Tag Archives: Jon Daniels

2017 American League West Projections


X-Texas Rangers 90-72

Since 2009, the Texas Rangers have been one of the better teams in Major League Baseball as they have seven winning seasons and a pair of American League Pennants to their credit. But as good as the Rangers have been, the one thing that they’ve been unable to put on their resume is a World Series Championship. The Rangers entered the MLB Playoffs last October with the best record in the A.L. as another trip to the Fall Classic appeared to be in the cards. However the Rangers would not win a game as they were swept by the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Divisional Series. And whereas the Rangers fell short of their goal in 2016, the winning culture that has been created in Arlington by general manager Jon Daniels is still in place as this is a team that’ll once again be in contention to win the A.L. West under manager Jeff Banister.

The Rangers had one of the top offenses in 2016 as they were fourth in the American League in runs scored (765) and hits (1,446), while they were fifth in home runs with 215. A big reason for the Rangers success on offense was the emergence of second baseman Rougned Odor. Odor has three years under his belt in Major League Baseball, and in spite of the fact that he is slight in stature at 5’11”, 195 lbs., he led the team in home runs last year with 33. Odor is a legitimate AL MVP candidate as he is rapidly becoming one of the better players in the game.

Adrian Beltre

Third baseman Adrian Beltre continues to defy the odds as he batted .300 last year with 32 home runs and 104 runs batted in. Beltre will be 38-years of age next month, but he still has one of the quickest bats in baseball, while he can also get it done at the hot corner. Beltre continues to provide the Rangers with clubhouse leadership and he’ll once again have an impact on this team.

The Rangers cannot get enough of first baseman Mike Napoli as he has returned for his third stint with the club. Napoli was a key member for Texas when they made the World Series in 2011, and the same can be said about his presence with the Cleveland Indians last year. In 2016 with the Indians, Napoli hit 34 home runs as he had a big hand in the Indians winning the American League Pennant. Napoli is 35-years of age and like Beltre, he’ll provide the Rangers with a leader in their clubhouse.

Outfielder Nomar Mazara is just beginning to scratch the surface as far as how good that he can be. Mazara hit 20 home runs for Texas last year and finished fifth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting. And if Mazara can work on his plate discipline as he struck out 112 times in 568 plate appearances, along with avoiding the dreaded “sophomore slump” he can be an impact player in the middle of the Rangers lineup.

The speed of shortstop Elvis Andrus will once be key at the top of the Rangers lineup as he continues to re-write the record book for stolen bases in their franchise history, while catcher Jonathan Lucroy should have a big impact as he is now set to begin his first full season with the club. Lucroy was acquired from by the Rangers from the Milwaukee Brewers last year before the trade deadline, and in 47 games with Texas, he batted .276 with 11 homers and 31 runs batted in. But Lucroy’s biggest impact with the Rangers will be behind the plate as he works with the team’s pitching staff.

The Rangers were 13th in the American League last season in team earned run average (4.37), but there should be some improvement with the unit in 2017. The switch from the National League to the American League has not slowed down starting pitcher Cole Hamels who in 44 starts with the Rangers is 22-6 with a 3.42 earned run average. Hamels has been durable during his Major League Baseball career as he has thrown at least 200 innings in eight of the last nine years which should rub off of the rest of the Rangers starting rotation as far as being around a player of his caliber that knows how to get it done at this level.

Yu Darvish

Starting pitcher Yu Darvish missed the entire 2015 Major League Baseball season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery and he returned last year to go 7-5 with a 3.41 earned run average in 17 starts. Towards the end of the 2016 campaign, Darvish began to show some of the flashes that made him one of the game’s best power pitchers prior to the injury. And if Darvish is able to give the Rangers 150-180 innings this year, it will be a huge plus.

In relief pitcher Sam Dyson’s first year as the Rangers full-time closer, he saved 38 games, while finishing 53 contests. Dyson only allowed 19 earned runs as he faced 285 batters to become one of the premier closers in the American League. And if Dyson once again flirts with saving close to 40 games for Texas, it will more than likely signal that this team is once again the top team in the A.L. West.

Last year saw the Rangers battle with the Cleveland Indians for most of the year as far as seeing who was the best team in the American League. These two clubs will get it on in Arlington to begin the season before the Rangers begin a 12-game stretch against the A.L. West. The Rangers should once again be the team to beat within the A.L. West and a strong start in April could put them in the catbird’s seat.

