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Monday Newsletter time: Rangers might not be great, but they played better on the road

(AP photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

 

The Oakland A’s aren’t good, and intentionally so.

It’s time to rebuild (again), and the players who helped make the A’s so competitive the past few season are gone.

You kind of have to feel for Elvis Andrus, who remains in Oakland after being traded there in February 2021.

But for any Texas Rangers fans who had their doubts after the Rangers fell to 2-9 last week, yes, they are better than Oakland.

The Rangers did a lot of good at Oakland Coliseum, and hopefully left there without needing a rabies vaccine. They came home with a loss, but they won the series over the A’s and finished 3-3 on the West Coast swing.

The Rangers are playing better, and it’s not just because the A’s stink. There is still room to improve, and the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves are going to make things tough this week at Globe Life Field.

Before getting too cynical, the Rangers started playing better Tuesday in Seattle and then broke through Thursday after falling behind 5-0 in the first inning. The bullpen carried the Rangers through a three-game winning streak and was good again Sunday in a 2-0 loss.

The offense didn’t finish on a high note, but games like that are going to happen. The rotation was better, with Glenn Otto and Martin Perez delivering Friday and Saturday.

Houston and Atlanta are capable of sending the Rangers to another woeful homestand on top of the 1-5 mark against Colorado and California/Anaheim/Los Angeles.

The Rangers are capable of not getting the stuffing knocked out of them, too.

They are playing better.

April funks ending?

Former Rangers manager Ron Washington, who will be coming to town this week as the Braves’ third-base coach, had a barometer for when it was time for hitters to be comfortable early in a season.

He was fond of saying, and probably still is, that it takes 100 at-bats for everyday players to find their footing after spring training.

Second baseman Marcus Semien is batting .183 in 60 at-bats, outfielder Adolis Garcia is at 55 at-bats, catcher Mitch Garver is batting .149 in 47 at-bats. Semien and Garcia have hit into some bad luck.

Every Rangers hitter, not just the newcomers, are adjusting to new offensive coordinator Donnie Ecker and new hitting coach Tim Hyers. The lockout, which prevented coaches and players from communicating, might have delayed some hitters’ usual progressions.

The Rangers want hitters to be selective, but not to the point where it takes away a player’s aggressiveness. That’s the battle Garcia, in particular, seems to be fighting.

Now two weeks into the season after a spring that was shortened by two weeks, struggling hitters should be moving closer to where they want to be. But maybe that will take longer this season after the abbreviated spring schedule.

ICYMI …

The Rangers are Globe Life Field the next seven games, and Rangers Today will be pumping out the content. It’s not like we were just lounging around while they were on the road. We’ve got stuff, and here are the links in case you missed it.

The Sunday Read: Q&A with GM Chris Young

Friday on the Farm: Emerging potential big-league options

T.R.’s Memoirs: Jeff Burroughs, the Rangers’ first star

Texas Rangers Baseball Podcast: Chase Lee in-studio

Texas Rangers Baseball Podcast YouTube channel. More than just podcasts.

Doggy video!

As has been previously established, I’m a sucker for dogs posing for photos. Enjoy. See you Tuesday.

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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