This season was supposed to be one when the Texas Rangers competed once again for an AL pennant, which they won in 2010 and 2011 and were in the mix for in 2012 and 2013.
It's still fairly early in the season as we're just a quarter way through the season, but with the Rangers' injury situation mounting and now the possibility looming that they could be without Prince Fielder for an extended period of time, they could be on their last leg.
We'll find out exactly what this bunch is made of on the road trip that begins today in Detroit, with the first of two straight four-game series — a bit of an oddity — against the AL Central-leading Tigers and the team chasing Detroit, the Minnesota Twins.
The Tigers are right up there with the A's as the big favorites to win the AL pennant this year, and on top of that, bad things seem to happen for the Rangers at Comerica Park in Detroit. The Twins might not strike fear into your heart, but they're above .500 and playing pretty decent baseball, and guess what? Target Field in Minneapolis is probably second on the Rangers' list of places they don't like to play. So those eight games could be bad news for the Rangers, who are currently eight games out of first place in the AL West.
As if those two places weren't enough, the Rangers then head to D.C. to face the Washington Nationals under National League rules, which will make their struggling lineup even worse against a NL pennant-contending team.
By the time the Rangers return from their 11-game road trip and having played games on 13 straight days, they'll have an off-day before opening a homestand against the Baltimore Orioles. The standings could look much different than they do right now, and if you're a Rangers fan you're just hoping you're not out of the division race by double-digit games heading into June.
We said all along the Rangers needed to tread water in April and May, but we weren't expecting the crippling injuries that piled up on the already-existing ones, and a double-digit deficit in the division won't qualify as treading water.
Say your prayers, Rangers fans. It's a big road trip, and it starts now.