Houston Astros 87-75

After the Houston Astros made the postseason in 2015 as a wild card, the expectations for them increased heading into the 2016 Major League Baseball season. The Astros were able to finish last year with a winning record as they won 84 games, but they fell five wins shy of the final playoff spot in the American League. Now a year later, the Astros are a more mature team, and after team general manager Jeff Luhnow made some tweaks to the roster, the postseason could once again become a reality in Houston.

What helped the Astros make the playoffs in 2015 was a hindrance to them in 2016. Houston led the American League in team earned run average in 2015 at 3.57, but that number dipped last season as it was 4.06 which was fifth. And a big part of that slight dip in production was due to the regression of starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel.

Dallas Keuchel

In 2015, Keuchel went 20-8 with a 2.48 earned run average to being named as the American League’s Cy Young Award winner. Keuchel also led the A.L. in innings pitched in 2015 with 232 which led to the theory of him being fatigued last year. In 2016, Keuchel went 9-12 with an earned average of 4.55 has his fastball lacked some zip. And for the Astros to have a chance of making the postseason this year, Keuchel is going to once again have to find the magic from 2015.

Like Keuchel, starting pitcher Collin McHugh had a big campaign in 2015 as he won 19 games. But unlike Keuchel, McHugh benefited from a ton of run support when he took the mound. And once factored in that McHugh wasn’t getting the same run support in 2016, along with the fact that his earned run average was 4.34, the Astros suffered.

Overall no Astros pitcher that started at least 20 games last year had an earned run average below 4.00. Luhnow didn’t upgrade Houston’s starting rotation, but he did the next best thing by acquiring veteran catcher Brian McCann from the New York Yankees.

McCann has always been a solid contributor to a team’s pitching staff; especially for his ability to frame pitches and call games. And as a pitcher like Keuchel is looking to bounce back, throwing to a veteran such as McCann will make his job on the mound every fifth day a little bit easier.

McCann’s arrival in Houston will also add some depth to the Astros lineup as in each of the last nine years he has hit 20 home runs.

The Astros have a solid blend of power and speed in their lineup that could make them very difficult to deal with. Second baseman Jose Altuve is one of Major League Baseball better contact hitters as he has won the American League’s batting title in two of the last three years, while leading the league in hits in each of the last three seasons. Altuve is also a fantasy baseball owner’s best friend as he has the ability to consistently get on base, while always being a threat on the base paths. Altuve’s ability to get on base for the Astros should pay big dividends for an Astros lineup that has the potential to consistently put the ball over the fence.

In 2015, the Astros were second in the American League in home runs with 230, but they only managed to hit 198 last season with was ninth. The Astros lineup up is littered with power bats which includes utility man Evan Gattis who led the club in home runs last season with 32, and outfielder George Springer who hit 29 homers. The Astros also have shortstop Carlos Correa who is one of Major League Baseball’s young phenoms, and veteran outfielder/designated hitter Carlos Beltran who might not be the player that he was in 2004 when he went on a tear to help Houston reach the playoffs, but his 19 years of MLB experience will definitely come in handy in the clubhouse.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch may once again have to go with a “closer by committee” for 2017 as this could be the one thing that will hold this team back coming out of spring training. But by the summer the Astros will be a force in the American League.

Seattle Mariners 86-76

The past few years have seen the Seattle Mariners come close to breaking their playoff drought, but they’ve been unable to get over the hump. In 2014, the Mariners fell one game short of getting to the playoffs and last year it was three. The M’s have been so close to breaking Major League Baseball’s current longest postseason drought, but will 2017 be the year that they finally give baseball fans in the Pacific Northwest something to cheer about in October?

Jerry Dipoto is in his second year as the Mariners general manager and he’s already begun the process of attempting to improve Seattle’s team when he traded starting pitcher Tijuan Walker to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for infielder Jean Segura. In one year with the Diamondbacks, Seguara led the National League in hits with 203 and his ability to get on base in front of Seattle’s big boppers will be important. Aside from Segura, the M’s also acquired outfielder Jarrod Dyson from the Kansas City Royals who has stolen at least 30 bases in four out of the last five years. And just like Segura, the ability of Dyson to get on base will be vital to Seattle’s lineup.

