Adrian Beltre will miss his first game of what is hopefully no more than two weeks' worth tonight against the White Sox, but it seems more likely that it's about three weeks' worth of games, and on Tuesday night when Jeff Banister sets his lineup to face Jeff Samardzija, it won't be too difficult.
However, when this new-look Rangers offense faces Chris Sale, one of the game's best left-handed starters, on Wednesday, it could present a different problem to Banister — simply making out a lineup card.
The projected lineup with Beltre out and power-hitting prospect Joey Gallo in would seem to look something like this: Martin/DeShields, Choo, Fielder, Hamilton, Moreland, Gallo, Andrus, Chirinos/Corporan, Rosales/Alberto.
Against a righty like Samardzija, it's like going to be Martin, Choo, Fielder, Hamilton, Moreland and Gallo — all left-handed batters, and the first righty in the lineup would seem to be Andrus in the 7-hole.
So what's the problem, you might ask? Well, come the seventh inning or so when Robin Ventura wants to go to a reliever, he can easily put in his best lefty and just roll.
Here's the thing about the Rangers' lefty hitters — they mostly all struggle against left-handed pitching, most notably Martin, Choo, Moreland and Gallo.
You always hear about "breaking up lefties" in the Rangers' lineup, and they've been able to do that by putting Beltre in the cleanup spot. Now that's out the window, and Banister is going to have to be creative against left-handed starters, especially.