Texas Rangers Team Summary
The Texas Rangers are a Major League Baseball team based out of Arlington, Texas. The Rangers compete in the American League West Division. They were originally called the Washington Senators from 1961-1971 before moving to Texas and becoming the Rangers prior to the 1972 campaign.
The team has made eight postseason appearances and has earned two American League Pennants but has yet to win a World Series.
Texas Rangers Last Season Performance
The Rangers endured a forgettable 2021 season. They finished dead last in the AL West with a 60-102 record which was the second-worst record in the American League. It was a trying season in Texas as the organization entered clear rebuild mode.
Texas made it clear they were not going to be attempting to win in 2021 when they traded star pitcher Lance Lynn last offseason. Lynn ended up posting Cy Young caliber numbers in Chicago for the White Sox following the deal. They also traded away long-time shortstop Elvis Andrus prior to the 2021 campaign.
But it was not all bad in Texas last season. Relievers Joe Barlow and Ian Kennedy both pitched well out of the bullpen. Barlow recorded a fantastic 1.55 ERA while Kennedy had a 2.51 ERA to go along with 16 saves. Kennedy was traded during the season to the Phillies which pushed Barlow into the closer’s role.
He would end up with 11 saves for the season.
Starting pitcher Kyle Gibson was also traded during the middle of the year after being named to the AL All-Star team.
The Rangers have a number of young pitchers who could play a pivotal role during the 2022 season.
Star outfielder Joey Gallo was another player who was traded during the season prior to the trade deadline in July. Gallo’s name had been on the trading block for a couple of seasons and he was finally dealt away from the rebuilding Rangers to the contending New York Yankees.
Gallo made the all-star team prior to being traded after hitting 25 home runs for the Rangers.
But the breakout star for Texas was Adolis Garcia. The outfielder hit 31 home runs on the season to go along with 90 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. The Rangers are hopeful that he can continue to develop into a superstar as the team looks to contend in the near future.
First baseman Nate Lowe enjoyed a tremendous start to the 2021 season. While he slowed down as the season progressed, he still finished with a .264/.357/.415 line and 18 home runs.
In summary, the Rangers 2021 season went as expected. The team struggled to win games but they developed some promising talent for the future and traded away veterans in order to acquire young talent.
Texas Rangers Off Season Changes
The Rangers had to make a decision entering the 2022 offseason. Were they going to continue to rebuild and lose games or were they going to start the process of trying to win games.
That question was answered rather quickly as the team signed stars such as Corey Seager and Marcus Semien out of the gate. The mindset is changing in Texas and it looks like this is a team preparing to win games in 2022.
Are they going to be a threat to win the division? It is possible, but likely not. The Texas pitching staff still has something left to be desired and the bullpen is full of young and developing arms.
But they could see a dramatic improvement in 2022. Even if they were to win 80 games that would still be an impressive 20 game improvement.
Texas Rangers Key Additions
The Rangers have made a number of high-profile additions so far during the 2021-2022 offseason.
They kicked off their free agent spending spree by signing outfielder Kole Calhoun to a one-year contract. Calhoun struggled in 2021 but did smash 33 home runs back in 2019 with the Angels. His pop is not the only asset he offers, as Calhoun is also a strong defensive outfielder as well.
The team then made waves by signing 2021 AL MVP candidate Marcus Semien to a seven year deal. This signing was unprecedented but excited the Rangers fanbase. Semien hit 45 home runs and drove in 102 runs to go along with an .873 OPS last season.
As a result of his strong performance, Semien was selected as an MVP finalist but ultimately finished third in the voting behind Shohei Ohtani and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Semien also adds defensive versatility as he can play shortstop, second base, or third base.
Jon Gray was signed to a four year deal in early December. Although his surface numbers did not look all that pretty in 2021, Gray is a pitcher who has shown signs of potential despite spending his six big league seasons in hitter friendly Coors Field.
He could be in line for a big year in his first full season away from the altitude of Colorado.
Finally, on the last day prior to the lockout, the Rangers inked shortstop Corey Seager to a 10 year contract. Although many expected Seager to return to the Dodgers, Los Angeles made it clear that they did not need his services with Trea Turner in the mix.
This allowed Texas to jump at the opportunity to guarantee him playing time at shortstop and become the face of the franchise. Seager posted impressive numbers despite breaking his hand and missing a significant amount of time during the middle of the 2021 season.
