In 1985 a movie came out staring Val Kilmer and Gabriel Jarret about a school of genius students that help the military. In one scene in the movie they have a problem. Gabriel’s character is asking for Val Kilmer’s character’s help and he has them both take a step back. Then they take a step forward, a step back and forward. They then are doing the cha cha. It’s funnier if you see it, but for the sake of the Rangers that is exactly what they have been doing. One step forward, and one step back.
An offseason ago they spent half a million dollars on their infield with Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. This was added to Nathaniel Lowe on first and the thought that former Red Raider Josh Jung would start at 3rd sometime after spring training. Jung got hurt and missed most of the season while the rest of the infield had their ups and downs. All four are expected to be ready to go for 2023.
This offseason the front office did everything but place a sign that said under new manengent on the door. They have completely redone the pitching rotation from a year ago. The lone hold overs were Martin Perez and John Gray that pitched better than expected in 2022. Jacob Degrom comes over from the Mets and when healthy had hitters bat just .175. Nathan Eovaldi comes to the Rangers from Boston where he had a winning record every single year and a career of making double digit starts every year but two.
Add to the staff two hot rookie pitchers that could make their season debuts this year, and a new coaching staff, the signs are pointing up for Texas.
The Astros are coming off a World Series Championship and back to back AL titles. While supplanting the champs can be hard, much like Val Kilmer, they look to have taken a step back. Justin Verlander is gone. What he brought to that rotation in his time there can not be overlooked. But he was not alone in the rotation. The Astros are still loaded and have some new talent on the way.
The Rangers were 38 games back of the Astros at the end of the season. I expect Texas will still be behind, but I will be shocked if they are not within 10 games or even in a wild card spot next season. It sure feels like they are taking that step forward before doing the cha cha.
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