67-95, 5th in AL West
RS: 637 (10th in AL)
RA: 773 (14th in AL)
Pythag W-L: 67-95 (t-29th)
2014 was the Season From Hell for the Texas Rangers. The Rangers turned lofty preseason expectations—26 of 44 various baseball minds on ESPN pegged the Rangers to at least qualify for the postseason—into the third-worst record in baseball, a fitting bottoming out in what has been a gradual decline for the franchise since Nelson Cruz failed to secure the Rangers’ first World Series title in 2011. Jon Daniels & Co. made big-money gambles on Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo that didn’t pay off due to a lack of performance and injury; Fielder missed 120 games with neck surgery—and only slugged .360 when he did play—while Choo posted a career-worst .340 OBP and missed the final 34 games of the season when the Rangers were in Tank Mode anyway.
Fielder and Choo were hardly the only Rangers to miss time as Texas set the dubious MLB record for most players used in a season, trotting out 64 (!!!) different players over the course of the year. Once number-one overall prospect and probable starting second baseman Jurickson Profar missed the whole season. Ace Yu Darvish was shut down in early August. Derek Holland broke his mustache and didn’t make his season debut until September 2. Matt Harrison started only four games and now looks questionable to ever pitch again thanks to an endless stream of back ailments. Martin Perez set the world on fire through his first five starts before petering out in May and requiring Tommy John surgery. And on and on and on.
No team would have been able to overcome the glut of injuries the 2014 Rangers suffered. If there’s a positive to come from the onslaught of injuries, it’s that it will allow Texas to pick third in this June’s amateur draft with a chance to stock an already loaded farm system—ranked fourth by Baseball Prospectus—with high-end talent.
82-80, 4th in AL West
RS: 701 (8th) RA: 693 (17th)