Texas Rangers Update for Week 3: Fantasy Baseball News and Analysis
The line score from three games at Globe Life Park this past week: two Ranger wins including one walkoff single, one free t-shirt, one free GrandSlam breakfast, three great pitching performances, a career-high seven hot dogs on Dollar Hot Dog Night and, most importantly, two evenings with my teenage son. Oh, and a third game that was an absolute drubbing. It was a good week for the team as well, with series wins over division rivals Houston and Seattle.
Most of the starters had a very good week. The team recorded three shutouts, thanks to strong performances by Yu Darvish and Martin Perez. In a subsequent start, Darvish gave up two early runs against the Mariners then settled in to retire 13 of the last 17 batters he faced. That third shutout may have been the sweetest of all: Robbie Ross Jr. threw just 98 pitches in 7.2 shutout innings over the Mariners to pick up his first win as a starter. And then Ross came back down to earth Sunday giving up 7 earned runs to the ChiSox. Tanner Scheppers had a very shaky week, including a five-run inning against the Astros, and may be headed back to the bullpen. Joakim Soria, he of the 6.00 ERA, relinquished some of his closer duties to Alexi Ogando. On the injury front, Colby Lewis threw 5.1 innings in his 2014 debut, but starter Matt Harrison will make at least one or two more rehab starts at AA-Frisco as he continues to struggle with back problems.
Prince Fielder finally hit his first homerun as a Ranger. The talk around the clubhouse is that Fielder is having problems adjusting to the three-hole - his dinger came when he was batting cleanup - and coping with the unseasonably cool weather in Texas. As he becomes accustomed to hitting higher in the order and as the weather warms, the homeruns should start flying. Hopefully. Adrian Beltre did wind up on the 15-day DL. His replacement, Kevin Kouzmanoff, has performed well but this is clearly no Wally Pipp/Lou Gehrig scenario: the Mariners intentionally walked Fielder twice to get to Kouzmanoff. Overall, the offense continues to struggle, as evidenced by two one-run games against the Lastros, er, Astros.
The week ahead
After a the weekend slugfest against the Chicago White Sox, the team now heads out to the West Coast. The three games against division favorite Oakland should offer a good early-season benchmark. The Rangers tend to play poorly when visiting the Athletics, so a win or two would provide a significant lift.