2012 Texas Rangers Season Preview
Two consecutive AL pennants and one of the biggest signings of the offseason and it’s impossible to not be excited about the 2012 Texas Rangers season. The Rangers were doubted as a team that could topple the likes of the Yankees in the playoffs, but two years running they’ve squashed the World Series hopes of every other American League team. This year, they’ll be getting help from the Far East as well. Yu Darvish, a 25-year-old right hander that has pitched for the Nippon Hams of the Japanese league for the last five years, will bring his career 1.72 ERA to Arlington. Rated by Baseball America as the #4 prospect in baseball, Darvish had 276 strikeouts in 232 innings in 2011 and figures to be the Rangers #2 starter to begin the season. The exit of C.J. Wilson will hurt, but the Rangers have countered by moving electric closer Neftali Feliz to the rotation -- the same way they had Wilson progress. Feliz will likely try to keep the 101 MPH fastballs to a minimum now that he’ll have to throw 90+ pitches a game, but the electricity will still be alive in his right arm every fifth game. The core of the Rangers lineup is still completely intact, as Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler and Mike Napoli all return in hopes of a trip to their third consecutive World Series. Michael Young had an outstanding season in 2011 after many thought the long-time Ranger would be on the decline. Young hit .338 with 106 RBI, both career highs at the age of 34.
2011 Texas Rangers Season Preview
The 2010 season for the Texas Rangers was truly magical – from the World Series run to the reawakening of Josh Hamilton, Cliff Lee’s midseason deal to Neftali Feliz’s Rookie of the Year campaign. The question for any other team in this position is – how do they repeat it? Cliff Lee’s now in Philadelphia, but the Rangers think their rotation can survive the heat, especially since they’ve reportedly kept Feliz in the bullpen instead of inserting him into the rotation. CJ Wilson and his 15-8, 3.35 ERA and 170 strikeouts from last year have moved into the staff ace position. Colby Lewis is looking to build upon his return last year from playing in Japan, a season that saw him strike 201 batter out, the most by a Ranger since Nolan Ryan. And of course, helping them (and Tommy Hunter, Derek Holland and Brandon Webb) is Feliz, who set the rookie mark for saves with 40. Offensively, it helps to have Josh Hamilton, the reigning AL MVP. Being paired with Adrian Beltre, who had a monster season in Boston, helps create consistency and power the team missed out when Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler kept getting hurt. If they can stay healthy, and Michael Young can settle in the DH spot and Elvis Andrus keeps getting better (and on base), this team shouldn’t skip a beat in its hunt for another AL title.
2010 Texas Rangers Season Preview
The 2010 Texas Rangers are a motley crew of future Hall of Famers, storied veterans, young stars at the top of their game and prospects with no ceiling on their potential. Rangers ticket holders have become accustomed to watching in awe as balls fly out of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, when their slugging outfielders Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz step to the plate. The addition of 31 home runs from second baseman Ian Kinsler in 2009 made Texas one of the more explosive offensive teams in Major League Baseball last season. This year, the Rangers have added eight-time All Star and former Most Valuable Player Vladimir Guerrero. Though the designated hitter has entered the twilight of his career, Guerrero has regularly been one of the game's best, and will be cautiously met by opposing pitchers. While the aging superstar looks to put a cap on his illustrious career, young guns Elvis Andrus, Justin Smoak and Neftali Feliz will try to launch their young careers. Representing a combination of speed, power and dominating pitching, the trio may represent the core of the Rangers franchise for years to come.
2009 Texas Rangers Season Preview
The 2009 Texas Rangers should be an exciting team to watch and have an excellent shot at winning the AL West. The Rangers will be led on the field by Hank Blalock, Andruw Jones and Michael Young. On the mound Texas will count on hurlers Kris Benson, Kevin Millwood and Vicente Padilla. If Rangers Manager Ron Washington can get his dynamic team playing up to their potential, then there is hope a World Series come be coming to the Ballpark in Arlington in 2009.
2008 Texas Rangers Season Preview
The Texas Rangers have made a slew of off-season moves in the past couple of seasons that make them a very exciting team to watch this year. With a new manager in Ron Washington, the addition of Vicente Padilla and Frank Catalanotto, and the improved hitting of Michael Young and Mark Teixeira, the Rangers seem poised to make a big impact in the West. Rangers Ballpark in Arlington will fill with Rangers fans with high hopes and curiosity to see whether their team can finally have that breakout season they've been hoping for.