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 last week of Rangers baseball has been a fun one. The youngsters keep producing, there have been two straight come-from-behind wins over a red-hot Mariners team, and a certain someone is showing some positive signs. Hooray! Let’s get to the action.
Rougned Odor — Is it too soon to get excited about this brief resurgence? Absolutely. But, it’s better than seeing your newly locked up, young second baseman parked in the bottom half of this weekly segment for another week. Odor has still had some defensive blunders and base-running gaffes, but at the plate, he’s come through. Aside from his bases-clearing, game-winning double in Tuesday’s rally against the Mariners, Odor has been solid throughout the week. In his last seven games, he’s slashing .348/.348/.478 (not super, considering the average and OBP are identical, but hey, we’ll take a .348 average from Odor eight days a week), has three doubles, three runs and four RBIs. It’s a start.
Ronald Guzman — Don’t look now, but the call-up who was least likely to stick around long term might just be playing his way into an everyday gig at first base. He’s not there yet, but it’s hard to ignore what he’s done over the last two weeks. This past week, he’s hitting .333/.385/.625 slash and he leads the team with seven RBIs in the last seven games. He’s also a plus defender at first base, which is something the Rangers haven’t had since Mitch Moreland left. There’s a reason they call him the Condor.
Bullpen — Once again, the collective bullpen is performing at a high level. Is this an elite bullpen? Hardly, but it’s definitely had flashes of greatness, and it’s in one of those stretches right now. In the last 16 1⁄3 innings of collective work, the group of Tony Barnette, Jesse Chavez, Alex Claudio, Jake Diekman, Jose Leclerc, Chris Martin and Keone Kela have allowed a grand total of two runs — one each for Martin and Kela. Leclerc has been the big star of the bunch and has future closer written all over him. In his last four innings of work, he’s allowed zero hits, walked two and struck out four.
Delino DeShields — The struggles at the plate continue for DeShields, who after a long hot streak, has been in a bad way at the dish. He’s hitting just .207 with one RBI in his last seven games with seven strikeouts, but he does have five walks.
Austin Bibens-Dirkx — The great story from last season hasn’t rediscovered that yet this year. In his two starts this past week, he’s sporting a 6.55 ERA after giving up 10 runs on 17 hits in 11 innings of work.