As a unit the M’s were able to blast 223 homers which was second in the American League last season and they have the potential to once again be a prolific offense. Segura will set the table in Seattle for second baseman Robinson Cano and designated hitter Nelson Cruz who last year combined to hit 82 home runs. Cano was able to put his struggles in 2015 behind him as he hit a career-high 39 home runs. But at the age of 34, will Cano be able to replicate this success? Like Cano, Cruz is a veteran hitter as he is 36-years of age. However each of the last three Major League Baseball seasons have seen Cruz belt at least 40 homers as he has turned Safeco Field into his own personal launching pad.

Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager is getting plenty of fanfare as he is the reigning National League Rookie of the Year, but his older brother Kyle has turned out to be a solid third baseman in Seattle. In each of Seager’s six seasons with the Mariners, his productivity at the plate as increased. Seager is coming off of his first 30-homer campaign as being in a lineup with Cruz and Cano has been beneficial to him. Seager is rapidly becoming one of the better third baseman in the American League and it would not surprise me to see him make his second All-Star Game appearance this summer.

The Mariners team earned run average of 4.00 was third in the American League last year, but in order for them to make the playoffs, they are going to need more from their stud. Last season was a down year for starting pitcher Felix Hernandez who is 25 starts went 11-8 with an earned run average of 3.82. Hernandez failed to reach the 200-inning plateau for the first time since 2007 as injuries got the best of him. Whether it was due to injuries or age, the fastball of “King Felix” lost some zip and it might be time for him to begin locating his pitches more.

Felix Hernandez

But Hernandez and the rest of the Mariners pitching staff should benefit from Dipoto bringing in veteran catcher Carlos Ruiz. The 38-year old Ruiz has never been known for his bat as it more about his ability to call a game behind the plate. And his ability and leadership should be beneficial to the M’s pitching staff this year.

Whereas injuries slowed down Hernandez last year, starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma emerged as a solid contributor in the M’s rotation as he led the club in wins with 16. Iwakuma also benefited from good run support as he has an earned run average of 4.12, but like Hernandez, he should be aided by having Ruiz behind the plate.

Relief pitchers Edwin Diaz and Steve Cishek each have the ability to close games which gives Mariners skipper Scott Servais flexibility as far as the use of his bullpen goes, and this will be important as they look to hang around in the American League West.

Aside from Servais, Seattle’s coaching staff is littered with former Major League Baseball players that includes bench coach Tim Bogar, hitting coach Edgar Martinez, and pitcher coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. And this wealth of experience on the Mariners coaching staff could be the difference in whether or not that they’ll be able to end Major League Baseball’s current longest playoff drought.

Los Angeles Angels 79-83

The 2014 Major League Baseball season saw the Los Angeles Angels finish with the best record in the league as they won 98 games. But since then it has been a steep decline for the Angels as they’ve missed the postseason in each of the last two years which included them managing to only win 74 games in 2016. What has hurt the Angels more than anything else has been issues within their front office. Angels manager Mike Scoiscia has not always been on the same page with the team’s general managers and there is some hope in Anaheim that he and Billy Eppler can be on the same page as this is the only way for this team to have a chance.

Mike Trout

But for Eppler and Scoiscia, life is made easier in knowing that they can build around one of the best players in the game. At times outfielder Mike Trout can make the game of baseball look very easy. Trout is only 25-years of age and already he is a two-time American League MVP in just six Major League Baseball seasons. Trout is coming off of a season where he batted .315 with 29 home runs and 100 runs batted in last year to be named as the A.L. MVP. Trout’s energy is infectious and as you expect to see him bat at least .300 while hitting 30 homers, stealing 30 bases, and driving in 100 runs, how will the team around him fare?

Designated hitter Albert Pujols led the Angels in home runs last year with 31, but at the age of 37, his body is breaking down. The last four years have seen Pujols deal with foot issues which has limited his effectiveness. Pujols won’t be available to begin the season after undergoing foot surgery in December. And although that Pujols still has pop in his bat, he is not the overall player that he was during his prime with the St. Louis Cardinals.

As a team the Angels were sixth in the American League in batting average (.260), but they were tenth in runs scored (717). Outfielder Kole Calhoun is a product of the Angels system, but he is a scrappy player that will give you everything that he has on a nightly basis and the same can be said about first baseman C.J. Cron. Third baseman Yunel Escobar is coming off of consecutive seasons in which he hit at least .300, while he also has one of the best gloves at the hot corner in the American League. And as Escobar is in the final year of his contract with the Angels, I believe that he’ll be locked in this season in each phase of the game.

The Angels also brought in veterans such as outfielders Ben Revere and Cameron Maybin, along with infielders Luis Valbuena and Danny Espinosa as this lineup should have more balance this season.

