Thursday, March 1, 2012

2012 MLB Preview: Texas Rangers

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-Digger's Daily-

Oh so close. The 2011 Texas Rangers (96-66) were within one out (twice) of winning their franchise first World Series title. Question of the day wonders if they're able to put devastating World Series Game 6 in the rear view mirror speeding into 2012 regular season play? Yes.

2012 is very promising. Nolan Ryan & Co. made great strides this off season. Lost to division rival Angels is lefty starter CJ Wilson who set a record he'd rather forget last year (lost All Star Game, lost in ALDS, lost in ALCS and lost in World Series - ouch!). Gained is a pitcher who could quickly become the best in baseball. Japanese import Yu Darvish. This guy is the real deal 100%. A seven pitch pitcher. Throws all for strikes. His Japanese career absolutely stellar. Never an ERA above 1.88. Career 9.5 K/9. Pinpoint control. Gobble up Yu quickly in fantasy leagues.

Joining Darvish in Texas rotation is maturing Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison and flame thrower Nef Feliz. These guys really need to build on last year without any set backs. All talented. Ryan hopes to have them focused. Joe Nathan was brought in to save victories. All eyes watching his tender right arm in spring ball.

Can any team keep up with the Rangers offense? These guys will give rotation plenty of run support. Cruz, Hamilton, Napoli, Young, Kinsler, Beltre, Andrus and pretty deep backups at all positions heading into spring training. Health, as always, is key but this team has players on the ready if ugly disabled list bug pops up.

Prediction: 2012 Rangers are playoff caliber. Key is living up to expectations. Darvish is the real deal. Offense scores in bunches. Quick start in April is key to establishing a buffer zone vs improved division rival Los Angeles. 92+ wins.

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