Note: Each Monday, we'll take a look at a few parts of the Texas Rangers that are performing well and those that aren't. It's our Stock Report.
Yu Darvish: He came off the disabled list in time to start on Sunday and looked like a guy ready to once again contend for the American League Cy Young Award. One Darvish goal: Be more efficient so he can pitch deeper in games. The Rangers didn't want Darvish going much more than 100 pitches in his first start, yet the 27-year-old ace went seven innings and allowed no runs, needing just 89 pitches. He gave up a hit in every inning, but no damage. Darvish got ahead in counts, pounded his fastball and was aggressive (he had 65 strikes). The result was quicker outs and a longer start. If he keeps pitching like that, it will be another terrific season for him.
Alex Rios: The Rangers' No. 5 hitter was the club's top run producer the first week of the season. Rios had five RBIs and three extra-base hits, including the only homer by anyone in that middle of the lineup. Rios didn't dominate headlines with names like Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo joining the lineup. But he's a critical component batting in that spot. (And I should throw in that Elvis Andrus has had a great week as well, but didn't quite have room for him this week.)
Shin-Soo Choo: He was brought in to get on base and he has done that. He's seeing a lot of pitches -- again, something he normally does -- and has found numerous ways to get on base. Heck, the guy had a walk-off walk last week. It was the first one for the Rangers since 1999.
Second base platoon: With Jurickson Profar out with the torn muscle in his shoulder, the Rangers are relying on Donnie Murphy and Josh Wilson to handle that spot right now. It's only one week, but both made contributions. Wilson has hit well in his three starts (5-for-8 with three RBIs) and Murphy showed his glove on Sunday, making a nice play in a close game with the Rays.
Prince Fielder: He needs to be the left-handed power threat in the middle of this lineup, but he hasn't been that through the first six games. I'll caution everyone that it's early. But for the first week, he has to fall in the "stock down" category with a batting average below .200 and just one RBI. And it's worth noting that Fielder's presence is helping Elvis Andrus. Read more about that here.
Starting rotation: Outside of Darvish, who was the sixth different starter to begin the season, the starting rotation wasn't what the Rangers had hoped. Nick Martinez did give them a quality start, but Tanner Scheppers and Joe Saunders struggled in their first starts. As a whole, the rotation had a 6.66 ERA in the first five games (again, that was BEFORE Darvish's excellent start on Sunday). We'll see if things get better for them this week.
Catchers at the plate: It wasn't as if the Rangers brought in Geovany Soto (who is now hurt) and J.P. Arencibia expecting huge offense. But Arencibia and backup catcher Robinson Chirinos haven't supplied much. Both catchers have just two hits between them (both by Arencibia).
Alexi Ogando: He has had a disappointing start to the season after losing his rotation job this spring. Ogando actually lowered his ERA on Sunday despite giving up a hit and a walk in the eighth inning and forcing Neal Cotts to come in and finish off the frame in a tight game. The Ogando who was so dominant just a few years ago hasn't shown up yet.