The Texas Rangers dropped the deciding game Sunday 12-5 against the New York Yankees. They have only won one series since April 10th when they swept the Kansas City Royals.
During the skid, they have lost five players (two relief pitchers, an All-Star and Rookie of the Year closer and two All-Star outfielders) to the DL.
They are lucky they are only two games behind the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Manager Ron Washington is lucky to have such a great bench—it could be the attribute saving the Rangers from a dismal April/May. I don't know who said it, but it's been said before.
"You can't win a division in April or May, but you sure can lose one."
We're going to take a look at the amazing depth off the bench that the Rangers displayed Sunday afternoon in a hot Mothers' Day rubber game against the Bronx Bombers.
The starting lineup looked like this:
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Elvis Andrus, SS
3. Michael Young, DH
4. Adrian Beltre, 3B
5. Mike Napoli 1B
6. David Murphy, LF
7. Yorvit Torrealba, C
8. Craig Gentry, RF
9. Julio Borbon, CF
With two outfielders on the DL, Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton, you would think things are disastrous.
This however, is not true.
The Rangers display much depth in the outfield, even though their current active roster only shows three outfielders on the team. Julio Borbon, David Murphy and Craig Gentry make up the trifecta of Ranger starting outfielders.
But let us not forget Mitch Moreland can also play right field. He was brought up in the organization as an outfielder, only briefly experimenting with first base once he was called up last year.
Also, if there were an emergency, I'm sure the next candidate would be Ian Kinsler. I'm not sure if he's ever played outfield before, but he would seem the most likely to play if there were an extreme case.
This is where the Rangers' depth really flourishes. They sport a roster with seven infielders on it, not including "super utility player" Michael Young.
General manager Jon Daniels made a brilliant move by not trading him this winter (although he didn't have much choice being it was so late in the offseason.)
Napoli can catch or play first. Moreland can play first or right field. Andres Blanco can play second, short or third. Chris Davis can play first or third. And Michael Young can play around the horn.
What is even more amazing is that there is so much depth in the Ranger infield that, even with all of the injuries causing infielders to switch to the outfield, there is still enough room for everyone to get a day off when needed.
Let's take this hypothetical situation for an example. A smaller, minuscule version of it happened during Sunday's game, so this is a good example. Julio Borbon left the game early due to muscle cramps.
What if Borbon broke his ankle?
Again, just hypothetical. To finish the game, you put Moreland in right, switch Gentry to left and Murphy to center.
That's your starting lineup for a while. At least until Cruz is back. But that isn't for at least another two weeks. Napoli and Young will switch out at first while Moreland is in right. Young will also switch out with Kinsler when he needs a day off. Blanco can switch out with Andrus when he needs rest.
And then, everything is alright. You can take this beaten and battered outfield and beat the hell out of the dead horse some more, but it will not affect the opportunity to win ballgames.
There is so much depth, and it's flying so far under the radar right now.