Welcome to a new weekly series, as we’ll take a look at a few Rangers who are on heaters and more who are ice cold in something we’ll call “Who’s Hot? Who’s Not?”
The Adrian Beltre injury Tuesday night was the final straw — this season is going to be a really long one, and a pretty unsuccessful one in terms of wins and losses. It’s about what we all expected, but it’s probably going to be worse. But there’s some silver lining, and that’s watching the young players on this team continue to get consistent playing time and see what they can do. Over the past week, Joey Gallo has shown he can be much more than a slugger, and it’s fun.
Joey Gallo — In his last six games, Gallo has six hits and five walks. In other words, he’s pretty much been peak Joey Gallo. Wanna know how many times he’s struck out in that span? That’d be three. That’s super encouraging. Hell, he even made good on his first bunt single against the ridiculous Gallo shift on Wednesday night, as part of a 3-for-3 night that was comprised three singles. Not that singles are great and home runs suck, but it’s good to see him spraying the ball around the field and using the entire field. His .400/.571/.667 triple-slash over the past week is tremendous.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa — The guy who was supposed to only be here for a cup of coffee looks like he’s going to be here for a while, and he’s forced that hand. IKF, who somehow still has fewer Twitter followers than me, has been a clutch-hitting machine. He’s tied for the team lead in RBIs and runs over the last week, has as many walks and Ks and just looks like he belongs. Once Rougned Odor and Adrian Beltre are back (and later Elvis Andrus), it’s going to be tough to find him at-bats, but you have to think he’s earned his spot on this roster for the long haul this year.
Martin Perez — We gave him grief last week in the other section, so we’ll heap some praise on him now. Look, his six-inning, seven-hit, two-run outing last time out was nothing spectacular, but the way he did it was encouraging. He fought through adversity, got out of some jams and gutted his way to a quality start and a win. Good on you, Marty P.
Alex Claudio — From a recency standpoint, it’s hard to overlook his five-pitch inning in Wednesday’s win over Oakland. It was Claudio of old. But even counting that outing, Claudio has still allowed four runs and seven hits in his last four appearances (2 2⁄3 innings). Is he worn out? Quite possibly. Is something else going on? That’s possible, too. Is he another case of a great-reliever-turned-atrocious-in-a-matter-of-months? Also possible. Let’s hope it’s somewhere in the middle.
Delino DeShields — The young, exciting center fielder has only been back from the DL for four games, so it’s not shocking to see him stumble out of the gates at the plate. He’s just 3-for-16 with five Ks and a walk, and he’s even been caught stealing once. But, to be fair, he’s made a couple of great plays in the outfield since his return — robbing a homer and throwing a one-hop strike to nail Marcus Semien at third Wednesday night.