Out with the old. In with the … Yu.
On top of the Rangers’ New Year’s resolutions is, of course, health. It would solve a lot of the problems that plagued the Rangers early last season.
And come 2016 – pitchers and catchers report in around 45 days all the sudden – their new-and-improved tweaks start right at the top of the rotation.
Get Yu Darvish Healthy – When on, he’s as dominant as any pitcher in baseball. Amazing that the Rangers won 88 games and a division title with their ace sidelined the entire season. After Tommy John surgery – he had a damaged ligament in his elbow replaced by a stronger one from his forearm – he won’t be ready for the season until likely May. But when he does come back, he might be better than ever.
Get Derek Holland Right – He had a dominant, three-hit, 11-strikeout performance in late August. But other than that Holland’s year was a mess, including an ugly start in Game 4 of the ALDS when he allowed three homers in two innings. Holland was injured in the Rangers’ home opener and never was himself. Get him and Darvish healthy and humming and, teamed with Cole Hamels and Colby Lewis, Texas could have one of the best rotations in the AL.
Start Faster – It wasn’t exactly the bolt from the gates new manager Jeff Banister envisioned, as in 2015 the Rangers stumbled to an 8-16 record through April. Health played a part, sure, but the Rangers need to be more ready from Opening Day. Banister’s team Never Ever Quit last season, but wouldn’t it be nice to build a nice cushion over .500 early and not have to spend the mantra’s energy by July?
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.