We’ve Only Just Begun

Berkman
Well, fans, we’ve almost finished the second full week of the Rangers new season. The club, as of the date of this writing, has won their first three series. They’re going into Seattle for four games looking to do more of the same. The 2-0 loss to Tampa Bay may have stung, especially with all the scoring chances left on base, but the team is winning series by series and that’s what matters most in the grand scheme of things. Still feeling skeptical, you say? Well, here are three reasons why you shouldn’t:
Lance Berkman: He has thoroughly impressed me so far. His patience is serving as a living example of what Dave Magadan is trying to teach. He’s not afraid to work counts to draw a walk, but he also displays a very good eye for when to go ahead and go after a pitch for a hit. Many were concerned with him getting a day off already, but I feel that if it helps keep him on the healthy side, do whatever is needed to keep him that way.

Yu Darvish: He started off the season in an almost perfect fashion. Even though he didn’t get that 27th out, he still dazzled that night in Houston and affirmed that the Rangers did make the right choice in acquiring him in 2012. I have to give him credit for two specific things so far. He battled through blister issues to go five innings in his last start and keep the club in the game. The other thing I credit him with is disproving my thoughts on him and Soto sticking together. He’s just that good and Pierzynski has done the work to get on the same page with him as well.

Ian Kinsler: He’s showing signs of an offensive rebound from 2012 already. He seems more relaxed and less prone to swinging for the fences in every at bat. The influence of Berkman’s patience is starting to rub off on him and hopefully he’ll continue to let his OBP get a bit of a boost via the walk. His defense has faltered a couple of times so far, but I still like what he brings at second base. 2013 has started well for him; let’s see if it ends well too.

Honorable Mention – Derek Holland: It’s only been two starts, but he’s been consistent and good, for lack of a better word. He looks engaged, hasn’t caved to the big inning, and just looks more focused than we’ve seen since Game 4 of the World Series in 2011. The biggest change I’ve noticed is that he seems more prepared to get out of jams and not let them get him riled up mentally. I know it’s only two games, but it appears that Derek is ready to come out each time and pitch well.

I know it feels like a lot was lost over the offseason, and I will admit that I do miss a couple of players who moved on. Some things that may seem problematic will get worked out, in one way or another. That being said, please don’t let those loses detract from the fact that there is good baseball still going on in Arlington. As Eddie said, this is a golden age of Rangers ball. Let’s enjoy it.

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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