Crystal ballin'.

Rangers players have spent 554 games on the major league disabled list this season.

The club has relied on an astounding number of rookies and other minor league call-ups, including David Murphy and Scott Feldman and Luis Mendoza and Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Brandon Boggs and German Duran and Doug Mathis and Eric Hurley and A.J. Murray and Travis Metcalf and, now, Max Ramirez and Chris Davis.   

Almost every one of them has not only contributed to what is now a 40-39 team, but contributed more than most people could have expected from them at this stage.

It’s not out of the question than more than half of a list that includes Matt Harrison and Warner Madrigal and Taylor Teagarden and John Mayberry Jr. and Elvis Andrus and Joaquin Arias and Tommy Hunter and Brian Gordon and Andrew Laughter could contribute in 2008 themselves.  

I remember in early July 2003 when the big story in the Rangers farm system, the one that was so eagerly anticipated among Rangers fans, was the promotion of Laynce Nix (to Texas) and Ramon Nivar (to Oklahoma) from Frisco, and the arrival of Jason Botts and Jason Bourgeois to take their place as RoughRiders.  First-round pick John Danks had signed but was still three weeks away from his pro debut.  

Now?  Aside from the huge impact that the farm system has already made on the big club, it’s worth talking about how the Clinton rotation of Neftali Feliz and Blake Beavan and Derek Holland and Kennil Gomez and Fabio Castillo is tormenting the Midwest League, and worth asking whether Julio Borbon could be on his way to earning the promotion to Frisco that Jose Vallejo just got.

And then there’s Martin Perez.  And Neil Ramirez and Michael Main and Wilmer Font and Carlos Pimentel and Kasey Kiker and Wilfredo Boscan and Omar Poveda and Michael Schlact and Beau Jones.  

And Engel Beltre and Cristian Santana and Marcus Lemon and Renny Osuna and Ian Gac and Mitch Moreland and Johnny Whittleman and Matt West and Manny Pina and Eric Fry.  

And, hopefully, Justin Smoak and Robbie Ross before long.

This is why Scott Lucas and Mike Hindman and Eleanor Czajka and Adam Morris and Jason Cole and Joey Matschulat and Jason Parks and Brett Perryman and John Vittas and Grant Schiller and I and others do what we do.  You don’t get the opportunity to try and make out what’s coming into view in the crystal ball in other sports like you can in baseball.   

And I can’t remember another time when the crystal ball around here was so good-looking.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at

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