The off-seasons hasn’t necessarily been the prettiest for the Texas Rangers, but they are going to have to put that behind them and move forward because Spring Training is among us all. Entering into camp, though, are the top two starters: C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis. At least the Rangers do have these two guys in their pitching rotation as they will definitely be two people that will pave the road to this year’s baseball season.
Right-handed pitcher Colby Lewis was given another chance in the Major Leagues with the Rangers after successfully pitching two years in Japan. Left-handed pitcher C.J. Wilson made a move from reliever to starter this past season and did so successfully – more so than anyone probably could have imagined.
While these two pitchers enter camp as the Rangers’ top two starters for the 2011 MLB season, there is a lot to be accomplished during Spring Training. While Wilson and Lewis had very successful years, there many that doubt that they will have as successful of a year as they did in their first year as a starter. The two players are strong players, know their strengths and weaknesses, and are ready to prove all the doubters wrong.
Even with Wilson and Lewis heading into camp as the top two starters and assuming they fill the No.1 and No.2 starting rotation spots, three other starting pitchers need to be selected. Wilson and Lewis are both for sure in, but the remaining three are up in the air. The potential candidates seemingly include Brandon Webb, Tommy Hunter, Derek Holland, Dave Bush, Neftali Feliz and Michael Kirkman.
Brandon Webb is hoping for a strong comeback off his shoulder injury and Tommy Hunter, who went 13-4, definitely showed he had worth something keeping around. Hunter and Webb will be the front-runners for starting positions. If Webb is healthy and proves his worth and Hunter shows he is still as successful as he was last year, they will get their starting positions – unless someone else beats them out. However, if they prove their worth that leaves the fifth starter.
There are more than 10 different pitchers competing for starting rotation this year with the Texas Rangers so there is a lot of competition – and good competition at that. Feliz won AL Rookie of the Year last year and had 40 saves for 2010. He is by far the most talked about name coming into Spring Training. If he can prove he can be successful as a starter while being stretched out, he is very likely to earn that fifth starting rotation spot.
Who do you think will earn the top five starting positions? What are your thoughts on Feliz moving from reliever to starting pitcher?