The Angels lineup will have to keep them in games as their pitching staff will more than likely struggle once more. Last year the Angels team earned run average of 4.28 was 12th in the American League and their 64 quality starts were 14th. Starting pitcher Jered Weaver led the Angels in wins last year with 12, but he is now a member of the San Diego Padres.

Garrett Richards

Starting pitcher Garrett Richards is the best option for the Angels in their rotation when he is healthy; however Richards was shut down last season due to elbow issues and it will be interesting to see how he’ll be able to hold up in 2017. But unfortunately for the Angels after Richards, their rotation is extremely thin.

This season will be interesting to say the least for the Angels who have enough offense to contend for a playoff spot, but they’ll more than likely come up short due to their lack of quality pitching.

Oakland Athletics 71-91

The best way to describe the Oakland Athletics is that they are Major League Baseball’s version of the stock market. The Athletics have been way up and way down in the standings over the past 30 years due to the fact that they play in one of MLB’s smallest markets and without a lucrative television deal, it makes it extremely difficult for them to maintain their roster when quality players are set to become unrestricted free agents. From 2012-2014, the A’s made three consecutive trips to the postseason which included a pair of American League West Championships. But since then it has been a rapid decline in Oakland as Athletics general manager Billy Beane has had another one of his infamous fire sales. The A’s are coming off of consecutive last place finishes in the A.L. West which is the first time that this has occurred since 1998. And as the 2017 MLB campaign is set begin, are the A’s ready to show some improvement?

Bob Melvin has seen the best of times and the worst of times during his tenure as the manager of the Athletics. But if the A’s are going to shock most people and contend in the American League West this year, they will need to get better pitching.

Last year Oakland’s team earned average of 4.51 was 14th in the American League as they were bombarded by injuries and an overall lack of quality starting pitching. Injuries limited starting pitcher Sonny Gray to just 22 starts, while he had an earned run average of 5.69. Gray’s down year threw a wrench into Beane’s plans of trading him and he needs the youngster to have a bounce back season in order to increase his trade value, while starting pitcher Kendall Graverman continues to improve as he could flirt with being a 15-game winner this season in Oakland.

When the Athletics signed relief pitcher Ryan Madson in 2016, it was expected that he would be with the club until the team found a trade partner. But surprisingly Madson stayed with the A’s for the entire season which led to him saving 30 games in Oakland for just the second time in his career. And whereas Beane did not trade Madson in 2016, I don’t see this season ending with him in Oakland as a quality relievers are always en vogue the closer that you get to the trading deadline.

The A’s were a light hitting team as they were 14th in the American League in bating average last season at .246, along with being dead last in on-base percentage at .304. And once you exclude the contributions of outfielder Khris Davis and infielder Marcus Semien, this was an Oakland lineup the struggled immensely to find consistency. Davis emerged as a big time power bat as he hit 42 home runs last season and Semien followed suit with 27. But for Davis, his biggest issue has been ability to bring it consistently as he committed 21 errors in the field last season.

There a huge gap between the talent level of the Athletics and the contenders in the American League West this year, and it won’t take us that long to see it.

X-Division Winner

Source: Baseball-reference.com


How The West Was Won


To the untrained the Texas Rangers may not be a Major League Baseball franchise that jumps out as a storied organization. But since 1996, the Rangers have seven playoff appearances which included consecutive American League Pennants in 2010 and 2011. After a 95 loss campaign in 2014, the Rangers hired Jeff Banister to be their manager. And what Banister has brought to the Rangers is a breath of fresh air as he treats his players like men, while blending the talents of his team; young and old into a cohesive unit. The Rangers won 88 games last year en route to winning the A.L. West for the first time since their last trip to the World Series in 2011, and in spite of the fact that Texas fell to the Toronto Blue Jays last October in the playoffs, it has not deterred them from focusing on getting back to the postseason as they’re determined to ultimately win the World Series.

