FRISCO -- While the Texas Rangers have been decimated by injuries, losing both everyday players and general depth, they’re still lurking in the wild-card standings as the season slowly inches toward the mathematical halfway points.
While getting ready for Dirk Nowitzki’s Heroes Celebrity baseball game Friday morning, former Ranger Michael Young respects what the team has been able to do, despite the setbacks.
Young sympathizes with manager Ron Washington, who has to deal with the revolving door of players that come in and out of the lineup. In addition, he believes that Washington has been the glue to keep things together as the Rangers try to get through their injuries.
“Judging by the fact they’ve lost a lot of guys, this might be the best job that he’s done,” Young explained. “Considering the roster they have and all the young guys they’ve had to run out there, it’s a pretty incredible job he’s done, but I’m a biased guy. Wash, to me, is one of the best in the business if not the best. I love the guy. I think he’s done a great job.”
While the Rangers are hanging around, Young knows that it’s an uphill battle for the club as it tries to maintain its contender status in the American League.
“In baseball, just like other sports, it’s really hard to stay up at the top,” Young said. “Everything has to go well. The stars have to line up a little bit. You’ve got to have good players, good coaching and health. They obviously haven’t had health.
“I’ve never seen a team snakebitten by so many injuries. They still have a lot of talent there. It’s just a matter of getting them all healthy.”
Those injuries have forced relievers to convert, creating bullpen issues. The list of players meeting expectations or exceeding them is dramatically low. It’s forced the Rangers to move into survivor mode. For the time being, they’re holding their own.
Washington is a baseball survivor, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the club is following his lead.
The injuries and setbacks have allowed younger players to step into roles and be given an opportunity. That can pay off in the long run for their development. It gives Washington an opportunity to do what he does best: teach. Players such as Rougned Odor and Luis Sardinas are gaining valuable experience and learning quite a bit from Washington.
Meanwhile, have times gotten desperate enough where Young may decide to cut his retirement short?
“I’ve had some conversations, but it wouldn’t happen anyway,” Young said. “I’m good with where I’m at.”
Young believes this is potentially Washington’s best job as a manager. It’s now up to Washington to do everything possible to continue to try to get the most out of this roster.