Your Texas Rangers currently have an ERA+ of 169. This number leads the American League, with second place Boston lagging far behind at 151. The league average is 103. In other words, the Rangers have received the best team-wide pitching in the AL.
This despite the fact that Matt Harrison, Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz currently occupy seats on the DL. This also despite the fact the bullpen has exactly one proven player (Joe Nathan) and a motley collection of unproven, recently injured and scrapheap pickups.
So....since June of 2012 the pitching corps has lost 60% of the starting rotation, everyone but the closer from the bullpen and the result is the best pitching in the American League. So good that despite the team sporting a very-un-Ranger-like 95 OPS+ Texas finds itself in first place in the AL West and tied with Boston for the best record in the league.
Yes, it's early. But the organizational depth that we've heard so much about over the year's is really paying off. Think about the players who are currently injured or left over the last three seasons:
Without overspending on a big-name free-agent or trading away the farm JD has managed to piece together a competitive team. Instead of those names you have names like:
All players who came up through the team's minor league system. All players who make about as little as a major league player can make (except Martin), thus giving the team financial flexibility they wouldn't have with big spending on names like Rick Porcello, Kyle Lohse and CJ Wilson.
This flexibility should pay later this season and over the coming years as the Rangers will be able to bring in new talent or slowly replace aging / overpriced players.
Seems like much of the fanbase was ready to write the team off after Hamilton and Napoli left and the team made no big off-season splash. (Yes...I still think Olt should have been moved and the team should have been more aggressive on Juston Upton). But overall this team...and the organization....are well equipped to field a playoff-caliber team now and throughout the near future.