He finished with a productive .306/.394/.521 line to go along with 16 home runs and a .915 OPS. Seager will look to lead Texas to a winning campaign in his debut season with the team in 2022.
Texas Rangers Key Subtractions
Mike Foltynewicz, Charlie Culberson, Brock Holt, Jordan Lyles, Buck Farmer, and John Hicks were the most notable Rangers to hit the open market. However, none of these players will make or break a team’s success. But Culberson and Holt stand out as quality depth options on a roster.
Culberson played in 90 games for Texas last year and .243 during that span. He stole seven bases as well. Culberson offers defensive versatility given his ability to play multiple positions in the infield and also the outfield.
Brock Holt is another extremely versatile player who can play multiple positions for any team. Holt was limited to just 76 games and narrowly hit over .200 for the season. But he might have earned himself a second chance in the MLB after he recently posted a picture on social media of Mookie Betts giving him hitting lessons.
Both Holt and Culberson could draw the interest of the Rangers once the lockout comes to an end.
They will likely be content to let the other players walk in free agency.
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Texas Rangers Head Coach Analysis
Chris Woodward will enter the fourth season of his Rangers tenure in 2022. The former big league utility player has yet to lead Texas to a winning season since taking over managerial duties in 2019. In fact, their overall winning percentage has dropped in each season since he took over.
But it is difficult to blame the Rangers’ losing ways on Woodward. The team was clearly in the midst of a rebuild after trading a number of impactful stars. But his overall record as the Rangers head coach still appears rather lackluster as it sits at 160-224 which equates to a .417 winning percentage.
But he will have a chance to redeem himself in 2022 with the Rangers new star talent on the roster. No, he does not need to lead Texas to the playoffs in 2022. However, if the team fails to show significant improvement there is a very real chance that Woodward will find himself on the hot seat before the season even comes to a conclusion.
The Rangers front office needs to see progress from the ballclub with Woodward leading the charge.
Texas Rangers Injured Players at the beginning of the season
Relief pitchers Jose Leclerc and Jonathan Hernandez are expected to be out until mid-season in 2022. Hernandez is a solid reliever who could make a nice impact upon his return.
But there was a time when Leclerc was looked at as the closer of the future in Texas. However, he began to deal with a shoulder injury in the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign before being forced to miss time in 2021 with an elbow injury. The Rangers are hopeful he can make a triumphant return to the bullpen sometime this year.
John King and Nick Snyder are both probable for the beginning of the season as they recover from shoulder ailments.
Sherten Apostel, Ricky Vanasco, and Brock Burke are all probable for the beginning of the campaign as well as they make their way back from various injuries.
But it is Hernandez and Leclerc’s injuries that will have the greatest impact on the team in 2022.
Texas Rangers Prediction for 2022 Season
The Rangers are certainly moving in the right direction and progress seems inevitable. But they still lack quality starting pitching and the bullpen is filled with a number of question marks.
The offensive upgrades in stars such as Seager and Semien will bode well with the core Texas had already formed with players like Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Nate Lowe, and Adolis Garcia. But even this potentially strong offense will not be able to carry the team over the course of a 162 game span.
It is possible that the Rangers attempt to try and bring in more starting pitching to build around ace Jon Gray. Right now, the rotation projects to include fellow stars such as; Dane Dunning, Jordan Lyles, A.J. Alexy, and Spencer Howard. Texas would realistically need two or three upgrades in the rotation to become a legitimate playoff threat in 2022.
But for now, they should end up falling somewhere in the middle of the AL West. Seattle and Los Angeles have both made moves to better their rosters as well and they could both finish in front of Texas in the division. But if those teams falter the Rangers might be able to sneak into the third or even second spot in the division as Oakland has questions of their own.
I would place the Rangers ceiling at second place along with their MLB Odds in the AL West but their floor at last place in the division. It will ultimately be decided by what other moves Texas makes once the lockout comes to an end.
Texas Rangers Final Thoughts
With Seager and Semien leading the way for many years to come it will not be long before the Rangers are a consistent playoff threat. But they will need to wait their turn as their inexperienced roster continues to develop in 2022. However, Texas might have a chance for a winning season if they can stay healthy and the pitching rotation holds strong. Check out their MLB Lines.
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