Okay, the Rangers offense is bad right now. We know that.
But how bad?
They are pretty terrible, across the board, in every category. The Rangers are 11th in the A.L. in runs, 10th in average, 12th in OBP, and 11th in slugging. The Rangers are 12th in OPS. They are dead last in walks and doubles. They are 11th in steals, owing in no small part to the fact that, if you don't get anyone on base, you can't steal.
Four players on the team have an OPS+ above 100 -- Nelson Cruz, Elvis Andrus, Vladimir Guerrero, and Joaquin Arias.
None of these guys is likely in the midst of a level of success that is sustainable. Cruz carrying the team, but isn't going to maintain an OPS above 1300. Arias isn't walking or hitting for any power, and won't walk or hit for power, so once he goes back to hitting .280-.300, instead of .400, he becomes an offensive zero again.
Elvis shouldn't drop dramatically, but I don't think he's going to continue posting an OBP north of .400. Vlad, meanwhile, is a tough case...he's got an 815 OPS, but that's driven by mostly batting average, with Arias-esque power and walk numbers. Vlad's power has been virtually non-existant, and if he isn't going to hit for power, the Rangers are going to have a problem at DH.
You've then got four other guys -- Matt Treanor, Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, and Chris Davis -- who aren't hitting well, but who look like superstars compared to the deadweight that the team is dealing with right now. Treanor is a backup, and Hamilton and Young I suspect will start hitting better than this as the season progresses...if they don't, the season is largely doomed, and I don't see there's much point in discussing "what ifs" on Young and Hamilton having a 700 OPS this year.
Chris Davis, we know about...either he's going to hit, or Justin Smoak is going to be the first baseman. The question is simply a matter of how much time Davis gets, and I'd say Memorial Day is when it starts to get to be nut-cutting time there.
That leaves us with...well, everyone else. Five players on the 25 man roster with a negative OPS+ (Julio Borbon, Andres Blanco, Taylor Teagarden, Ryan Garko, and David Murphy), and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who has an OPS+ of 8.
Those six players are a collective 5 for 91, with 5 walks and 1 double, good for a line of .055/.120/.066. That is, of course, unspeakably terrible.
So...what can be done about this?
Answer...I don't really know that anything can be done.
Ian Kinsler will be back at some point, and will take over at second base, which should help.
Add another bat otherwise? Well, Vlad, Elvis, Young, Hamilton, Cruz, and Kinsler are going to be starting, regardless. You could look to add a COF bat and send Borbon down, with Hamilton moving to center, but you're going to take a hit on your defense, and risk Hamilton's health. Now, if you have come to the conclusion that Borbon isn't going to hit, that's probably what you have to do (or else try to make a deal to bring in a centerfielder who can hit well and play defense, although that's going to require parting with someone like Derek Holland or Tanner Scheppers, plus Borbon), but at this point, given what Borbon has done in his career up to 2010, it seems early to pull the trigger there.
First base? If Davis can't hack it, is there really an option out there that is so much better than Justin Smoak that it warrants parting with the pieces it would take to add that guy? If Davis isn't going to hit, you're probably as well off flip-flopping him and Smoak and taking your chances there.
Catcher? Catcher is a mess, and I'm not convinced the Rangers have anyone in the system right now who should be a major league starting catcher in 2010 or 2011, but there also aren't exactly a ton of viable options out there in the trade market. Assuming you aren't going to land a Russell Martin or a Brian McCann, the trade targets would be guys who would likely be marginal, at best, offensive improvements over Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
So at this point, with the offense, all that the Rangers can do is be patient, and see what happens over the next six weeks. If Chris Davis struggles and Vlad turns out to be a shell of his former self, you probably have to start looking to acquire a DH, because Justin Smoak obviously can only play 1B or DH, not both simultaneously.
If Borbon continues to flounder, you probably look at Endy Chavez as a short-term solution, and then see what Cleveland might want for Grady Sizemore, if you become convinced Borbon isn't the guy long-term.
If the catching situation continues to be a mess, you look at acquiring a veteran who won't embarrass himself back there.
But at this point, that's all you can really do. Billy Beane said in Moneyball that the first two months of the season are for evaluation...the offense looks awful right now, but the negative OPS+ boat anchors are either going to improve or stop playing, Michael Young and Josh Hamilton will likely start hitting, and either the first base situation will get productive or Justin Smoak will start playing first base.
There are pieces in place that are being evaluated, and two weeks isn't enough time to do that.
So while this is painful, let's hold off on pushing the panic button just yet.