Stop me if you have heard this one before:
Four rookies walk into a starting lineup........wait, that's not a joke; that's a pleasant reality.
Delino, Hanser, Joey, and Chi Chi; oh my.
Four rookies started on Friday night and after the completion of the game, only four teams in the American League have better records than the Texas Rangers. That's right; the Rangers have the fifth best record in the AL.
Chi Chi- Gonzalez threw an absolute gem in his second Major League start, tossing a complete game while allowing only 3 hits and two walks. Through 14.2 total innings, Chi Chi has given up a total of five hits and has yet to yield an earned run. For some reason I am concerned that he can't keep up those numbers...........
Speed Kills- It was great to see some aggressive baserunning tonight with Andrus and Martin stealing two bases apiece. Andrus is always at his best when he is pushing on the basepaths, so I hope this is a positive step. Run, Elvis, Run.
Speaking of Leonys- Just when it looks like Martin is going to be buried on the bench due to the acquisition of Hamilton and coming out of DeShields, a door opens and Leonys bursts through it, reminding us how fun he can be to watch. His defense is normally strong and he has a top-5 OF arm, plus incredible speed, so any form of consistent hit tool makes Leonys a huge part of this team' success. He has brought his batting average up 33 points in the last 10 days.
Deshields continues to contribue from the leadoff spot- He started the game with a triple and promptly scored, giving Chi Chi the chance to pitch with a lead.
Gallo- To borrow a term from Denny Green, he is who we thought he was. He is a stud, a glorious, highlight film, baseball crushing stud, who will frustrate us to no end at times. Through his first four games in the bigs, Gallo is hitting .313 while managing to strike out 10 times in four games. The power tool is obviously there, but he needs to improve his BB rate to balance with all of the K's.
The Rangers are winning now on what can be considered borrowed time (No Beltre, Hamilton, Holland, etc) and a large part of it is due to the rookies. We have been hearing about the strength of the farm system for the last few years and as it comes to fruition, it is a beautiful thing.