of what he brings to the table.

It’s Lynn vs. Everybody Else in the Rotation

Friday’s gem from Lance Lynn signified him as the ace of the staff and one of the top pitchers in baseball. However, there’s not a clear second man on the chain. Mike Minor made an excellent case in his last start against the Mariners Tuesday, but his next outing (scheduled for Monday vs. the Padres) is vital to see where Minor stands. Kyle Gibson got knocked around on Monday against the Mariners and will get his first look at the Coors Field mound on Saturday. Jordan Lyles’ last two starts were okay except for two bad innings (1st inning vs. Angels and 2nd inning vs. Mariners).

Finally, you have Kolby Allard. Allard is the Rangers scheduled starter on Sunday and shined in his last outing against the Halos. The unfortunate circumstance for Allard is that being the fifth starter, he hasn’t had the consistent schedule a usual starter has. When Kolby takes the mound Sunday, it’ll be eight days since he made his previous start compared to the traditional five days between his first start against the Giants and his last one against the Angels.

The Rangers have a lot more questions to answer around the roster, but if the team can keep their momentum going, they’ll be fun questions to answer (we all like fun). At the end of the day, a win is a win, and the Rangers have turned a 3-8 start to a .500 club in just over a week. Welcome to the 2020 season as the one-third mark is almost here.

Credentialed Media Staff Writer covering the Texas Rangers for Dallas Sports Fanatic | 2014 University of North Texas graduate with a Bachelor's in Radio, Television, and Film. I talk about things. Find me on the tweeter @aplinckTX

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