Is the glass half-full?

by Dan M | Posted on Friday, June 21st, 2013


By Chad Conine

I’m trying real hard to be a glass-half-full type of guy these days, especially when it comes to the Rangers. But that perspective has been severely tested in the last two weeks as the Rangers lost 9 of 11, including 6 of 7 against the Blue Jays.

I never lost hope and I wouldn’t think the Rangers lost courage inside the locker room. Still, I’m pretty sure the Rangers and anyone who follows the Rangers understood that we could see losing hope from where we were standing. If the A’s came into Texas and won three games it would’ve meant that Oakland showed they had the Rangers relegated to a chaser. If the A’s had even won two of the first three, it would be Oakland showing Texas who is boss.

Instead, the Rangers showed that this discussion is far from over.

Yet there is still room for glass-half-full and glass-half-empty perspectives.

Glass Half Full: The Rangers are surviving a rough patch in the season in which starting pitching is shaky and they’re struggling to score runs. Later in the season, starting pitching will have healed itself and the Rangers will be consistently scoring runs in bunches because everyone has already gone through the obligatory slump. And even in the rough patch, the bullpen is solid.

When it comes right down to it, the Rangers just have this weird problem of not being able to beat the Blue Jays and the Rangers are finished playing the Blue Jays this season (unless they meet in the playoffs, which seems very unlikely).

Glass Half Empty: The injury problem is not going to get solved. Whoever comes back from injury will likely be replaced by someone else. This is a team with limited starting pitching. It’s hard to imagine Colby Lewis, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando will all make it back on a consistent basis. In fact, it’s hard to imagine even two of them coming back and contributing.

Also, the Rangers are strangely fragile at the plate. If Ian Kinsler, Lance Berkman, Adrian Beltre and A.J. Pierzynski aren’t all in the lineup, then the Rangers struggle to score runs.

So the Rangers will continue to tread water like in this past series against the A’s, but they can’t hope to keep up with the A’s long term.

Reality: The Rangers drew closer to regaining the division lead, but now they go play the best team in baseball while the A’s go play the lowly Mariners. So the Rangers will probably go into July (and since they have seven straight games on the road against the Orioles and Tigers before the All-Star break) probably go into the second half trailing the A’s.

I think the fact that the Rangers struggle mightily against the Blue Jays and can breathe a huge sigh of relief that they don’t play the Blue Jays again in the regular season counts as a reality-column item.

But that might just be me leaning to the glass-half-full side.

Photo by Chad Conine

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