Texas Rangers pitchers Colby Lewis and C.J. Wilson
On paper, at least, the 2011 Texas Rangers might revert back to the "good ol' days" of Rangers baseball when they would out-slug opponents and wins lots of 11-8 games. Those two-hour, 2-1 games we grew accustomed to last season might be few and far between in 2011.
The Rangers are picked by many "experts" to win the AL West and rightfully should be. As the defending AL champs with six all-stars (at one time or another) to lead off the batting order, the lineup is stacked.
The Rangers' rotation, on the other hand, might not be.
There are a lot of question marks, youth and possible reclamation projects lined up behind the top two guys, C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis. Those two will be just fine, but after that comes the unproven commodity with electric stuff, Derek Holland, the in-again-out-again Matt Harrison and Tommy Hunter, who will be replaced temporarily while he recovers from a groin injury by set-up man Alexi Ogando, who showed some brilliance this spring. And who know what will happen with Brandon Webb? The Rangers can only hope he might be ready to go by May, and then that he'll resemble his former, Cy Young self.
A look around the AL West might strike fear into Rangers fans.
The A's have Dallas Braden; their version of Webb, Brett Anderson; Trevor Cahill; Gio Gonzalez and former Ranger castoff Brandon McCarthy (can you say John Danks?).
The Mariners? How about King Felix, himself, and their version of Webb, but a few years deeper into his comeback, strikeout specialist Erik Bedard.
The best starting rotation of the bunch might be in Anaheim, but the Angels' bullpen is so poor it hurts the staff as a whole. Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Ervin Santana, Joel Pineiro and Scott Kazmir? Wow.
So the Rangers' staff might struggle at times, especially early on, but they'll be relying on that stacked lineup to deal with some of these potent pitchers.