2018 Texas Rangers
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2018 Texas Rangers / Franchise: Texas Rangers / BR Team Page
History, Comments, Contributions
The 2018 Texas Rangers got off to a rough start after a disappointing 2017 seasons. While management was expecting a bounce-back, instead they lost 10 of their first 14 games. Worse, three key players were on the DL by mid-April: CF Delino DeShields, counted on as the lead-off hitter had gone down on March 31st with a broken hamate bone, while 2B Rougned Odor and SS Elvis Andrus joined him on April 11th, with Andrus looking at a long lay-off after breaking his elbow when hit by a pitch. There were also concerns about the pitching staff, as 43-year-old Bartolo Colon had been the team's best starting pitcher in the first two weeks, but had had to give up his starting spot to Martin Perez, coming off the DL, a decision that looked even worse as Colon continued to pitch well in long relief, while none of the team's starters seemed to be able to put together a quality start with the exception of Mike Minor. Their 4.94 ERA put them next-to-last in the American League just slivers ahead of the Seattle Mariners. Colon soon returned to the starting rotation and on April 14th pitched a perfect game for 7 innings in a start against the Houston Astros, confirming that he was indeed the team's most reliable starting pitcher. On April 24th, with Odor and Abndrus still out of action, a third starting infielder went on the DL, veteran 3B Adrian Beltre, the victim of a pulled hamstring.
On June 9th, in a game against the Houston Astros, the Rangers set a club record with five batters hit-by-pitch in the game. Four of them were courtesy of Charlie Morton, who plunked 4 in just 3 2/3 innings while also walking 6 in a wild outing. But for all those baserunners, the Rangers failed to cash them in as they stranded a club record 17 in 9 innings and lost, 4-3. Their hitters went 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position in that frustrating game.
The disappointing season led to manager Jeff Banister being fired with ten days to go on September 21st, with the club in last place in the AL West. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu was named interim manager for the remainder of the season. It was a big fall for Banister, who had led the team to division titles in his first two seasons in 2015 and 2016; the team's failure to repeat this success over the following two seasons, including this one, had cost him his job.
Awards and Honors
- All-Star: Shin-Soo Choo
- Austin Laymance: "Rangers aim to outperform expectations in '18: Texas embraces underdog role in quest to return to postseason", mlb.com March 4, 2018.