The 2018 season is almost one month old, and here's where things stood for the Texas Rangers entering their off day Thursday:
They were 9-17, in last place in the American League West, already eight games behind the Houston Astros and 6 1/2 games out in the wild-card race.
Their 4-12 record at Globe Life Park is tied for the worst 16-game start in franchise history.
The Rangers' offense is batting .231 and was 22nd in Major League Baseball in runs scored. Their opponents were batting .275, and only one team in baseball had allowed more runs.
The season isn't going to stop and wait for the Rangers to get healthy or get better. No other teams feel sorry for them. In fact, they probably all want to play the Rangers right now.
The Rangers are going to play, beginning again Friday night at Toronto. They know they are in survival mode until Beltre and Andrus return.
How are they going to do that? Good question.
"It's a matter of us just playing within ourselves and being as smart as possible," left-hander Cole Hamels said. "Sometimes you have the freak injuries. Injuries happen. They're part of the game. Unfortunately, we've hard our fair share."
The rotation, headed by Hamels, is the key. That's the case when every player is healthy, but especially so when the offense has been ripped apart by injuries and is filled with rookies.
The Rangers' rotation showed improvement the last time through, posting a 3.81 ERA over the six-game home stand. The starters opened the home stand with a 5.33 ERA through the first 20 games but managed to get it under 5.00 at 4.96.
But the bullpen let the Rangers down. The relievers allowed 19 runs (18 earned) over the first five games before logging a sparkling 4 1/3 scoreless inning Wednesday to avoid a three-game sweep to the Oakland A's.
That, coupled with a full day's rest Thursday, could serve to recharge a bullpen that is second in the AL in innings pitched.
"I think so," manager Jeff Banister said. "The ability to get those guys out there and off the field in positive situations I believe goes a long way to getting them back on track physically and mentally."
The pitching staff will be working with little margin for error as the offense navigates the speed bumps often encountered by rookies. The top of the order is in good hands with Delino DeShields and Shin-Soo Choo, a 1-2 combination that at times in past seasons as been a catalyst.
Joey Gallo is showing more and more awareness at the plate, using all fields, drawing walks and striking out less. Nomar Mazara drove in 101 runs in 2017 and will be filling the cleanup spot while Beltre is out.
And Gallo, 24, and Mazara, 23, are relative veterans in the lineup now. The good news is that rookies Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Ronald Guzman have delivered during their initial big-league stints.
They have driven in 12 runs, including one apiece in the 4-2 victory Wednesday. Kiner-Falefa's two-out single in the fifth put the Rangers ahead, and Guzman's eighth-inning triple gave closer Keone Kela some breathing room in the ninth.
It was the Rangers' first triple of the season and snapped a club-record 47 games without one.
The young players must produce while Beltre and Andrus are recovering if the Rangers are to survive this stretch without them.
"I knew how it was when I first came up, and I know it's tough when you're struggling or if you make an error," Gallo said. "I just tell them to keep their head up and they're going to help us later on win a game. We're like a brotherhood. We've been playing with each other so long it's just second nature for us. We're just going to go out and compete every night."