At the beginning of the season, the Texas Rangers had one of the deepest pitching staff’s in MLB, and arguable the most effective.
Now, in mid-June, all of that is changing rapidly.
The Rangers have now been forced to place four opening day pitchers on the disabled list due to various injuries.
Last season’s closer and this year’s starter Neftali Feliz was moved to the disabled list in late May due to a sprained right elbow. Now, he has been moved to the 60-day disabled list, and is not eligible to return until July 18.
Left-handed ace Derek Holland was moved to the 15-day DL earlier this week with shoulder soreness believed to be due to weight loss suffered from a stomach virus.
On Tuesday, the Rangers added their third pitcher, Alexi Ogando, to the 15-day DL with a strained right groin. Like Feliz, Ogando is not expected to return until after the All-Star break.
Just yesterday, the ballclub announced that reliever Koji Uehara would be joining them on the DL as well after straining his right lateral muscle.
With all of these blows to the Rangers’ pitching staff, management has had to make some quick changes.
In May, relief pitcher, Scott Feldman, was moved into the starting rotation, but has not fared well in his six starts since, going 0-6 with a 6.50 ERA.
Additionally, Michael Kirkman was called up from the Express to help the Rangers’ bullpen. Since May, Kirkman has a 4-0 record anda 3.38 ERA in Round Rock.
The Rangers also added Justin Grimm from the Double-A Frisco Roughriders, and he is expected to move immediately into the starting rotation, taking the field against the Houston Astros on Saturday. This season in the minors, Grimm is 8-3 with a 1.87 ERA in 13 starts in Frisco.
The biggest news for the Rangers’ pitching staff came in late may when the ballclub signed free agent, Roy Oswalt. Oswalt will start again this Sunday for the Triple A Round Rock Express, and will then be reevaluated to see if he is ready to move up. The Rangers are hoping that he will get his first start as a Texas Ranger during the June 22-25 series with the Colorado Rockies.
Needless to say, the Rangers pitching staff has been hit pretty hard of late, but the ballclub and their fans are simply hoping that they can survive this rough stretch without too much damage.