Entering 2015, the Rangers have a new manager; former Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister and a team comprised of an intriguing mix of aging veterans and a young crop of promising rookies. Sadly, they were dealt a huge blow this spring when ace Yu Darvish was lost for the season to Tommy John surgery. The Rangers will have to improve upon their pitching to be successful in 2015, as their starting rotation finished dead last in quality starts and the bullpen was at the bottom end of every pitching category.
Three new guys were brought in to enhance the starting rotation: Yovani Gallardo, Ross Detwiler and Anthony Ranaudo. A healthy Prince Fielder at first base in 2015 will certainly help the Rangers offensively. RF Shin-Soo Choo should rebound nicely this season while Ryan Rua, Jake Smolinski and Delino DeShields should provide much needed youth in the outfield. While Texas fans and Rangers’ ticket holders were probably discouraged by the team’s 2014 late season melt down, they have reason to be hopeful as the AL West is up for grabs again and 2015 should prove to be an exciting one for Texas.
The Texas Rangers are one of the younger baseball teams in the MLB. They started briefly as the second professional baseball team in the nation’s capital in the 1960s, but moved to Texas since financial constraints made life difficult in D.C. This is not to suggest the move to a suburb north of Dallas resulted in anymore wins.
Wins, consistent wins, did not come until the late 1990s. Previous to these three AL West division wins the most exciting part of watching the Rangers was getting to see Nolan Ryan throw a no-hitter or eing lucky enough to see a roster full of sluggers pound the ball out of the park in the humid summer days and nights in Texas.
These winning Rangers teams (at the end of the 20th century) had Ivan Rodriguez, Dean Palmer, Juan Gonzalez, and Mickey Tettleton boosting the club’s slugging percentage. Texas’s pitching staff was certainly unappreciated by the majority of the rest of the MLB. It seemed the front office was always able to at least get a couple front end starters to make the team competitive. Whether it was Ken Hill and Bobby Witt or Rick Heiling and Aaron Sele, the baseball team was able to take the AL West three times in five years. Unfortunately, time and time again the Yankees stood in their way.
The Rangers veered back into futility to begin the 21st century. They would not find their winning way until the beginning of the second decade. Perennial 90-plus game winners with players like Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, and Ian Kinsler, the franchise even played in its first two World Series. The club lost both, first to the Giants and second to the Cardinals, but they show no signs failing to return sometime soon.