Spring training is drawing to a close, and it is providing a big enough illustration to see who has been playing well and who has not.
For the Texas Rangers, Opening Day is on March 31, and some players have struggled to find their rhythm on the mound or at the plate. This late into the spring, it is easier to point out who has not been living up to the hype or their potential.
Last week, I wrote a piece about some of the top performers for the club. This week, we are going to look at those who haven’t fared as well in the Cactus League. It will focus on some of this season’s key players.
Luckily for the Rangers, there are only a few key guys who haven’t played as well as the club had hoped.
Here are four players who have had the most disappointing performances this spring.
The Rangers paid a hefty price to acquire Shin-Soo Choo this offseason to improve the leadoff spot in the order.
So far this spring, Choo has not lived up to the $130 million contract he signed. In 41 at-bats, he is hitting a dismal .146 and has struck out 10 times. He has only been able to collect three extra-base hits and his OBP is .234. His career OBP was a main component in the club’s pursuit of Choo.
He had a late start to the spring due to injuries but has still not been able to find his stride thus far.
The club is hoping Leonys Martin can improve on his first full season as a big leaguer in 2013.
He hasn’t shown any signs of improvement in Arizona, however. Martin is hitting just .161 after collecting five hits in 31 at-bats. He has been able to bring in only one run and score twice during his time in the Cactus League.
Michael Choice and Engel Beltre are outplaying him in 2014 so far. If he doesn’t start showing an ability to be effective at the plate, his starting job could be in jeopardy.
Alexi Ogando is supposed to be a key supplement in the rotation with Derek Holland and Matt Harrison out with injuries.
He has been anything but that in Arizona. Opponents are hitting .377 against Ogando, who has given up 20 hits and eight earned runs in 11.1 innings. In his four starts, he has given up three home runs and walked four.
Ogando will need to vastly improve on those numbers when the regular season begins. Especially in the state the rotation is in now.
People seemed excited to see Colby Lewis take the mound for the first time since 2012.
That excitement was short-lived as Lewis’ comeback has been anything but that. He has started three games this spring training but has only stayed on the mound for four innings, giving up eight earned runs and walking six. In that time frame, opponents are hitting .444 against him.
Lewis will presumably require more time to get back into the swing of things. However, this is not the way the club or Lewis wanted to begin the year.