Problems for Texas Rangers go beyond their rash of injuries

Underperforming stars and lack of support from minor leagues also contributing to team's struggles

Choo Shin-soo of the Cincinnati Reds runs the bases in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Great American Ball Park on September 7, 2013, in Cincinnati, Ohio.   Michael Hickey / Getty Images
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As the tired, old saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas – even the heartbreak.

Of all the teams projected to stink – the Houston Astros, Arizona, Chicago Cubs – the Texas Rangers were not among them. This is a team that twice was one strike away from the 2011 World Series, lost the American League West title on the last day of the 2012 season and missed the 2013 play-offs on a tiebreaker. After Saturday, though, they were 39-58 and had a negative-107 run differential, both the worst marks in the majors.

How did things get this bad? Injuries are one factor. The Rangers have seen key players such as Prince Fielder, Matt Harrison, Martin Perez and Jurickson Profar sidelined for the year, while several others have missed long stretches. In total, the Rangers have 14 players on the disabled list, eight of whom are on the 60-day DL.

Injuries are only part of the story, though. Choo Shin-soo is struggling to replicate the monster offensive numbers he had in 2013 with Cincinnati that convinced the Rangers to give him a seven-year, US$130 million (Dh477.5m) contract, and Elvis Andrus has regressed since signing an eight-year, US$120m contract extension. Worse, Rougned Odor is the closest thing to a silver lining coming out of the minors.

Texas should be commended for holding onto the likes of Andrus and Yu Darvish instead of cashing in on their assets, but simply marking time until everyone gets healthy will not arrest the slide. The Rangers' problems run far deeper than bad luck.

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