Remember a couple of years ago when the Texas Rangers went to the World Series and had some ridiculously low number of starts made by guys that weren't in the Opening Day pitching rotation — just a couple of spot starts from Scott Feldman to spell C.J. Wilson with a blister and Matt Harrison to give him some rest.
Oh what a wonderful, and rare, thing that was. The Rangers are seeing the opposite of that this season with pitchers, and position-players, for that matter dropping like flies throughout the season but they've continued to remain one of the top teams in baseball, even after an awful first half of June and limping into the break losing four of five games.
It started when after just two starts, the Rangers' Opening Day starter Matt Harrison was shelved with a back injury that later required back surgery. He might be back at some point in August. Then, No. 3 starter Alexi Ogando hit the DL, came off the DL, then hit the DL once again. Next up was Nick Tepesch, the rookie who only got the fifth-starter job because Martin Perez got injured in Cactus League play. Then, Yu Darvish hit the DL last week, probably just for precautionary reasons.
As of now, Derek Holland is the only starting pitcher who was a starter when the season began not on the DL.
Lance Berkman is on the DL after an extended slump that followed a hot first month of his Rangers career, as are Craig Gentry and one of the Rangers' few sources of power Jeff Baker, who was injured on a high five gone wrong. Ian Kinsler was on the disabled list for a month after a hot start, and A.J. Pierzynski was too. That doesn't even mention Adrian Beltre's constant health struggle that has yet to result in a DL stay but seems like it could at any time even though he is absolutely raking at the moment.
To put it simply, just about everything bad that could've happened to the Rangers this year has, and they're still standing with the third-best record in the American League behind Boston and Oakland and are the best road team in all of baseball.
Not too shabby, so just imagine what can happen when people start getting healthy and a trade or two are made in the coming weeks. Look out.