How nice would it be to have some life in the Rangers' struggling offense right now? There are some recent departures who could be helping.
The Texas Rangers' lineup saw quite a bit of turnover this year since last season, and so far this year — a quarter through the season — the results haven't been good. Prince Fielder is struggling, heck, even Adrian Beltre is struggling. The Rangers are near the bottom of the American League in runs scored, and the team sits in fourth place heading into Thursday's game.
You know who they'll be playing in Thursday's game? None other than Ian Kinsler, the former all-star second baseman who was shipped to Detroit in November for Fielder — a rare swap of superstars. Kinsler, of course, had some disparaging remarks for the Rangers' front office in a magazine article, most notably general manager Jon Daniels, who he called a "sleazeball" before saying it was taken out of context.
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Whatever, that's over and done with, but let's look at what Kinsler's done on the field this year for his new team.
Kinsler has been great with his new team, while trading off between hitting leadoff and in the 2-hole and giving the Tigers a huge defensive upgrade at second base. He's hitting .317 and has an .803 OPS (on-base + slugging percentage). He has four homers, 20 RBIs and six stolen bases and seems to be fitting in nicely in the Tigers' clubhouse — not bad numbers for a guy whose offensive game had seemingly been in decline for nearly two years.
As the headline says, this is all hindsight, but what would Kinsler's bat look like in the Rangers' lineup right now instead of Fielder's, who, well, isn't even in the lineup right now and might need neck surgery? Pretty good, I'd say.
The trade was one that was almost universally praised by both sides' fans and seemed to be a great fit, especially with the rare aspect of trading two proven veteran stars. But so far, it's been pretty one-sided.