Friday, July 26, 2013
Stock Report: Andrus up; Cruz down
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's Friday, so let's take a look at who's trending up and who's trending down in Texas:
Jon Daniels: Rangers general manager Jon Daniels made baseball's first big deal before the trade deadline, acquiring the best starting pitcher on the market, Matt Garza, for one major league player, Justin Grimm, and prospects. The Rangers' starting rotation has been depleted by injuries this season and only had 10 wins since June 1. Garza won his first start for the Rangers on Wednesday, beating the Yankees 3-1.
Bullpen: Rangers relievers had produced 25 1/3 scoreless innings over a seven-game stretch before closer Joe Nathan allowed two ninth-inning runs in Tuesday's 5-4 loss to New York. Left-hander Neal Cotts has been as good as any reliever in baseball with a 0.91 ERA, third lowest among major league pitchers with at least 25 innings.
Elvis Andrus: Andrus is starting to get the barrel of the bat on the baseball and the results are improving. Andrus is batting .360 out of the All-Star break and has a seven-game hitting streak. Andrus has an 11-game home hitting streak, the second longest of his career.
Offense: The Rangers were shut out for the sixth time on the season Thursday, one more than all of 2012. They batted .254 with 17 runs on the 17-game homestand. The Rangers' season-long trend of being awful with runners in scoring position continues. They are hitting .165 in those situations in the last 12 games. The Rangers have 34 games this season when they've scored two runs or fewer.
Nelson Cruz: Cruz has four hits in his last 23 at-bats as his bat has gone cold. He had one RBI batting in the No. 3 spot in the lineup on the homestand. Cruz has been streaky throughout his career, so it's too early to say facing a possible suspension is taking a toll.
Mitch Moreland: Moreland had two hits in 25 at-bats on the homestand. With Cruz and Adrian Beltre both struggling at the same time, the Rangers need other players in their lineup to produce. Moreland did have a clutch two-run home run to give the Rangers a 4-3 lead in Tuesday's game against New York, a game they eventually lost 5-4 on Nathan's blown save.