The Texas Rangers are in somewhat of a pickle heading into Spring Training. Colby Lewis is ahead of schedule on his rehab, but he still won’t be back until roughly midway through the 2013 MLB season. That means Texas has to find a fifth starting pitcher for its rotation until then and although Robbie Ross would appear to be a lock for the job, the race for that spot is wide open.
Ross was a long shot to even make the Rangers’ roster in 2012, but ended up not only winning the left-handed reliever spot in the bullpen, but posted All-Star-caliber numbers as a rookie: 6-0 with a 2.22 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 65 innings. Needless to say, he’s the favorite to win the fifth spot in the Rangers’ rotation this year, at least until Lewis returns, but he’s not lock.
Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando are four solid starters and Texas has to be feeling good about the 2013 season from a pitching perspective, even without Lewis at this point. That’s because they don’t have to just stick Ross in the rotation and cross their fingers. Fellow young hurlers Martin Perez, Justin Grimm and Kyle McClellan are three of several pitchers Texas will bring in to compete with Ross for a starting spot.
Perez is the Rangers’ top pitching prospect, Grimm is a promising young right-hander who had an up-and-down first two starts in the big leagues last year and McClellan is a 2013 version of Ross in that he’s just hoping to make the team. If that doesn’t sound like the perfect formula for pitching success in 2013 for Texas, at least until Lewis returns, nothing will.