• December 18, 2014

Analysis: Banged-up Rangers mired in mediocrity

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Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 4:30 am

At the moment, it must hurt to be a Texas Rangers fan, but being on the roster is literally painful.

For anyone intending to look over the team’s injury report, be sure to bring a cup of coffee along because it reads like a short novel. In total, 14 players, highlighted by blockbuster offseason acquisition Prince Fielder, are listed — twice as many as any other team in the league.

This season already has been an agonizing one, and it is just getting started. But if any franchise knows how to handle frustration, it is the Rangers.

After decades of disappointment, Texas finally made its first playoff run, reaching the World Series for the first time in club history in 2010 only to humbled by Tim Lincecum and the rest of San Francisco’s pitching staff.

One year later, the Rangers fell one strike short of their first championship, losing to St. Louis in seven games.

Almost everything since has been forgettable, especially this year with the recent news of Fielder’s season-ending neck surgery serving as the team’s deathblow for all intents and purposes.

The Rangers are not completely out of contention just yet in American League West, but losing the offense generated by one of the game’s premier power hitters will only widen the gap over time.

Then there is the issue of the other 13 players on the injury list.

In exchange for Fielder,who previously seemed indestructible, playing every game in four of the past five seasons, the Rangers sent three-time All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler to Detroit believing third-year player Jurickson Profar would inherit the position.

As luck would have it, however, Profar never stepped foot on the field this year, recently aggravating a torn muscle in his right shoulder that will most likely cost him the season.

Additionally, pitchers Pedro Figueroa and Martin Perez are out for the remainder of the season with right fielder Engel Beltre, third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, pitcher Joseph Ortiz and catcher Geovany Soto all expected to be out until the All-Star break.

Then there is the case of outfielder Daniel Robertson, who suffered several fractures in his left cheekbone following a collision with teammate Alex Rios during a recent game against Detroit. Adding insult to injury, the Memorial Day holiday prevented the Rangers from obtaining a protective mask, causing him to miss extra games.

On top of everything else, ace pitcher Yu Darvish was scratched from a scheduled start Tuesday at Minnesota due to neck stiffness.

In a nutshell, that is just the way 2014 is going for Texas. Nothing is working according to plan.

The season is far from over, but fans should not hold their breath in anticipation of a rally.

In fact, as painful as it will be, after finally escaping the uncomfortable position of mediocrity, it is time for Texas to revert to its old ways, and before even reaching the midpoint of the season, the Rangers and their fans need to turn their attention to next season.

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