In a Friday staple, we'll discuss who's in a groove and who's in a rut for the Texas Rangers.
Lance Berkman — After claiming the top spot last week, Berkman is still on fire in his second week with the Rangers. The veteran on-base machine has lived up to his billing and has even showed some wheels — well for a 37-year-old with two surgically repaired knees. Berkman is hitting .368 over the last seven days with an on-base clip of .478 with a homer, four doubles, four RBIs and still more walks than strikeouts.
A.J. Pierzynski — Another new face to the Rangers has had a great week, leading the team with a .400 batting average, a rare triple, two homers and three RBIs. He's also been stellar behind the plate, both with his calling of games and with his defense as evidenced by his textbook blocking of the plate in Thursday's win when the Mariners tried a suicide squeeze.
Ian Kinsler — Over the last seven days, Kinsler has 10 hits and has scored five runs. He's hit two home runs and has a team-leading six RBIs over that stretch to give him a team-leading eight RBIs on the season. He also leads the team with eight runs scored on the season. Not bad for a leadoff man.
Bullpen — The Rangers' big question mark entering this season was their new-look bullpen minus guys like Koji Uehara and Mike Adams. It's still a big question, but over the past week, the no-name bullpen has started making a name for itself, led by Tanner Scheppers and Joe Ortiz, who have combined to give up zero earned runs in 10 1/3 innings over the last seven days.
Matt Harrison — Expected to once again be a rock in the Rangers' rotation, Harrison has disappointed so far. Of course, we now know he's dealing with a back issue that has him on the disabled list but the Rangers better hope the time off cures whatever has been wrong with Harrison in his first two starts.
David Murphy — Murphy has yet to hit a stride at the plate in his first season as an everyday player. Over the last seven, he's hit just .185 with a double, triple and home run to go with five strikeouts.
Departed Rangers' bats — The severe power outage the Rangers faced this year without Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli hasn't exactly proven true so far this year. Hamilton is 6-for-23 over the last seven days for the Los Angeles Angels with seven strikeouts and no homers, and that's considered an improvement. Mike Napoli, now with the Boston Red Sox, is 6-for-24 with eight strikeouts and two home runs over that same stretch. The departed bat the Rangers expected to miss the least, Mr. Ranger, himself, Michael Young is actually one of the game's hottest hitters over the last seven days as he's 11-for-23 for the Philadelphia Phillies with two doubles, a triple and a homer as the Phillies' full-time third baseman.