With changes surely coming on the Texas Rangers' roster before we hit spring training in February there are several questions to ask involving the team's plans this winter. About the broadest question that can be asked is whether the Rangers should focus their efforts this winter on upgrading their pitching staff or upgrading a lineup that went cold for months at a time in 2012.
This past season, the Rangers were second in the American League in team batting average (.274), fourth in home runs (200), third in on-base percentage (.334) and second in OPS (.780). However, much of that success can be attributed to the first two months of season. If you look at the Rangers after the break, they were fifth in average, fifth in homers, fifth in on-base percentage and third in OPS.
With Josh Hamilton likely not coming back, and the same going for Mike Napoli to a lesser extent, the Rangers will likely lose about 30 percent of their power production from 2012, but that can be remedied by relying more on aggressiveness and not power. While the lineup will most likely lack the punch of recent years, it'll still be a pretty formidable lineup.
That's why the Rangers should focus all their efforts and attention on upgrading a pitching staff that, frankly, failed the club in 2012.
After the all-star break, the Rangers were ninth in the AL in team ERA, second in strikeouts, eighth in walks and eighth in WHIP. That's not going to cut it if you're trying to make deep postseason runs.
Other than Yu Darvish and Matt Harrison, no starter performed up to their expectations this season and the bullpen seemed to wilt down the stretch.
Getting a top-flight starter (read Zack Greinke), and another piece to the bullpen would be a huge upgrade for this team moving forward.