Texas Rangers Outfielder Shut Down With Oblique Injury

The Texas Rangers have had to shut down their presumed starter in center field for at least the next week to ten days due to the ever-tricky oblique strain. 

Leody Taveras is said to have a "low-grade oblique strain" according to general manager Chris Young, and he expects the outfielder to miss at least the next 7-10 days in order to see how the injury shakes out.

The 24-year-old was one of baseball's top prospects when he arrived in Texas in 2020, with an A-plus speed tool and outstanding defense in the outfield. He struggled in his first two seasons, however, managing to hit just .227 in his rookie year, and just .161 in 2021. Things were so bad in his second season that his OPS+ was a laughably low 30 — which means he was 70% worse than the average major league hitter. 

He turned things around a bit in 2022, getting up to a .260 average and an OPS+ that was only 7% worse than average. All the while though, his elite tools have continued to shine through: In 181 career games, he has 29 steals in 35 attempts, while in the outfield, he has a hefty 10 Defensive Runs Saved and 11 Outs Above Average.

Opening Day isn't out of the question yet for Taveras, but oblique injuries can be a frustrating injury, and it's hard to say how this one will heal.

Photo: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports