The Marlins road trip didn’t start how they expected it to. The team dropped two of three to the Chicago Cubs. The Marlins will travel to Texas next, to take on the Rangers in a quick two-game series. To help preview the series we reached out to friend of Marlin Maniac, Ben Dieter for a quick chat on what to expect in the series.
Ben is the co-editor of the Fansided Rangers sites, Nolan Writin’. NW does a phenomenal job of covering everything Rangers related, from covering their usual contending team to their excellent farm system.
Here is the conversation I had with Ben:
MM: The Rangers have suffered through more injuries than I can remember for any team. Are the injuries also bigger in Texas? Any chance anyone injured makes it back this season?
Dieter: They have suffered an incredible amount of injuries. Mitch Moreland could make it back, depending on the second opinion he is having done. Derek Holland should be back around the All Star break, but other than that they are down for the count. They were definitely not expecting guys like Rougned Odor or Robinson Chirinos to play a big part this season.
MM: With the injuries the Rangers have sustained, how amazed are you at their record? Think they can stay in the race?
Dieter: I am surprised that they are still hovering around .500. The way the Wild Card is looking, if they can remain right around the .500 mark, i think they have a pretty good chance of being in contention in September for one if the Wild Card spots. However, I would be surprised if they can stay around the .500 mark.
MM: The draft was less than a week ago, how did the Rangers come out of the draft? Did they get anyone who you feel could be a sleeper down the road?
Dieter: They were very happy with their first pick, Luis Ortiz. They feel like he could be a Felix Hernandez type pitcher one day and were pleasantly surprised he was still there at no. 30. We will just have to see who all they end up signing.
MM: The Rangers always seem to have talent flowing through their minor leagues. Which player is a name that the baseball world should keep their eyes on?
Dieter: Luis Sardinas is a very highly touted catching prospect that everyone should keep their eyes on. Very raw but already very talented. Joey Gallo, who was just promoted from A ball to AA ball hit 21 home runs in A ball before being promoted. With all the injuries, there is a chance you could see Joey Gallo with the Rangers this season, but I doubt it.
MM: Can you give us a quick scouting report on the pitchers the Marlins will face this series?
Dieter: Colby Lewis is the first pitcher in major league history to come back from the type of hip surgery that he had. He is pitching pretty good, his fastball is only in the upper 80’s maybe touching the low 90’s, he is all about location. If he is painting the corners he is tough to hit. He seems to lose stamina somewhere around 80 pitches or so, so expect to see the bull pen around the 6th inning.
Yu Darvish is going to be tough. He tends to strike out 7 plus on most nights, and even when he is not going well, he still can dominate a line up. I expect him to really pitch well against the Marlins, he seems to really be hard to figure out when teams have not seen him before.
MM: Any predictions for the series?
Dieter: The Rangers can’t seem to put together back to back wins right now, so unless Colby really has a nice outing, I expect the the Marlins will win game 1 and the Rangers should take game 2 behind Darvish. Right now, the Rangers are really putting up a lot of runs for him.
There you have it. We want to thank Ben for giving us such great insight into the Rangers, and remember to check out Nolan Writin’ for all the latest Rangers” news and notes. Hopefully the Marlins can finish their road trip on a positive note. It won’t be easy though.