Don’t look now, but the Texas Rangers are leading almost every single offensive category in the American League. Runs? Check. Hits? Check. Home Runs? Check. Total Bases? Check. RBI? Check. Batting Average? Check. Slugging? Check. On-base plus slugging? Check.
If I were a betting man, I’d put a chunk of change on the possibility that the Rangers make a Texas-sized push for some pitching come trading-deadline time. Because, honestly, that’s exactly what they need. Their team ERA is 5.05 (yep, you guessed it, dead last in the AL), and what’s worse, their pitchers have thrown the second-most innings so far.
So it comes as no surprise that new club president, and pitching legend, Nolan Ryan wants to go back to the days when “men and pitchers finished what they started,” hoping to get more complete games out their rotation. Which makes sense when you take into account that their best pitcher, Vicente Padilla, has thrown a total of 79.2 innings, good for 23d over all.
Beyond Padilla, the Rangers are trying to hold on to hopes that Kevin Millwood can somehow make his $48 million worth anything and have a decent season (he flirted with success this year, but then he’s reverted to good ol’ form and posted a 4-3 record and a 4.65 ERA, hardly proper #2 starter stats; and here’s hoping Padilla keeps it up and doesn’t get affected by trouble outside the diamond – he’s on my fantasy team).
In fact, the Rangers have given the ball to nine different starters; and having recently released Sidney Ponson (who was having a decent season – 4-1, 3.88 ERA), you know they’ll be looking to add an innings-eating #3 or #4 starter.
The relievers aren’t faring much better, having a collective 5.36 ERA and closer C.J. Wilson has been spotty at best, already having blown two saves (as much as last year when he wasn’t closing).
So yea, if there’s a team with a clear mission before the trading deadline, it’s the Rangers: they drastically need a good starter and a couple of good relief arms.