Predicting the Texas Rangers’ 2014 Starting Rotation
Predicting the Texas Rangers' 2014 Starting Rotation
Spring Training has just started for the Texas Rangers, and they already have concerns when it comes to their pitching staff. The pitching staff has been hit with the “injury bug,” and the Rangers now find themselves in a precarious situation. They have to spend the next month trying to put together a five-man rotation, and they have few healthy options to choose from.
The Rangers thought they had four of their five set in stone, but injuries to Derek Holland and Matt Harrison have changed everything. Holland will not be able to return from his knee injury until July at the earliest. Harrison is not expected to be out as long, but he still will not be ready when the season begins.
While the Rangers still have time to go out and sign a free agent like Ervin Santana or try to make a huge trade to upgrade their staff, I do not see that happening. Jon Daniels has shown that he does not panic in these situations. He will not overpay a player in his 30s, and he will not give up prospects unless it is a great deal for the team.
If the Rangers do not bring in anyone, they will have to look inside the organization to fill out the staff. Their internal options include Alexi Ogando, Nick Tepesch, Colby Lewis and Tommy Hanson. They could also attempt to convert a reliever like Neftali Feliz or Robbie Ross into a starter.
It is not the ideal situation for the Rangers, but it is the situation they find themselves in so they will have to make the best of it. The Rangers still have a month to decide, but as of right now, this is my prediction for the team’s starting rotation.
1. Yu Darvish
Once every five days the Rangers can send their pitcher to the mound and have no worries. Those days are when they send Yu Darvish to the mound. Darvish was a top-five pitcher last season and could be even better in 2014.
2. Martin Perez
Martin Perez had a great rookie season last year. The Rangers are counting on him to carry over that success into this season. He will have a lot of pressure on his young shoulders, and Texas can only hope he will be able to handle it.
3. Colby Lewis
Colby Lewis was a key to the Rangers’ rotation two seasons ago, but he missed last season with a shoulder injury. The Rangers hoped he could return and be their fourth or fifth starter, but due to the other injuries they will now need him to be their third starter.
4. Alexi Ogando
In a perfect world, Alexi Ogando would be a relief pitcher and not a starter, but that is just not the case. Ogando has injured his arm two seasons in a row attempting to be a starter. The Rangers just have to start him and hope that the third time is the charm.
5. Tommy Hanson
Tommy Hanson has been a good pitcher in the past, but he is also coming off surgery. I am not sure what Hanson has left, but I believe he has enough to win the fifth starter job—at least for a while.