We've reached the point at which the offense struggling doesn't seem to phase me. In a way, I suppose that's a good thing as it tempers expectations, but on the other hand, it's an awfully pessimistic way to watch a baseball game.
Today, reports surfaced that Prince Fielder has a herniated disc in his neck, and will need at least a few days off in order to allow an injection to take effect and, hopefully, reduce some of the pain while also allowing the nerve root to regenerate.
There's much talk about how Prince could possibly require surgery, although in general, more conservative treatments like the approach the Rangers are taking resolve the issue. As long as he begins regaining some feeling, he should be in the clear. Then again, this is an injury to a Ranger we're talking about.
According to Prince, it's an issue he was dealing with last season as well, which could partially -- and I really hope this is the case this year as well -- explain his disappearance of power. The part that bothers me is that he never mentioned it to anyone.
On Twitter, there was much debate as to whether or not the Rangers should have required a physical before trading Ian Kinsler for Fielder. While I could see that being a necessity, according to multiple beat writers, it's fairly common for a physical to not be required. Furthermore, it's highly unlikely that any physical that didn't require an MRI or the like would reveal such an issue, so it's a non-factor in this case.
I can't say I exactly blame some people for feeling that way, given the rash of injuries and how it's totally changed the outlook of this season, but I'm also not bothered by the way the trade went down.
If the nerve root injection does indeed help the problem, we could be looking at a situation in which we something closer to the production we expected when the trade was made as opposed to a guy that has mostly been a ground-ball hitter thus far in 2014.
None of this makes the current stretch of baseball any easier, but I'll say it again: If Adrian Beltre can get things going a bit, Fielder can return to the lineup and be productive, and literally everyone else can not be abysmal all at once, this ball club is going to win some games. That doesn't make the present any easier to deal with, but there is some small shred of hope on the horizon. I just hope everything kicks into gear before the Rangers find themselves too far out to really mount any sort of significant comeback in the AL West.