The Rangers have not been under .500 since April 8 and they’ve been the team to beat in the American League West in spite of the fact that they’ve dealt with a laundry list of issues. Starting pitcher Yu Darvish is in the process of regaining the form that made him a three-time Major League Baseball All-Star as he missed the entire 2015 campaign after undergoing Tommy John surgery. In 2014, the Rangers acquired first baseman/designated hitter Prince Fielder from the Detroit Tigers. And after Fielder was limited to just 42 games in 2014 due to a herniated disk, he returned last year to bat .305 with 23 homers and 98 runs batted in to be named as the A.L. Comeback of the Year. But here in 2016, Fielder’s neck injury continued to persist and he was forced to retire last month. Starting pitcher Colby Lewis has seen his fair share of ups and downs during his tenure as an MLB pitcher, however his presence provides depth to the Rangers starting rotation that he has been away from since June 21 due to a shoulder injury. After saving 35 games for the Rangers last year, relief pitcher Shawn Tolleson struggled mightily which was evident by his 7.68 earned run average before he ended up on the 60-day disabled list. But through all of these issues the Rangers have survived which is a credit to Banister and team general manager Jon Daniels who in his 11 years as one of the key decision makers in the organization has established a quality system that allows Texas to be a consistent contender.

With the likes of third baseman Adrian Beltre and second baseman Rougned Odor leading the way, the Rangers are third in the American League in runs batted in (620), fourth in runs scored (635), fourth in home runs (177) and fifth in batting average (.263) as it has been a combination of veterans in Texas and newcomers carrying the club.

Ian Desmond

Late in the free agency last winter, the Rangers rolled the dice on signing outfielder Ian Desmond. Desmond spent the first seven years of his Major League Baseball career with the Washington Nationals as a shortstop. But after Desmond rejected the Nationals qualifying offer of $15.8 million, he sought a long-term contract that never came to fruition over the winter. Instead Desmond had to settle for a one-year deal from the Rangers that is worth $8 million while also taking up a new position. With the Rangers, Desmond has spent time in both center field and left field, while at the plate he is batting .290 with 21 home runs and 78 runs batted in.

Prior to Major League Baseball’s trade deadline last month, Daniels was able to acquire veteran outfielder/designated hitter Carlos Beltran from the New York Yankees, while he also signed veteran outfielder Carlos Gomez. Beltran is a lifetime .281 hitter, while he also has a wealth of postseason experience from his time with the Houston Astros, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, and Yankees. Gomez befuddled the Rangers last year during his time with Astros and although that he is only batting .160 in 25 at-bats so far with Texas, there is always the good chance that he can get hot at the plate which would be a shot in the arm for this club.

Rougned Odor

Although Odor might be slight in stature at 5’11”, 195 lbs., he makes up for it with heart and determination. Odor is just in his third Major League Baseball campaign, but this year he is leading the club in home runs with 27 which included his walk-off blast this past Tuesday night in the Rangers 8-7 victory over the Seattle Marniers, while he has won over the folks in the Lone Star State.

Last October, the Rangers and Blue Jays clashed in an epic American League Divisional Series. The Rangers won the first two games in Toronto, but as they headed home only needing one victory to advance to the next round, they were unable to get it. The decisive Game 5 took place at the Rogers Centre in Toronto in what was a back and forth affair. The game would ultimately be decided in the bottom of the seventh inning when Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista hit a massive three-run home run. However after Bautista made contact, he stared at the Rangers dugout before slamming his bat down as he prepared to round the bases. This led to both dugouts emptying which wasn’t lost on the Rangers as they headed into 2016.

This past May when the Jays came Arlington to face the Rangers, it hit the fan when Bautista slid into Odor at second base in the top of the eighth inning. Odor showed off his boxing skills which Bautista didn’t want any parts off as both benches cleared. Odor would receive an eight-game suspension from Major League Baseball which was initially reduced to seven games, but he had earned the respect from the folks in Texas which included one establishment there offering him free barbecue for life.

Adrian Beltre

Beltre continues to be the ageless wonder for the Rangers as he is now finding himself in discussions about one day becoming a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Rangers are Beltre’s fourth different Major League Baseball franchise as he has also suited up from the Los Angeles Dodgers, Mariners, and Boston Red Sox. Beltre is in his sixth season with the Rangers and aside from his quirky follow through on his home run swings, and his pet peeve of teammates not touching his head, he has been a clutch player with Texas which is evident by his wins above replacement (WAR) of 36 that is tied with Buddy Bell for third most in franchise history.

