Injury-plagued Rangers start season slowly

Spring training has wrapped up for Major League Baseball. This spring and past winter trade season has seen lots of moves throughout the MLB. The biggest moves came from the New York Yankees, who acquired the premiere pitcher of the Japanese League, Masahiro Tanaka, for $155 million. Despite the price tag, he is projected to be the fourth pitcher in the Bomber’s rotation.

Along with the high-priced pitcher’s announced home in New York comes news that The Captain is retiring at the end of 2014.

Derek Jeter has decided to call it a career just a year after Mariano Rivera. He will be hanging up his spikes after playing his entire 20-year career at Yankee Stadium.

The other big moves in the Big Apple brought last year’s World Series rivals, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, to the team to help shore up the outfield and the departure of Robinson Cano.

Cano took his talents west this offseason and signed a 10 year deal with the Seattle Mariners for $240 million. Also coming to the Yankees is hard-hitting catcher, Brian McCann.

Other notable moves this offseason saw long time Atlanta pitcher, Tim Hudson, move to San Francisco and Curtis Granderson take his talents across town from the Yankees to the Mets.

Out here in Ranger country, the team has made several huge moves this offseason, but has been plagued by injuries throughout spring training. Toward the beginning of the off season came the biggest aquisition for the Rangers.

In a move that left both teams fan bases confused, but mostly happy, Texas secured a trade with Detroit that traded Ian Kinsler, arguably the face of the franchise, for Prince Fielder.

Another welcome addition to the team is center-fielder Shin-Soo Choo. The addition of Choo and Fielder will lessen the sting of losing right-fielder Nelson Cruz, who moved to Baltimore.

All of these moves combined have also made Elvis Andrus the longest tenured player on the roster. He has been with the team since 2009.
These moves could possibly be a moot point as the Rangers have been hindered with injuries all spring. Second baseman Jurickson Profar is out with a torn shoulder muscle and catcher Giovanni Soto is out while recovering from knee surgery. Along with these two is Engel Beltre who has a broken tibia.

The injuries, unfortunately, are not limited to the batting order. The pitching staff has had it’s issues as well. Derek Holland is out while he recovers from knee surgery and Matt Harrison is still not 100 percent after his injuries from last season.

More recently, ace pitcher Yu Darvish was also scratched from his Opening Day start because of stiffness in his neck.

These injuries have left the team scrambling to find players to fill in the gaps while the starters heal. One gap that is partially filled is the spot at second base. The team picked up Donnie Murphy from the Chicago Cubs on waiver.

The start of the season hasn’t been as bad as the expectation was for the Rangers after the injuries started piling up.

After losing a high scoring game to open the season, the team has gotten back on track and managed to stay competitive with the rest of the division. At the time of this writing, the Rangers are 4 – 3.

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