By Jared Sandler | @SandlerJ

The Rangers do not have a perfect roster, thus, they have to look for creative solutions to patch up their issues. Hitting versus LHP has been an issue almost all year and one that grew in its significance over the team’s 10-game road trip earlier this month. They were shutout twice by lefties (and twice by righties), not to mention other low offensive outputs vs. LHP. Something had to be done.

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Jeff Banister, with his imperfect roster, has attempted a creative response to the team’s abysmal–and, frankly, that might be an understatement–hitting versus lefties. Nap’s offense has been huge for this team. His defense? Not so much. With that said, I’m still okay with the trade. It deepens their lineup and the offensive results are clearly there.

Do I fully understand where those who do not see it my way are coming from on this debate? Absolutely. But, they are 6-2 with Napoli starting in LF versus LHP, averaging more than 8.33 runs/game (7-2 overall, averaging around 8 runs/game ) and those are stats I think we all agree we like.

Playing Pepper (Random Rangers thoughts)

*During his weekly conversation with the GBAG Nation (Wednesdays, 12:30 CT), Rangers manager Jeff Banister was asked about who the team’s MVP is/has been and whether Mitch Moreland deserved consideration. Here’s what he had to say…

…I think this is so interesting because the depth in production really is a staple of this year’s team. By regular season’s end I am going to come up with a year-end MVP ballot with my rankings, but as of right now I consider NINE guys worthy enough for that ballot: Moreland, Fielder, Odor, Andrus, Beltre, Choo, DeShields, Lewis, and Tolleson.

Now, I don’t necessarily think all nine have a shot to receive my first-place both, but I think all nine are worthy of an invitation to the party.

*Maybe an even tougher task would be deciding which non-player has been more valuable: Jon Daniels or Jeff Banister.

…Geez, how do you decide that one?

*Maybe more impressive than the offensive resurgences of Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus is the defensive growth of Odor and resurgence of Andrus. The duo is a big reason why the Rangers lead the A.L. in double plays turned (137).

*The Astros really aren’t as bad as the Rangers are making them look…at least, I don’t think they are and with my feelings for the Astros being what they are, I think that says a lot…or maybe not.

*Jeff Banister has discussed his desire for the team to maintain a stubborn approach at the plate and, maybe more so than at any other point this season, they are executing that strategy. It is as if they are refusing to swing at the tough pitches to lay off, constantly working opposing pitchers.

*How many Rangers starters do you trust in postseason right now? Not going to go into the playoffs with much starting pitching momentum.

Quote of the Week: “We’ll say it again: There is no exhale.” -Rangers manager, Jeff Banister, on the team’s attitude in closing out the regular season.

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Stat of the Week: Adrian Beltre has 40 RBI in his last 41 games

With Delino DeShields and Shin-Soo Choo getting on base ahead of him, Beltre’s ability to drive in runs becomes paramount. While that is an obvious statement, the reality is that he wasn’t driving in runs earlier in the year. Just 22 of his 70 RBI came before the All-Star Break. Since then, he’s obviously flipped a switch.

Stock Up/Stock Down 

UP: Rangers hitters vs. Houston pitchers other than Dallas Keuchel (season)

.319/19/87 with an OPS over .850

166/520

DOWN: Rangers hitters vs. Dallas Keuchel (season)

.208/3/13 with an OPS under .600

Good Read

*105.3 The Fan’s Ben Rogers on the driving force behind the 2015 Rangers.

Good Listens

*Rangers OF Shin-Soo Choo joined Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade, hosts of the Ben & Skin Show.

*Great read by MLB.com‘s Mike Petriello about the Rangers’ adept baserunning.

*How about the resurgence of Elvis Andrus? Jeff Sullivan shares some information.

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