As a team the Rangers have been a very resilient bunch. The Rangers have won their last five games which included a three-game sweep of the Mariners which all but ended any realistic chances of them winning the American League West here in 2016. The Rangers have an 8.5-game lead over the second place Astros in the division who themselves could be put out to pasture this weekend in their three-game series against Texas. The Rangers find themselves in the midst of a 29-game stretch against divisional opponents and as they are set to cake walk to the AL West crown, they can also secure home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

The Baltimore Orioles, Blue Jays, Red Sox, and Yankees are all beating up on each other in the American League West, while the Cleveland Indians cannot put away the Detroit Tigers and Royals in the AL Central. And as the Rangers magic number to clinch the A.L. West Title is now 20, they can smell the finish line; especially after the A.L. won the All-Star Game this past July which gives them home-field advantage throughout if they are able to take care of their business. The Rangers are rolling at the plate, and their pitching staff will get a jolt very soon as Lewis is expected to re-join Texas’ starting rotation that already has Darvish and Cole Hamels. Banister also knows that he has one of the closers in baseball in relief pitcher Sam Dyson who has 30 saves this season which only enhances the Rangers chances.

But the Rangers appear to be headed to the postseason, this is a team that has been close in the past, however this time around they have more than just a puncher’s chance to win it all.

Source: Baseball-reference.com


The Curse Of Nolan Ryan On The Texas Rangers

Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan

Over the years the term “cursed” has applied to several Major League Baseball teams. In 1918, the Boston Red Sox were coming off of winning their third World Series Championship in four years. But following the 1919 Major League Baseball season, then Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold the rights to pitcher/outfielder Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. Frazee used the money of the sale of Ruth to finance a Broadway play entitled “No, No, Nanette”. With Ruth on their roster the Yankees would win four World Series Titles. And now the Yankees have won more World Series Championships (27) than any other MLB franchise. The sale of Ruth to the Yankees was dubbed as the “Curse of the Bambino” as the Red Sox would not win another World Series Championship until 2004. In Game of the 1945 World Series, then Chicago Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley ejected ticket holder Billy Sianis and his goat from Wrigley Field in Chicago. Many people have said that as Sianis exited Wrigley Field he proclaimed that “the Cubs would never win” and that he placed a curse on the North Siders. The Cubs have not made the World Series since 1945 and they have not won it all since 1908. Then there is the case of the Texas Rangers and Nolan Ryan.

The history of the Rangers goes back to 1961 when they began playing Major League Baseball as the Washington Senators.  The Rangers moved to Arlington, Texas in 1972, but they were unable to secure a postseason berth until 1996. And from 2000-2008, the Rangers only had one winning season.

In 2008, Ryan was named as the Rangers team president and by 2009 he was a part of an ownership group that purchased the team. Ryan would go on to be named as the Rangers CEO in 2009 and he would oversee the biggest stretch of success in franchise history. From 2008-2013, the Rangers posted winning records in each year which was highlighted by consecutive American League Pennants in 2010 and 2011. But a power struggle began within the Rangers organization between Ryan and Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels. After the 2013 Major League Baseball season ended, Ryan resigned from his post with the Rangers.

It didn’t take Ryan that long for Ryan to land on his feet as he was hired by the Houston Astros this past February as a special assistant to Astros owner Jim Crane. Without Ryan on board this season, the Rangers have taken a nosedive.

The Rangers finished the first half of the MLB season with a record of 38-57 which is the worst in the league. The Rangers are 21 games behind the first place Oakland Athletics in the American League West and with 67 games left their season is all but over.

The Rangers have been bitten by the injury bug in 2014 as they currently have nine players on the 60-day disabled list. The Rangers are 1-14 in their last 15 ballgames and they are on pace to lose 95 games in a season for the first time since 1985.

Ryan’s new team in the Astros are currently 40-56. It may not sound that significant, but the Astors are on pace to have their first non-100 loss season since 2010 and with a young nucleus led by outfielder George Springer, Houston is looking to a contender sooner rather than later.

Mentally and physically, Ryan is as tough as they come. Ryan spent 27 years in Major League Baseball as a starting pitcher. Ryan threw 7 no-hitters and he retired as baseball’s all-time leader in strikeouts with 5,714. Ryan also won 324 games and the same winning formula that he had as a player was brought to the front office. Ryan was a great player and typically great players improve the play of the people around them which is what happened when he was in the front office in Arlington.

There was a clash between Daniels and Ryan with the Rangers. Instead of the sides being able to work things out, the egos of Ryan and Daniels got the best of them which has helped the team’s downfall this season. With Ryan and Daniels in the Rangers front office, the team continuously lost out in retaining their players in free agency, as they were able to win at least 90 games in each season from 2010-2013. Now the Rangers are in the process of trying to start over from scratch as Ryan and the Astros are on their way up.

Source: Baseball-reference.com