The Texas Rangers are just 18-31, and look destined for a miserable season where they will occupy the basement of the AL West — below Oakland, even. But don’t expect sweeping coaching changes, because general manager Jon Daniels is putting the blame squarely on the shoulder his players.
“We said from day one, it was critical – the development of these young guys,” Daniels said Monday, according to ESPN. “That has been accelerated by the injuries [to veterans]. … Coaches have to create an environment for the players to execute in. Coaches lay out a plan and challenge the player in a way, get through to the players in a way, to get the most out of them.”
The Rangers have been crushed by the injury bug, including missing the left half of their infield with Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus both missing a bunch of games. Staring pitchers Matt Moore and Cole Hamels have also missed time due to various knocks. The Rangers promoted some of their younger prospects to fill those holes, but it hasn’t turned out very well.
“At the end of the day, it’s up to players to go out and execute,” Daniels added.
Manager Jeff Bannister is doing the best with the players he has, but inexperienced youngsters Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Ronald Guzman, and Jurickson Profar are performing well below expectations. Collectively they are hitting just .224.
“When we took the approach we took this offseason – and on top of that you’ve got the number of injuries we’ve got – I’m not sitting here looking to blame the coaching staff for personnel issues like that,” Daniels said.
“From a coaching-staff perspective, what we constantly talk about is just the development of our young players, some of which are going well and some of which are not.”
There is still over two-thirds of a season to go, but the Rangers are all but finished already, barring a comeback that would be the miracles of miracles. They are 12.5 games behind the defending World Series champions Houston Astros for the division lead in the AL West and 10.5 games out of the Wild Card race, which looks likely to be hotly contested between the Mariners, Angels, and either the Red Sox or the Yankees (whichever one doesn’t win the AL East).
The Rangers might as well start their prospects and hope they can get better, because the dream of October baseball is quickly slipping out of their grasp.