SURPRISE, Ariz. -- As the final countdown to Spring Training continues, it appears as if the Rangers have a set lineup going into camp. But some things are still worth watching over six weeks in the desert.Delino DeShields figures to be the Opening Day center fielder and leadoff hitter. But
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- As the final countdown to Spring Training continues, it appears as if the Rangers have a set lineup going into camp. But some things are still worth watching over six weeks in the desert.
Delino DeShields figures to be the Opening Day center fielder and leadoff hitter. But if he stumbles, the Rangers could look at other center field options, including James Jones, Justin Ruggiano and prized prospect Lewis Brinson.
Rougned Odor is the starting second baseman, but Hanser Alberto is an outstanding defensive player, and he won the Dominican Winter League batting title. Odor can't afford to get too comfortable.
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The Rangers also have four catchers in camp with Major League experience. Robinson Chirinos is the starter, but Chris Gimenez, Michael McKenry and Bobby Wilson are all eager to make an impression, as is rookie Brett Nicholas. McKenry and Wilson are on Minor League contracts and have outs at the end of Spring Training that allow them to become free agents if they are not on the 25-man roster.
Then there is the jumbled battle for the fifth starter spot. Not everything is locked up for the Rangers going into Spring Training.
88-74, first place in the American League West
Projected batting order (with 2015 statistics)
- CF Delino DeShields:
.261 BA, .344 OBP, .374 SLG, 83 Runs, 25 SB
- RF Shin-Soo Choo:
.276 BA, .375 OBP, .463 SLG, 22 HR, 82 RBIs
- DH Prince Fielder:
.305 BA, .378 OBP, .463 SLG, 23 HR, 98 RBIs
- 3B Adrian Beltre:
.287 BA, .334 OBP, .453 SLG, 18 HR, 83 RBIs
- 1B Mitch Moreland:
.278 BA, .330 OBP, .482 SLG, 23 HR, 85 RBIs
- LF Josh Hamilton:
.253 BA, .291 OBP, .441 SLG, 8 HR, 25 RBIs
- SS Elvis Andrus:
.258 BA, .309 OBP, .357 SLG, 7 HR, 62 RBIs
- 2B Rougned Odor:
.261 BA, .316 OBP, .465 SLG, 16 HR, 61 RBIs
- C Robinson Chirinos:
.232 BA, .325 OBP, .438 SLG, 10 HR, 34 RBIs
Projected rotation (with 2015 statistics)
- Cole Hamels:
13-8, 3.65 ERA
- Colby Lewis:
17-9, 4.66 ERA
- Derek Holland:
4-3, 4.91 ERA
- Martin Perez:
3-6, 4.46 ERA
- Nick Martinez:
7-7, 3.96 ERA
Projected bullpen (with 2015 statistics)
Closer: Shawn Tolleson,
35/37 saves, 2.99 ERA
RH setup man: Keone Kela,
RH setup man: Sam Dyson,
RH setup man: Tom Wilhelmsen,
LH setup man: Jake Diekman,
LH setup man: Sam Freeman,
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.