AL West Preview 2011 – Texas Rangers

Posted on March 19, 2011 by

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A big reason why the Texas Rangers look like they’re primed for another run at the AL West title is that fact that they haven’t made any changes to a line – up that fueled them to a surprising AL Title in 2010. Losing Cliff Lee, their playoff ace, to the Philadelphia Phillies hurts them the most but they bolster a line – up that can really back up a powerful line – up. The Rangers did not re-sign they’re free- swinging DH Vladimir Guerrero. They filled his spot with another big hitter when they went out and signed 3B Adrian Beltre to a big money deal. This caused a bit off a riff as the deal pushed 3B Michael Young, Ranger’s leader in career hits, to the DH spot. He wasn’t too happy about the move and has voiced his desire to be traded to another team, for now he’s still a Ranger. I see him most likely being traded by midseason. Ian Kinsler, one of Texas’ sparkplug players, will leadoff this season as long as if he can stay healthy. These guys boast a seriously powerful group of professional hitters who reach base a lot and score a ton of runs. With a middle lineup of Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz, a lot of balls will be flying out of Arlinton. The Rangers also added some depth to the bench by acquiring Yorvit Torrealba and Mike Napoli who will compete for the starting catcher position. Napoli can be an occasional 1B or DH. Even with the loss of Vlad, the team holds one of the best line – ups in the AL.

Their pitching was solid last season, but with the loss of Lee, the rotation might have a bit more pressure on their shoulders. Brandon Webb is a serious dark horse in this rotation and if he can be close to how he pitched in Arizona, the Rangers will have scary depth. Closer Neftali Feliz, the reigning AL Rookie of the Year, had a monster season with 40 save to go along with an ERA of 2.73 and had 70 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings. The Rangers added Arthur Rhodes to go along with Darren Oliver and Darren O’ Day.

Starting Rotation (09-10 stats included)

C.J. Wilson: 15 – 5 / ERA 3.35

Brandon Webb: (2008 stats in Arizona) 22 – 7 / ERA 3.30

Colby Lewis: 12 – 13 / ERA 3.72

Tommy Hunter: 13 – 4 / ERA 3.73

Derek Holland: 3 – 4 / ERA 4.08

Notable Relievers

Neftali Feliz: 4 – 3 / ERA 2.78 / 40 SVs

Darren Oliver: 1 -2 / ERA 2.48

Probable Line Up

2B Ian Kinsler: .286 / 9 HRs

DH Michael Young: .284 / 21 HRs

RF Josh Hamilton: .359 / 32 HRs

3B Adrian Beltre: (with Boston Red Sox) .321 / 28 HRs

LF Nelson Cruz: .318 / 22 HRs

1B Mitch Moreland: .255 / 9 HRs

C Mike Napoli: .238 / 26 HRs

CF Julio Borbon: .276 / 121 Hits / 15 SBs

SS Elvis Andrus: .265 / 156 Hits / 32 SBs

Overall Grades

Starting Rotation – B+

Bullpen – B

Lineup – A –

Overall – B+

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