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As injuries mount, concern increases

As injuries mount, concern increases

Credit: MCT via Getty Images

Texas Rangers starter Yu Darvish pitches against the Los Angeles Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., on Tuesday, March 4, 2014. The Angels defeated the Rangers, 7-4, in a Cactus League game. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)

by PATRICK DESPAIN

WFAA Sports

Posted on March 26, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 26 at 11:14 AM

The injury bug has bitten the Rangers and it has bitten them hard. Added to the list are Jurickson Profar and Geovany Soto, who are out 10-12 weeks each, but Yu Darvish has been scratched from his Opening Day start to complete the trifecta. With Matt Harrison, Neftali Feliz, Colby Lewis, Engel Beltre and a plethora of others already nursing injuries, the outlook for the Rangers can seem very bleak.

On the offensive side of things, Ron Washington has enough firepower at his disposal to overcome the losses of Soto and Profar for an extended period. With Prince Fielder, Adrian Beltre and Alex Rios in the lineup, Adam Rosales and/or JP Arencibia playing everyday won’t have disastrous results. They are capable of handling the position for two months until their counterparts return from the disabled list. Any setbacks to either Profar or Soto in their recovery could have Jon Daniels looking for other options on the trade market. Rosales can play the position, but a full year with him at second base is not ideal. The catching position with Arencibia and Robinson Chrinos is not in bad shape. Neither are the quality behind the plate as Soto, but they can provide a punch at the plate.

The injury to Yu Darvish is another story completely. Not only can the Rangers not afford to lose him for a lengthy period, they cannot afford to lose him at all. With Holland out and Harrison and Lewis as question marks at this point, Texas has to have Darvish healthy and effective. He is the biggest concern right now and if he misses more than a couple of starts then it will be full panic mode.

Any good team can overcome injuries, but when the a team has six to seven key members on the disabled list, that may too much to overcome. Luckily for Texas, those key players are not out for the season and are expected to recover fully. And, it’s early. Profar, Soto and Holland will be back early enough to help the club. Robbie Ross and Tanner Scheppers are relative unknowns as far as starters go and may be extremely effective in their new roles. Martin Perez may have to hold this thing together, which is asking a lot from a 23-year-old.

Offensively, Texas should be just fine. There are enough bats remaining in the lineup to do some real damage. Choo, Andrus, Fielder, Beltre, Rios and others should score a lot of runs. Until the pitching staff can get healthy and settled in their roles this may be an old school approach for the Rangers. That old approach is to score as many runs as possible and hope the pitching staff gives up less than the other guy.

All hope is not lost, but the water is very murky at this point. The Texas Rangers need to keep afloat until they can get healthy. Just hang around and not get too far behind in the division and make their run later in the season.

Patrick Despain is the co-founder of ShutDownInning.com and co-host of the Rangers podcast "Caught Looking." You can reach him at Patrick.Despain@ShutDownInning.com or on Twitter @ShutDownInning

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