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MLB: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels

Geovany Soto. Jurickson Profar. Matt Harrison. Derek Holland. Yu Darvish (potentially.) The Texas Rangers are not having the best final weeks of Spring Training.

The injuries for the Rangers are, on their own, nothing major. Missing Soto (torn meniscus, out 10-12 weeks) and Profar (tear in shoulder muscle, out 10-12 weeks) isn’t the end of the world – in a vacuum. But stacking all these DL stints on top of each other and the Rangers…well the Rangers have reason for concern. They still boast a great middle of the order with Shin-Soo Choo, Prince Fielder, Adrian Beltre, and Alex Rios. Elvis Andrus is back after a shutting down for a week after a sore throwing arm. The Rangers are still good.

The AL West got turned upside-down by injuries this month. The A’s lost pitchers to the surgeon’s knife and now the Rangers spat of injuries throws an already tight division wide open. Can any of the teams afford to drop games, knowing the could easily have three teams to topple in pursuit of playoff glory? It isn’t as though the Rangers farm system teems with young replacements, as it once did.

Texas has the most talent on both sides of the ball and if ever a team could absorb this type of hit, it’s them. But running up against the dreaded “stars and scrubs” becomes a real possibility when you recall Adrian Beltre’s age/miles ( on the odometer and the challenging nature of baseball in Arlington.

Sliding catchers up the depth chart is always a dicey proposition, while the promise of Jurickson Profar is not quite the same as the reality of oft-release Adam Rosales, now the Rangers starting second baseman. More Joe Saunders starts are bad for your health, while Neftali Feliz wonders where his future lies. Lots of questions for the Rangers to answer in the season’s opening months.

Can a team best known for hot starts and fades down the stretch manage to turn this negative into a positive? If they use the injuries as rest periods and build toward the end of the season, they could be fine. Just don’t let Mariners, Angels, and A’s slip out of sight.