Spring training has begun and the Texas Rangers are starting yet another season hoping for their first ever World Series victory after coming just shy of the win two seasons in a row not too long ago. The Rangers lost the World Series in 2010 to the San Francisco Giants, four games to one, and then again in 2011 to the St. Louis Cardinals, four games to three.
The Rangers entered the 2012 season as two-time defending champions of the American League and the American League West. They finished the season second in the AL West with a 93-69 record.
In the off-season, the Rangers lost some high profile players. “Prosper’s Torii Hunter went to Detroit, catcher Russell Martin chose Pittsburgh (and its 20-year streak of losing seasons), Mike Napoli and Koji Uehara went to Boston. And that was just before the winter meetings ended,” writes Evan Grant, staff writer for the Dallas News.
” Since then, it’s only gotten uglier,” Grant wrote. “The Rangers left Nashville thinking they were in prime position to land two – maybe even all three – of the winter’s hottest commodities: pitcher Zack Greinke and James Shields, outfielder Justin Upton and Hamilton. On that front, they now have the same number of strikeouts as Hamilton in the season-ending loss to Baltimore in the Wild Card game.”
Entering the 2013 season, the Rangers have added up-and-coming rookies to give the team an energy boost they desperately need. Jurickson Profar, the Rangers number one ranked prospect has been added to the active players’ roster as an infielder. It looks like the Rangers are trying to make him as versatile as possible by testing his abilities infield and outfield. Active infielder Mike Olt, the number two ranked prospect, is looking to take the spot of veteran Nelson Cruz. Cruz is part of an ongoing investigation about performance enhancing drugs and is currently facing a 50-game suspension.
People are wondering if the Rangers are still a force to be reckoned with. Apparently, the answer is yes. “Absolutely. Pitching is still of primary importance, and the Rangers enter 2013 with a rotation that includes Matt Harrison, Yu Darvish, Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando. If Holland gets his act together for a full season, the Rangers could have one of the best rotations in the American League. They still need to reinforce their bullpen, but if their rotation holds up, this team is very much a contender — even if the Rangers do go with young players in key spots,” according to MLB.com.