On Wednesday night, while everyone was talking about the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees brawl, the Texas Rangers suffered yet another loss. Shortstop Elvis Andrus, in his 10th season, got hit in the elbow by Anaheim Angels pitcher Kenyan Middleton. The hit, happening in the bottom of the 9th, caused Andrus to fall down on the plate in a heap. The shortstop, after leaving the field, dealt with a fractured elbow. For someone who has been amazingly healthy, this will be the first trip to the disabled list for Andrus in 10 seasons. However, it seems to be a likely end to the great Texas Rangers prime.
The Rangers have been struck in this early season by a myriad of injuries, from the majors to the minors. Just on the majors side alone, the Rangers lost second baseman Rougned Odor to a hamstring strain the other day. That made the promotion of the Isiah Kiner-Falefa possible. The Rangers lost leadoff hitter Delino DeShields Jr. in Spring Training with a fractured hamate bone. They also put starting pitcher Doug Fister on the disabled list with a strained hip on April 10. To make things worse, the top prospects have not seen a good time. Both Clayton Blackburn and Joe Palumbo needed Tommy John surgery.
The Texas Rangers have been stuck between a rock and a hard place. The team is on its last legs despite having some good players, including Hall of Famer to be Adrian Beltre. The team went to the World Series in 2010 and 2011, losing to the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals. However, the success has not repeated in the years since. This included the 2014 season, where everyone was injured, leading to a 67-95 (.414) record. Healthy, they wasted no time returning to the playoffs in 2015 and 2016. 2017, they finished third in a tie with the Seattle Mariners.
However, in 2018, it is clear that the Rangers are either the worst or the second worst team in the American League West. The Houston Astros are the clear favorites, the Anaheim Angels and Seattle Mariners are 2 and 3. There are debates whether or not that the Oakland Athletics are better. However, the Athletics are injury-ridden as well, losing Jharel Cotton and A.J. Puk to Tommy John surgery. There are arguments that Oakland has the better offense, despite the pitching.
The Texas Rangers offense is pretty good when healthy (Beltre, Odor, DeShields, Andrus). However, the rotation before the season started was a mess. Cole Hamels, Matt Moore, Martin Perez, Doug Fister and Mike Minor is not exactly a scary rotation. Now with Fister on the DL and Bartolo Colon in the rotation, it seems just as unexciting as it did before. This is not going to improve without a lot of help.
The prospect system for the Rangers is not much better. Willie Calhoun is the #1 prospect according to Baseball America while Leody Taveras is #1 for Baseball Prospectus. Taveras will not make the majors until mid-2021 by estimation. That isn’t a great farm system. Scouts expect Calhoun to do great things. We will see there.
Simply put, the time is over for the Rangers. They are not getting a Wild Card short of a miracle. The injuries do not help an already weak team. The chances they could trade Adrian Beltre are high, and it will not easy for any fans of the Texas Rangers.