I think we can all agree that 2014 was a season to forget. With all the injuries and turmoil that the Texas Rangers went through a bounce back season is not out of the question. After winning for four straight seasons and two trips to the fall classic, last year can be considered an anomalie, thus providing confidence that our Texas Rangers will bounce back in 2015! A new manager is at the helm and there are quite a few new faces, so with the infusion of new talent, healthy superstars, and a regained focus on winning, 2015 will be some great baseball!
With a full healthy year of Prince Fielder, Choo, Holland, Darvish and the resurgence f Elvis Andrus, the team should be in a much better position. The rotation anchored with Darvish, Holland, the newly acquired Yovani Gallardo, and Colby Lewis will lead the way. There is great competition for the 5th starter spot with Ross Detwiller, Anthony Ranaudo, Nick Tepesch, and the hopeful midseason return of Matt Harrison and top prospect Martin Perez. That type of pitching depth is what is key for a successful season. Add that to a farm system full of prospects close to the majors, most notably Chi Chi Gonzalez and I believe the rotation will be in good shape.
The bullpen will be a little more of a question. Obviously some of the 5th starter competitors could land with a bullpen role, as Feliz, Sheppers, Fujikawa, and Tolleson are locks. This will be an interesting development going into the spring.
Now to the lineup. I believe that Leyonis Martin is poised to fully develop into the player we signed a few years ago. Adrian Beltre is a hall of fame talent that will continue to be the anchor in this lineup. The three keys will be Elvis Andrus, Prince Fielder, and Shin Soo Choo. As important will be the continued development of Rougned Odor and getting average production out of Robinson Chirinos and Charlos Corporan. Left field will be quite a battle in spring training as Michael Choice, Jake Smolinski, and Ryan Rua are hold overs from last year and the Rangers brought in Ryan Ludwick, Nate Shierholtz, and Delino Deshields Jr to compete for the job. The DH spot will probably be a platoon of one of the outfielders and the hopeful blossoming of Mitch Moreland.
I think that new Manager Jeff Bannister has quite a task ahead of him, but from what I have seen, he is up for the task. He reminds me of a blend of when Ron Washington first arrived with a swagger of Clint Hurdle. That is an excellent blend in my book. Lets also not discount the importance of Michael Young being back with the organization. Elvis will really benefit with him being back. I am extremely excited for what 2015 brings and lets go out and win this world series ring….