Texas Rangers

Rangers’ season nearing its end. These players are involved in a final-week numbers game

Joey Gallo, left, is going to get the chance to record a second consecutive 40-homer season, Rangers interim manager Don Wakamatsu said.
Joey Gallo, left, is going to get the chance to record a second consecutive 40-homer season, Rangers interim manager Don Wakamatsu said. The Associated Press

In one week, Texas Rangers players will be dispersing across the country and various parts in the western hemisphere to begin their off-seasons.

The planning has been ongoing for a while in this season lost to rebuilding.

But there were still seven games to be played entering Monday, when the Rangers and Los Angeles Angels were to open a three-game series, and, believe it or not, the games have meaning.

The evaluation process will continue for the dozen-plus young players and for veterans like Martin Perez. The players who have been with the Rangers all season will continue to play, interim manager Don Wakamatsu said.

And then there numbers, and no sport is tied to its numbers more than baseball. The significant ones will be pursued as well, Wakamatsu said.

Not all of them are significant in historical terms. Some would just look better in media guides, at baseball-reference.com and on the backs of baseball cards.

They’re numbers, nonetheless.

Here’s a sampling of what five players could accomplish, or in a few cases hope to avoid accomplishing, over the final seven games.

Joey Gallo

40 homers: He entered Monday needing one for a second straight 40-homer season after 41 in 2017. Gallo possesses elite power, and that should never be dismissed. This one should happen.

100 RBIs: Nomar Mazara did it last season, and Gallo needs nine for the first 100-RBI season of his career. That’s a big week.

200 strikeouts: Five more Ks will give him 200, which isn’t the black eye it used to be. Still, he really wants to avoid it. Gallo finished with 196 last season.

.210 batting average: It sat at .212 after his pinch-hit homer Sunday. He batted .209 in 2017. Batting average isn’t what it used to be, with OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) a better measure of offensive impact, but Gallo wants his to be better.

Adrian Beltre

.280 batting average: Beltre hasn’t finished with a batting average below .280 in his first seven seasons with the Rangers. The last time it happened was 2009 with Seattle. He entered Sunday batting .276.

500 homers: This isn’t so much about 2018, because he can’t reach the 500-homer plateau this week. He had 476 to begin the road trip. If he adds a few more, would that make him think another season would get him to 500?

1,704 RBIs: That’s 11th in MLB history, a spot held by Frank Thomas. Beltre needs one to tie and two to pass the Hall of Famer. The way Beltre is going this month, it would be a shock if this didn’t happen.

Mike Minor

161 innings: The left-hander needs four innings in his final to be a statistical qualifier. The Rangers have never had a season in which they did not have a qualifier in their rotation.

3.99 ERA: Minor can get his ERA below 4.00 by tossing 7 1/3 scoreless innings in his final start. He hasn’t thrown more than seven innings this season. His ERA sits at 4.18, which is 22nd in the AL.

1.11 WHIP: That would rate as the 10th-best walks/hits per inning pitched in club history. Minor’s sits at 1.12, which is eighth in the league.

Jose Leclerc

.125 average against: Leclerc is on the verge of posting the lowest opponents average by a reliever in the AL, which Keone Kela did last year (.135). Leclerc’s .125 mark is better than New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman and trendy Cy Young candidate Blake Treinen.

1.62 ERA: Leclerc’s reliever ERA is second-lowest in the AL. The best is 0.81 by Treinen, the Oakland closer who would have to blow up to give Leclerc a chance at being the first Ranger to lead the AL in reliever ERA since Dave Schmidt (1.99) in 1982.

19 straight scoreless innings: That’s 4 2/3 innings shy of the AL’s best active streak. Leclerc would need a perfect week and for Minnesota’s Taylor Rogers to falter to end the season as the active leader.

Rougned Odor

.260 average: The second baseman finished Sunday with a .258 batting average, which is 54 points higher than last season. That’s a massive improvement, but round numbers look nice.

9 errors: That’s where Odor sits with seven games to go. He made 22 errors in 2016 and 19 in 2017, albeit in far more chances than he has this season. But to stay under 10 errors would lend more validation to the defensive improvements he has made.

20 homers: Odor was seeking a third straight 30-homer season, but that’s out the window. He needs two homers in the final seven games to reach 20. Jurickson Profar is also stuck on 18. Round numbers look nice.

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