ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — When Marcus Semien was struggling at the plate during his first two months with the Texas Rangers, manager Chris Woodward was emphatic at times when repeatedly telling everyone that their new second baseman would be just fine.
The manager already had a relationship with Corey Seager from their days together with the Los Angeles Dodgers, so he was even more certain of what to expect from the shortstop who had already been a World Series MVP.
Texas still hasn’t had a winning record with its half-billion dollar middle infield, but Semien has been steady since breaking out of his early slump and Seager had a homer surge that took him back to Dodger Stadium for the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby.
“We’re just seeing the consistency we expected,” Woodward said. “It’s a lot of pressure on those guys coming in, I knew both of those guys could handle it.”
The Rangers were coming off 102 losses and their fifth losing season in a row when Seager signed a $325 million, 10-year contract, and Semien got a $175 million, seven-year deal just before the MLB lockout began last December.
“It’s a challenge for every player that comes into a new organization,” Woodward said “And with all the publicity that’s around those guys, you know, they’re expecting to turn this thing around, and it’s hard. You can’t just flip it like that.”
Texas (42-49) returned from the All-Star break with an 8-0 win at Miami on Thursday, the makeup of a game postponed at the start of the season because of the lockout. The Rangers then had to fly across the country to play 10 consecutive games on the West Coast. The Rangers went into the break after being swept in a four-game series at home by streaking Seattle.
Seager has 22 homers, only four short of his career high, after seven homers…