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Mansfield Magazine

Expectations and the Texas Rangers

May 27, 2013 10:17AM ● By Todd Kaufmann

Thearon Henderson/Getty Images

They lost two of three to the Oakland Athletics, flew to the Pacific Northwest, and took two of three from the Seattle Mariners, coming oh so close to a series sweep, losing in extra innings in the final game of the series. A game they should have had.

However, it's not time to hit the panic button in Arlington just yet. This team has shown far too much for anyone to be worried about what this team might become.

It's also not time to start looking over your shoulder at the suddenly hot Los Angeles Angels. They've won eight straight, four of which came against the Kansas City Royals. No offense to the team who's really not in Los Angeles, but when they're knocking off some of the best teams in the American League, then I'll start being impressed.

As for the team right here in our backyard, they've put together the best season, thus far, in franchise history and done so with most of their top players on the disabled list. Left-hander Matt Harrison, who won 18 games last season, has undergone two back surgeries and could miss the remainder of the season depending on how his rehab goes. Colby Lewis, Joakim Soria and Neftali Feliz each underwent surgeries during the 2012 offseason and only Lewis is close to making his return to the team. Alexi Ogando, A.J. Pierzynski, who just made his return late this past week, and Ian Kinsler also joined the MASH unit.

Not only has the injury bug bit this team, but they've had Adrian Beltre struggle through almost the first month of the season, David Murphy and Mitch Moreland had an abysmal month of April before firing up their bats in May, and they've had two young starters, Nick Tepesch and Justin Grimm, hold their own in the back of the rotation.

Take all that into account and then look at where this team is right now. Are you really ready to hit the panic button when we're not even two full months into the season? Look at what this team is still missing and look at the patchwork that's been done and tell me you're concerned at what this team might become.

You knew the Angels couldn't keep up their mediocre play; they were going to start figuring things out after a certain amount of time. Playing the Mariners and Royals for six games would help any struggling team.

In my mind, there's no question the Rangers will need to make a move or two when the July trade deadline comes around. There are upgrades this team will desperately need if they won't be getting Harrison back, if Lewis isn't affective at all, and their bullpen continues to be overworked because Tepesch and Grimm can't get through six full innings each time they start.

The Rangers don't want to put all their success on Yu Darvish and an inconsistent Derek Holland. If they do, they'll pay a huge price.

As of right now, it's not time to worry about what is happening to the Texas Rangers. They've shown an incredible amount of fight to take down the likes of the two best pitchers the Detroit Tigers could throw at them, Justin Verlander and Doug Fister, each being sent to the showers early thanks to this Texas offense.

There's nothing wrong with expectations, but be careful just how high you set the bar. Why do you think so many fans are angry about where the Dallas Cowboys finish from one season to the next? Because they set the bar far higher than it ever needed to be.

Expect good things from this team, but don't set the bar at the World Series -- yet.

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