A Bench Built To Weather The Storm

One of the brightest spots in 2013 has been the bench. Compared to the past 3 seasons, the bench has delivered in some very big ways so far and is far from being a questionable liability. My scope, when looking at the bench proper, has zeroed in on Jeff Baker and Leury Garcia, since they are being used as true bench players.
Baker has been a welcomed addition to the lineup this season. His current slash is a very nice .373/.458/.725 and he has shown a great competence against lefties and some good hitting against righties. The only problem with Jeff Baker is that there’s only one of him. He’s helped carry the load of a struggling Murphy so far, which has also indirectly caused Adrian Beltre to play every game of the season so far. To Beltre’s credit, he’s stayed healthy and continues to be himself; however, I’m sure Wash would like to give him a rest day that’s not scheduled by the MLB. Murphy has to get something going in order to let Baker help elsewhere on the roster.

Garcia was a surprise out of Spring Training. Many thought the utility infielder job would go to Jurickson Profar, but Garcia won out and has been perfect in his role as a utility player. His hitting warrants his utility status (.214/.233/.262), but his defense is just as good as his counterparts Kinsler and Andrus thus far. He will stay the utility guy in 2013, mostly because he fits the mold and Jurickson Profar has a hitting tool that is best used in a fulltime situation. Now, all that being said, it’s time for Ian Kinsler to come back and keep up his great season.

I hesitate to mention Soto and Gentry because their situations and positions require much more play than the usual bench player would warrant. A small kudos to Soto for filling in and having a small hot streak during Pierzynski’s DL stint these past couple of weeks.

This is probably the best bench the Rangers have had in the last few seasons. It’s refreshing to see Baker and Garcia step up in their various ways and help the team this season. Looking forward to the potential of October, the bench will be a better, much needed weapon and will better equip the Rangers for going the distance over 162+. 

Sarah Powers is a Staff Writer for ShutDowninning.com. She can be reached at sarah.powers@shutdowninning.com or on Twitter @Power_Play86.
Sarah Powers

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