Twenty-seven up and down: Evaluating Texas' position players
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have used 27 position players on a club that is going to finish with offensive numbers that haven't been seen in Arlington in more than three decades.
Some of those players are going to be with the Rangers for a long time. Some of them better be with Texas for a long time. Others will fade into footnote history.
As with the pitching staff, the Rangers have to decide this winter which ones to keep and which ones to discard. Some are not going to be difficult decisions either way.
A look at the 27 to this point, in no particular order.
Elvis Andrus: Three factors shaped the seaon for Andrus: being on a losing team, a different cast of characters around him and poor offseason preparation. But for the most part, Elvis is Elvis. What Andrus has done the past six years is pretty much what he is going to do for the next six seasons. A lot of time, effort and words have been wasted speculated on Andrus' potential and when he will reach it. The reality is he probably has. And it has been good enough in the past.
Adrian Beltre: The Rangers can void Beltre's $16 million contract for 2016 if he doesn't get to 1,200 plate appearances in 2014-15 or 600 plate appearance next season. He should have at least 600 plate appearances this season. Beltre's defensive numbers have improved from last season.
Prince Fielder: The Rangers are hoping the surgery to repair the herniated disk in his neck will help Fielder regain his power. The club has millions and millions riding on it.
Alex Rios: The Rangers have a $13.5 million option on Rios for 2015. The top free-agent outfielders are Melky Cabrera, Torii Hunter and Nelson Cruz, and then it falls off quickly: Michael Morse, Michael Cuddyer, Josh Willingham, Norichika Aoki. Tis not the offseason to be casually tossing aside productive outfielders on a manageable one-year contract.
Shin-Soo Choo: He had a difficult season because of his injuries. Thirty-something outfielders often do.
Leonys Martin: He has had hot streaks before, but Martin has started to take off since Tim Bogar took over as manager. It could be a coincidence, but it wouldn't be the first time a young player flourishes under a new manager.
Geovany Soto: It turns out Kurt Suzuki would have been the astute free-agent catcher to sign last winter.
J.P. Arencibia: He can't be a free agent for two more years unless he is non-tendered for the second straight offseason. That seems like a strong possibility.
Robinson Chirinos: This may be the most intriguing decision the Rangers make this winter. Chirinos will be one of Texas' catchers next season. The question is if the Rangers will commit to him as the No. 1 catcher, find someone to share the position with him or find somebody else to be a starter.
Mitch Moreland: A complete season remains an elusive goal for Moreland. But for every 700 plate appearances, he averages .252 with 80 runs scored, 31 doubles, 26 home runs, 84 RBIs, a .316 on-base percentage and a .430 slugging percentage.
Rougned Odor: Odor can play, it's too bad the Rangers had to find out so quickly.
Adam Rosales: Anybody find out who had Adam Rosales in the August Player of the Month office pool?
Luis Sardinas: None of the Rangers' young infielders -- Sardinas, Odor or Jurickson Profar -- has reached their 22nd birthday. There is no law anywhere that says any or all have to be in the big leagues next year.
Michael Choice: This seemed like a great trade for the Rangers in the offseason. In 253 at-bats, Choice is hitting .182 with nine home runs, 36 RBIs, a .250 on-base percentage and a .320 slugging percentage. In Dean Palmer's rookie season in 1990, he had 268 at-bats and hit .187 with 15 home runs, 37 RBIs, a .281 on-base percentage and a .403 slugging percentage.
Jake Smolinski: A malicious injury on the part of the baseball gods.
Daniel Robertson: Craig Gentry without the tremendous physical attributes. The question is if clubs are willing to look past the physical part.
Ryan Rua: Multipositional players who can swing the bat are priceless. Rua is the kind of guy the Rangers needed in May and June.
Jim Adduci: He got the biggest chance of his career, he played his heart out, broke his left pinkie and suffered a concussion. Unbelievable.
Kevin Kouzmanoff: The highest batting average in Rangers history for a player with a minimum of 40 at-bats in a season is .362 by Kouzmanoff. That may the definition of irony or another indication of how Texas' season has gone.
Tomas Telis: He has handled himself well, but he probably needs more time in the Minors.
Josh Wilson: The Rangers' all-time most unlikely Opening Day starters: catcher Hal King (1972); designated hitter Kurt Bevacqua ('78); shortstop Mark Wagner ('82); pitcher Craig Lefferts ('95); left fielder Billy Hatcher ('95); third baseman Craig Worthington ('96); right fielder Warren Newson ('97); center fielder Bo Porter (2001); first baseman Ben Broussard ('08); second baseman Josh Wilson ('14).
Donnie Murphy: Anybody else notice he looks like Mark and Donnie Wahlberg?
Carlos Pena: As a parting gift, we have a home version of Beat the Clock.
Mike Carp: Were the Rangers really evaluating Carp for 2015 or just trying to tread water?
Chris Gimenez: He had a .280 batting average as a catcher for the Rangers. That's tied for the third-highest career average among Texas catchers with at least 90 at-bats, behind Ivan Rodriguez and Mike Napoli.
Brad Snyder: Want to be in the big leagues? Here's a first-base glove, you have 10 minutes to learn the position.
Guilder Rodriguez: Finally, a fun, positive story.