Texas Rangers

What facet of the Rangers does Woodward believe is ‘arguably the best in baseball?’

Our good buddy Richard Durrett passed away five years ago, as you might have seen Monday from various folks in your Twitter timeline.

The Texas Rangers were in Oakland, and Yu Darvish pitched. The rest is a blur, though it’s safe to assume that Darvish got beat because he was pitching in Oakland.

As Richard’s wife, Kelly, said the other day, I can’t believe it’s been five years.

On Wednesday, the Do It For Durrett Foundation holds its sixth event and the fifth that won’t benefit the Durrett family. Kelly and the three kiddos are doing just fine, she says, and it’s hard to argue with her by the look off things.

The event at Globe Life Park is sold out, though anyone with a ticket to the game that night against the Cleveland Indians can partake in the silent auction held outside the Hyundai Club in center field. As always, great stuff is available to the highest bidder.

At that point, the Rangers could be trying to improve to eight games above .500.

Here’s some Rangers Reaction from a 7-2 victory.

1. Elvis Andrus was the Rangers’ hottest hitter when he went on the injured list last month, and the Rangers promptly when 8-1 while he was out.

Joey Gallo was the Rangers’ best player when he went on the IL earlier this month, and the Rangers have gone 10-6.

Their pitching has improved along the way, but the replacements players have surpassed expectations and have kept the Rangers afloat through 72 games.

“It’s pretty remarkable to see what we’ve done,” manager Chris Woodward said. “It shows that we have a tremendous amount of depth. They just keep coming. We’ve got really good depth on the position player side, arguably the best in baseball.”

Hunter Pence is the latest key hitter to hit the IL, doing so Monday afternoon because of a strained groin. Willie Calhoun came off the IL to replace him, and he was the choice to take Andrus’ spot last month.

Nomar Mazara won’t go on the IL with a hamstring issue, but he didn’t start Monday. Danny Santana did, and he hit a key two-run homer in the fourth that gave the Rangers some breathing room.

He also stole second base and then scored from second on a wild pitch.

“He won the game for us,” Woodward said.

Logan Forsythe has done his part, too. It’s a veteran bench group with speed, power, good defense and an idea of how to be ready when called up.

“That’s one of the reasons that we are where we are right now,” Andrus said. “Every team, if you’re going to be in contention and you want to play for October, you need to have those guys.”

2. Lance Lynn did his job again, twirling his eighth consecutive quality start. The Rangers, though, have won only half of those.

(He also does a good job channeling Marshawn Lynch when talking to the media.)

The pitcher can only do so much, though Lynn takes the blame when the Rangers lose a game in which he starts. If the other guys scored four, even if a run or two came after he left, Lynn will say he should have done better.

The lone run against him was a Francisco Lindor homer. That guy has gotten a lot of quality pitchers. The Indians just missed a couple other deep drives, but each one ended up in an outfielder’s glove.

And Lynn was the winning pitcher, picking up his team-high eighth W. In an age when the win has lost its statistical luster, a win still has meaning to Lynn.

He pitched better than the other guy, and his guys won the game.

That’s all that matters to Lynn.

3. Mike Minor, though, remains the clear choice as the Rangers’ best pitcher so far this season, and he should be a shoo-in for the All-Star Game next month at Cleveland.

Pence and Gallo are the only two Rangers in position to be starters under the revamped voting procedures this year. They will have to make the cut next week and then get a surge of votes in the finals to get in the American League lineup.

Pence is second among designated hitters, and Gallo is eighth among outfielders. The voting results reset for the final.

But Pence won’t play again before voting ends, and Gallo has missed 18 games during the vote. He might be back Friday.

His numbers are still awfully salty, so anyone who is voting based on stats will likely cast one for him. Pence’s are good, too, at his position, but his field includes J.D. Martinez and Nelson Cruz.

Shin-Soo Choo was the Rangers’ lone All-Star in 2018. Minor, Pence and Gallo are possibilities this season, though it will take some stuffing of the ballot boxes or the players’ vote for Pence and Gallo to go.

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After 12 seasons covering the Rangers for the Star-Telegram, Jeff Wilson knows that baseball is a 24/7/365 business and there is far more to baseball than just the 162 games each season. There’s also more to Jeff -- like a family and impressive arsenals of Titleist hats and adidas shoes -- but sometimes it’s hard to tell.