Texas Rangers Enjoying Being in First
- Created on Wednesday, 19 May 2010 19:17
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Travis Pulver
For some players, the lack of ownership may be an issue for them; it would not be unusual for a player to be nervous about the direction and future of the club depending on who ends up finally taking over.
That is far from the case for the Texas Rangers.
Issues have persisted over the sale of the Texas Rangers to a new ownership group led by Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan. Instead of letting the problem be an issue for the team, the players have decided to just win the division.
About one fourth of the way into the 2010 season the Rangers have been the toast of the American League Western Division with a 22-18 record, good enough for a two game lead on second place Oakland and 4 ½ games on the usual AL West winner, the Los Angeles Angels.
The Rangers were competitive last season as well, but eventually dropped off down the stretch allowing the Angels to win the division.
So far the team has been winning by making some modest improvements over last season. In 2009, the Rangers pitching staff was among the lower half of the league ranking 18th overall with a 4.38 team ERA. Fast forward to 2010 and the team ERA has dropped to 4.08 (13th overall). On the offensive end, the team batting average has improved from .260 in 2009 (18th overall) to .263 in 2010 (11th overall).
This season it has been a mixture of young talent and unlikely players stepping forward that has led to the team’s success. Among the starting pitchers, the team’s best ERA (2.38) belongs to a player in only his second year in the big leagues, Derek Holland. The other sub-3.0 ERA belongs to a player working on his first season as a starting pitcher, C.J. Wilson (2.55). A former member of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, 30 year old Colby Lewis, is doing well (3.68 ERA) back in the Major Leagues for the first time since 2007 (when he was in Oakland).
On the offensive end it the Ranges have six guys hitting better than .300. Newcomer Vlad Guerrero is leading the way at DH with a .345 batting average. Elvis Andrus has been performing on the field and at the plate (.331). The duo of second basemen, Joaquin Arias (.321) and Ian Kinsler (.317) have provided some help with their bats. Max Ramirez has done well in his limited at bats hitting .318. Outfielder Nelson Cruz brings up the rear of the .300 pack hitting .304 in spite of missing time due to injuries.
After beating the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday night, 8-7, the Rangers have a two game series at home against the Baltimore Orioles.