Injuries are a part of baseball, and every sport for that matter, and the Texas Rangers weren’t the only team in the major leagues to suffer from poor health during the first half of the 2013 season.
Their division rivals in Anaheim, the preseason favorites in the American League West, early on lost their best pitcher, among others, and Toronto, another preseason darling, lost an All-Star shortstop, among others.
New York was so devastated by injuries before the season that the Yankees were written off as certain also-rans, but they have survived and sit seven games over .500.
The Angels and Blue Jays, though, couldn’t overcome the injuries. They are flawed beyond just which players have been on the disabled list.
And then there are the Rangers, who are 13 games above .500 and the possessors of one of the two wild-card spots despite having 11 players hit the DL. That doesn’t include four pitchers who opened the year on the shelf.
The Rangers didn’t just survive during the first half. They thrived, despite relying on a cast of pitchers who should be in the minors and with a lineup that at times sputters like a 1970 AMC Gremlin.
But things are looking up for the second half, even though the Rangers lost four of their final five games before the All-Star break.
Players are on the mend, with some expected to return within a week and others by next month. The prevailing thought among players, coaches and executives is that the Rangers have a chance to strengthen their postseason chances as they get healthier during the second half.
“We’ve got all the pieces we need, but we need every one to come back healthy and stay healthy,” left fielder David Murphy said. “I think we’ve done better than surviving. We’ve been successful. In my mind, surviving is playing .500 ball. We’ve exceeded just surviving.”