The Best Is Yet To Come

At the time these words are being typed, the Texas Rangers have the best record in Major League Baseball at 29-15, after just treating the great Justin Verlander like a piñata at a quintuplets’ birthday party.

Their divisional lead of seven games is two games more than all of the other divisional leads in both leagues combined.  Their two biggest rivals, the A’s and Angels, are in 3rd and 4th place, respectively – looking up at both the Rangers and THE MARINERS.

But as great as all this is, there are several reasons to believe that the best is still yet to come…

  • Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus have yet to really find a groove at the plate this season, and you just know it’s coming before too much longer.  Neither have been awful, but both are capable of much more, and their career numbers indicate an offensive surge is inevitable.  Meanwhile, even though Lance Berkman has been solid, he really hasn’t found his power stroke so far.  With more games remaining in Arlington than elsewhere, and the temperatures about to skyrocket while fueling the Ballpark’s jetstream, it won’t be long before Big Puma starts clubbing long balls out of the park with much more frequency.

  • While Nelson Cruz has carried the outfield on his back so far, in terms of offensive production, he soon may start getting more help from his fellow outfielders.  Leonys Martin is starting to show signs of emerging toward his full potential, while David Murphy almost HAS to play better from this point forward than he has so far – it’s virtually impossible for him to be any worse.

  • And speaking of outfield reinforcements, that brings us to our last reason to believe the best is yet to come: the trade deadline.  Giancarlo Stanton has long been speculated as a prime trade target for the Rangers, though Marlins ownership has repeatedly made it seem they are unwilling to depart with the supremely talented young outfielder.  However, that team’s terrible record and abysmal attendance, along with Stanton’s slow start and subsequent DL stint, could be the perfect storm of factors to cause the Marlins’ owner to reconsider.  The Rangers were already loaded with prime trade chips going into the season (Profar and Olt), but given how well (for the most part) others like Tepesch and Grimm have performed, Texas clearly has more trade ammo than pretty much anyone else in MLB.  And let’s not forget about similar factors (DL stint, team underachieving) regarding Rays’ ace David Price, who also would look great in a Rangers’ uniform at the end of July.

As great as the Rangers have started (all-time franchise-best 41-game record), it’s not unreasonable to expect them to get even better as the season progresses.  And that certainly bodes well for what may come in October.

Bob Bland is a Staff Writer for  ShutDownInning. He can be reached at or on Twitter @SDIBob.
Bob Bland

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