Texas Rangers Unsure on How to Balance Youth, Depth
The Texas Rangers have more than handful of positional battles this offseason, which is very uncommon for a team that’s been to the World Series twice in the last three years. The theme of this past winter in Texas has been which bright young star will step in to replace a departed face of the franchise and when you look at all of these various situations, it’s no wonder the Rangers have struggled during Cactus League play this spring.
The Rangers have a hole to fill in both the infield and outfield with the departures of Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli and the trade that sent Michael Young to the Philadelphia Phillies. Craig Gentry and Leonys Martin are vying for playing time in center field and it appears they will split time there pretty much 50-50 in 2013; or at least that’s the tentative plan. Mitch Moreland has stepped in at first base to replace Young and Napoli, who each spent time there last season, but he’s being challenged by the indispensable Mike Olt.
Of course, there’s the never-ending saga of Jurickson Profar and Elvis Andrus as well. One of the two will likely be traded by the All-Star break this year, but which one will still be in Texas manning the shortstop position for the foreseeable future? That question likely won’t be answered until literally the minute that one of them is officially traded, which is a good thing in that the Rangers have two talented players at the same position, but bad in that Texas will have to start over on team chemistry during the playoff stretch run.
Even still, Olt could end up playing in right field if Nelson Cruz is suspended for 50 games for PED use, so then the current position battles will shift more than they already have. On top of all these, you have the battles for the Nos. 1 and 5 spots in the rotation. All-Stars Yu Darvish and Matt Harrison are vying for the ace title while half a dozen young pitchers are trying to make the rotation, including 2012 phenom Robbie Ross and top pitching prospect Martin Perez.
So you do you think will win each positional battle for the Rangers this year? Comment below and let us know!