Mazara, Gallo to play one primary position in ’18

Rangers manager wants to anchor Nomar Mazara in right field this season and stop the shuttle between there and left field. That may mean more time at designated hitter for Shin-Soo Choo.

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“I think we’ll continue to look at Maz in right field predominantly,” Banister said. “I don’t think we’ll have the same scenario we did last year where we had those guys anchored up on the corners on any consistent basis on the same time.”

Mazara started 86 games in right field last year and 43 in left. He actually performed better offensively when playing in right field, finishing with a .284 batting average and a .484 slugging percentage. He hit .200 with a .333 slugging percentage while in left.

Banister is taking the same approach with Joey Gallo at first base. He is not going to play left field and won’t be needed at third base unless something happens to Adrian Beltre. As with Mazara, Banister doesn’t want Gallo shuttling between positions.

“Give them a chance to settle in and play,” Banister said. “Obviously with young guys, I think they did a great job handling those situations. It’s a lot to ask of a young player cheap jersey. We needed to and they responded for the most part very well to those situations. However, I’d like to let them concentrate on getting ready for the season.”

Rangers #29 Adrian Beltre Blue Cool Base Stitched Youth MLB Jersey
Rangers #29 Adrian Beltre Blue Cool Base Stitched Youth MLB Jersey

Choo hit better as an outfielder than as a designated hitter last year. He hit .264 with a .500 slugging percentage in 77 games in the outfield and .257 with a .340 slugging percentage in 65 games custom MLB Jerseys China at DH.

“The goal is to leave here with an idea that somebody is the guy,” Banister said.

Oh would have likely been the leading candidate to be the Rangers’ closer. Now that job is wide-open, even though Alex Claudio handled it well at the end of last season.

The Rangers never confirmed their interest in Oh, but general manager Jon Daniels admitted the club may not be done adding players.

“If we do so, I would expect it to be on the pitching side,” Daniels said.

The top free-agent reliever is Greg Holland, who made a triumphant return from Tommy John surgery and saved 41 games for the Rockies last season. The biggest caveat besides the substantial asking price is that Holland had a 6.38 ERA after the All-Star break, as opposed to 1.62 in the first half. Those who watched him said it would be understandable that Holland would wear down late in the season in his first year back from surgery. They don’t foresee that being an issue going forward.

The Rangers could also reinforce their starting pitching through free agency, which would lessen the need of putting Bush and Minor in the rotation. There is still some appeal within the Rangers camp of doing that anyway, with the idea of Bush and Minor combining with Diekman, Claudio, Keone Kela, Tony Barnette, Chris Martin and others.

That has the potential to be a lockdown bullpen. Given the Rangers’ financial austerity in pursuit of starting pitching, their best chance of competing for postseason would be combining a lockdown bullpen with an explosive offense.

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“I think we are in better shape than we were at any point knock off MLB jerseys last season,” Banister said. “Putting Jake Diekman back in the mix with the group of guys we have makes a huge difference.”

Banister is stressing the need for a complete bullpen. The Rangers were crushed in the sixth and seventh innings last year by a combined score of 218-154.

Mazara likes what the club has done and the position it will be in this spring.

“No one is expecting much out of us,” he said. “Just wait until they see us play. Everyone has a good team [in the AL West]. Everybody is hard to face. We’ve got one goal. We’re going to go out there and give it what we got. The confidence we have is very [strong] right now.”

One of the reasons the Rangers have confidence is because they have the 22-year-old Mazara in their lineup. He followed a solid rookie season in which he hit .266 with 20 home runs and 64 RBIs with a solid sophomore campaign. Although his batting average dipped to .253, he had another 20 homers and led the club with 101 RBIs, tied for ninth in the AL.

He is just the fifth Rangers player to reach the 100-RBI mark since 2007. He also became the third Texas player to have two 20-homer seasons by his age-22 season, joining Juan Gonzalez and Ruben Sierra.

Mazara is after more consistency in 2018. He batted just .228 against left-handers in 2017, and he batted .202 in June and .205 in July.

So it was overall a good season for Mazara, but not good enough for his MLB jersey authentic.

“It was an OK season,” he said. “There were a lot of ups and downs. At some points I was playing hurt, but I played through it. Hopefully this season I can stay healthy. It was a good season for a young guy like me, but from my side, I don’t think it was that good. I could have done better. That’s why I’m working so hard, because I know there’s more that I can do with MLB throwback jerseys cheap.”

So what has Mazara been working on?

“Everything,” he said. “My plan is completely different. My mind is completely different. I know what I need to do now — hitting, defense-wise, everything. This is going to be my third year in the big leagues. I know exactly what I need to work on now.”