ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 17: Kevin Kouzmanoff #6 of the Texas Rangers and Prince Fielder #84 of the Texas Rangers celebrate after scoring on a single hit by Mitch Moreland #18 of the Texas Rangers in the bottom of the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 17, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
All we said entering the 2014 season, with the Texas Rangers' roster in shambles and a mere shell of what it was projected to be, was that the Rangers needed to find a way to tread water and not lose the division in April while waiting for reinforcements.
They had one projected starter in the rotation — Martin Perez — when the season opened. Adrian Beltre missed two weeks, and Prince Fielder and Elvis Andrus have been absolutely horrendous for the duration of the month.
With all that said, it's hard to imagine the Rangers pulling much more than a 10-18 mark. Yet, until this most recent vomitous series against the A's, the Rangers were tied for first place in the American League West and for the best record in the American League.
Who do we thank for this surprising April? Well, first thing's first, you have to thank Kevin Kouzmanoff, who filled in for Beltre and earned AL Player of the Week honors while leading the team in extra-base hits and RBIs. He's about to undergo back surgery and it's very realistic to think he might not play again for the Rangers. If that's the case, what a two weeks he had.
Next, look at guys like Robbie Ross and Nick Martinez. Sure, neither were or have been great, but they kept their team in games when they took the hill (well, except for Ross on Wednesday).
Honestly, there's no reason the Rangers should be over .500 right now, and the fact they are should be an encouraging sign for Rangers fans. Now, if Fielder can just get going...