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Which Ranger could club not afford to lose?

12/24/2013

With the news Monday that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is out for the season, it got me thinking -- which Ranger could the club not afford to lose at a crucial juncture?

You could make a case for several players, but I'm going with Adrian Beltre. No matter who is hitting around him, Beltre seems to be the guy who holds things together. It seems that clutch moments find Beltre, and the veteran just has a way of making things happen. He's superb defensively and was this club's MVP, as voted on by the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America this past year.

So if the Rangers were in a fight for the playoffs with a week left, the last guy they'd want to lose is Beltre.

Of the current crop, you could make a case for Yu Darvish or maybe Prince Fielder, one of the newest Rangers. Darvish is this club's No. 1 pitcher and a crucial component to any stretch drive and playoff series. Fielder is another power hitter in the middle of the lineup. And if you need any proof as to how important that is, note how the Texas offense did while Nelson Cruz, now a free agent, was serving a 50-game suspension last season. This team needed one more win and didn't have its most productive offensive player in the lineup.

It's your turn. Which Ranger do you think the club could least afford to lose with a week or two left and a playoff spot up in the air?