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MLB Teams: Texas Rangers Baseball Season 2012
The Texas Rangers are the two time defending American League champions. This is no small feat but this success has to be a little bittersweet knowing how close they were to becoming World Series champs in 2011.
The good news for Rangers fans is this team is back and should have no issues competing, once again, to be the AL representative in the World Series.
If you are interested in purchasing Texas Rangers tickets visit Major League Baseball’s website here: Rangers tickets
Texas Rangers Schedule
The 2012 regular season for the Rangers can be viewed here: schedule
Texas Rangers Roster
Yu Darvish – right handed pitcher
Endy Chavez – outfielder
Luis Martinez – catcher
Michael Gonzalez – left handed pitcher
Joe Nathan – right handed pitcher
Darren O’Day – right handed pitcher
Brandon Snyder – first baseman
Darren Oliver – left handed pitcher
Taylor Teagarden – catcher
Chad Tracy – first baseman
Matt Treanor - catcher
Brandon Webb – right handed pitcher
C.J. Wilson – left handed pitcher
Who Will Win the American League West Division?
Rangers Lineup Opening Day
The biggest loss is the departure of Wilson because he went to their direct competition in the AL West, the Angels. I feel confident that the team can overcome him leaving the organization for a few reasons. The first reason is that the team has gone through this before. After the 2010 season they watched ace lefty Cliff Lee leave them team via free agency; no disrespect to Wilson but I think the team took a bigger hit when Lee left. The second is the addition of Darvish. He might need a little bit of time to adapt to Major League ball but he has all of the tools to be one of the best pitchers in the AL.
The rest of the starting pitching staff is good, real good. Reports have been made that the team is looking at converting closer Neftali Feliz into a starter and possibly the same with Alexi Ogando. Either of these two young arms would be a very difficult starting pitcher if they can successfully make the change. One guy that really impressed me during the postseason last year was Derek Holland. I saw something in him that might make him an elite pitcher in the very near future.
The only real concern I have with their pitchers is in the closer role. Feliz has done a wonderful job but it appears that the plan is to hand the closer keys to Nathan. Sure Nathan has had a solid career as a closer but injuries really derailed him the last couple of years in Minnesota. If Nathan can come anywhere close to what he has done before the injuries the Rangers might have made one of the biggest steals in the off-season.
If the Nathan acquisition doesn't work either Feliz or Oganda might be picked to take over. If both are excelling in their roles the team has another option in setup man Mike Adams. The Rangers are one of a few MLB teams that aren't struggling in the arms department.
As good as this team’s pitching is their hitting is not too shabby either. The most recognizable name is probably Josh Hamilton; his struggles with addiction are well documented as are his successes.
An up and coming star on the team who, like Holland, really came into his own during the 2011 postseason is catcher Mike Napoli. Napoli has improved an already formidable offense and made them a real challenge for any opposing pitcher.
Veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre, outfielder Nelson Cruz, second baseman Ian Kinsler and the consummate professional Michael Young all add to this potent lineup.
This team appears to be stacked on paper because they are. You don’t make it to the World Series two years in a row if you are not a very good team. Competition in their division has increased with the moves that the Angels made but this Texas squad should still be considered one of the AL’s best teams.
The AL West will be a race between the Angels and the Rangers. The Oakland Athletics shipped off too many pieces and the Seattle Mariners are still lacking viable players for them to be considered competitors in 2012.
After back to back years of coming short I think this is Texas’ year. They have gone through the learning curves and disappointment that all progressing teams need to endure. I expect them to hold off the Angels, who will win the wild card, to take the division and the AL crown again this year. To elaborate on this being their year I think they will not only return to the World Series but they will win it all in 2012.
Texas Rangers Ballpark
Rangers Ballpark Map
Rangers Ballpark, home of the Texas Rangers