The 2008 Texas Rangers were the best and worst when it came to runs scored. The Rangers led the majors with 901 runs scored last year behind a breakout season by Josh Hamilton and several other solid starters. Unfortunately, the Rangers still can’t figure out how to pitch, as the staff allowed 83 more runs than Pittsburgh (29th in the league), and yet, the Rangers still finished just 4 games under .500.
The goal for the 2009 Rangers is obviously to improve the pitching without allowing the offense to lose ground.
The Rangers were one of two teams since 1990 to lead the majors in runs scored and runs allowed. Name the other. Bonus points for the other team’s top home run hitter and wins leader.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Elvis Andrus, Chris Davis, Taylor Teagarden, and others are bringing a new wave of young talent to the Rangers lineup. Add in the return of Hamilton, Michael Young and Ian Kinsler, and the Rangers offense should still be very dangerous to opposing staffs.
Beyond allowing youngsters to get playing time this season, the Rangers made no moves at improving the team. Sure, management flirted with Ben Sheets and Milton Bradley, but for all the starting pitching available this offseason, the Rangers stood pat and will allow Kevin Millwood to be the king of the Rangers’ hill come opening day.
The 1991 Rangers (85-77) scored 829 (+30 over Milwaukee) and allowed 814 (+18 over Baltimore). Juan Gonzalez (27) was one of three players to hit 25 or more homers for the team, Rafael Palmeiro and Ruben Sierra were the others. If you guessed Nolan Ryan as the team’s leader in wins, you were incorrect. Ryan finished with 12 wins, as did Kenny Rogers. Jose Guzman topped the Rangers with 13.
I just don’t see how not helping the worst pitching staff in the majors will make this team better. Nobody’s suggesting they should have dropped $140MM on CC Sabathia, but being in the hunt for Oliver Perez or Derek Lowe could have helped bring in someone to anchor this staff.
The Rangers are treading water again. Their offense is one of the most dangerous in the league, but I do think they’ll return to earth some with the influx of rookies and the potential slight dip from Hamilton.
3rd Place, AL West, 77-85.
Josh Hamilton – http://withmalice.wordpress.com/2008/07/16/tb-rays/
Juan Gonzalez – http://trsullivan.mlblogs.com/archives/2008/09/