The Texas Rangers will look to bounce back after being ravaged by injuries last season. Newly acquired first baseman Prince Fielder suffered an early-season neck injury and missed 120 games while outfielder Shin Soo-Choo missed 39 games. These injuries were a microcosm of Texas’ season as the team finished with a putrid 67-95 record.
Manager Ron Washington stepped away from the game, as the team turns to new manager, Jeff Bannister. After an impressive 2014 campaign, Texas opted to pick-up the 2016 club option of third baseman Adrian Beltre. Despite the injuries to Fielder and Choo, Beltre did not miss a beat as he carried the entire offensive burden. Beltre posted a .324 batting average and had a career-high on-base percentage of .388. Texas also enhanced its starting rotation by trading for Yovani Gallardo. Gallardo went 8-11 last season, but posted a 3.51 ERA and struck out 146 hitters. Gallardo has thrown at least 180 innings over the six seasons and should provide stability to Texas’ rotation behind Yu Darvish and Derek Holland.
Fielder and Choo will return, but Texas will not have the services of second baseman Jurickson Profar. Earlier this week, Profar underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum and will miss the entire season. Profar, who was once considered a top prospect, hasn’t been able to escape the injury bug during his short career. The American League West race will be very competitive and Texas may struggle to keep pace with Los Angeles and Seattle. After trading away five All-Stars, Oakland is expected to take a step back while Houston is a few years away from being a threat. Houston and Texas have engaged in some emotional, competitive games as the two teams vie for supremacy in the Lone Star State. If Texas gets full seasons from Choo and Fielder, it’ll be in Wild Card contention.
According to TicketIQ, the average ticket price at the Ballpark in Arlington is $98.54. That is a 146% increase in price from the $40 average price from 2014. Texas will open the season against the Houston Astros. The in-state series will serve a big premium on the secondary market. Rangers Opening Day tickets against the Astros have an average price of $221.69 with a get-in price of $49.