Losses mounting for Texas Rangers in lineup, standings
By STEPHEN HAWKINS
Apr. 13, 2018
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The losses are mounting quickly for the Texas Rangers, both in the standings and their starting lineup.
By the time the Rangers finally had their first day off of the season Thursday, the last team in the majors to get a break, they were the first team with 10 losses.
They also found out they will be without No. 3 hitter and 10-season starting shortstop Elvis Andrus for 6 to 8 weeks because of a broken right elbow, though additional tests Thursday determined that he won't need surgery.
He was hit by a pitch on his throwing arm in the bottom of the ninth inning of their fourth straight loss, 7-2 to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night.
"A freak deal ... not a whole lot you can do to prevent it," general manager Jon Daniels said. "Definitely an emotional one for all us to see him go down."
Andrus will go on the disabled list for the first time in his career before the series opener in Houston on Friday, when the Rangers plan to recall first baseman Ronald Guzman from Triple-A Round Rock. Guzman will be looking to make his big league debut.
Second baseman Rougned Odor (left hamstring) and center fielder Delino DeShields (left hand) are already on the DL, along with right-hander Doug Fister (right hip strain). DeShields has been out since March 31, while Odor and Fister went on the disabled list Tuesday.
"In the interim, there is a toughness that you have to have as a group, as a team, as an organization, to maneuver through things like this," manager Jeff Banister said. "Not just on the field, but off the field and where the mindset is at."
After 14 games in 14 days to open the season, Texas has its worst start since a 3-11 mark in 2002.
The Rangers weren't making the short flight south to Houston until Friday to stretch the break at home as long as possible.
"Anytime you're faced with some tough times and adversity, I think there's obviously a reset here," Banister said.
"In this business, at this level, there is no time down. Nobody pauses and waits for you. Good day for an off day. Good day to reset, recalibrate, exhale for a little bit. Just kind of reassess where we're at. And kind of count some heads a little bit."
Jurickson Profar, who started the past two games at second base for Odor, will shift to shortstop to fill in for Andrus, who was hitting a team-best .327 with two home runs.
Daniels said Guzman will play some first base and Joey Gallo, who has started every game at first so far, will play some in the outfield as he has in the past.
"We're going to look to take advantage of our youth and versatility," Daniels said. "We have a number of guys that can play a number of spots, and that'll be an asset we'll lean on."
Drew Robinson, the starter in center for DeShields, likely now will get more starts at second base. The Rangers also have rookie outfielder Carlos Tocci and infielder-catcher Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who made his major league debut Tuesday night as a defensive replacement at second.
Andrus was off to another impressive start after hitting .297 with career highs of 191 hits, 100 runs, 44 doubles, 20 homers and 88 RBIs last year. His previous career high in homers had been eight, in 2016 when he hit a career-best .302.
Texas moved five-time All-Star shortstop Michael Young to third base before the 2009 season to make room for the debut of Andrus, who was then 20. He played at least 145 games each of the past nine seasons.
Andrus has been inactive for only three of the 1,515 games Texas has played (regular season and playoffs) during his career. He was suspended one game in 2016 after the Rangers' brawl with Toronto ignited when Odor punched Jose Bautista. Andrus was on the paternity list for three days last July, missing two games for the birth of his first child.
"That is one of the most impressive things about Elvis that I think does not get talked about enough is his durability and who he is," Banister said.
"He posts up every single day, wants to play, never wants to come out of the lineup and doesn't complain about anything. For this to happen, it's unfortunate. It's terrible."
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