The 31 year old southpaw has not pitched since 2009 when he was pitching with the Chicago Cubs. In the time between his last major league start and Thursday’s game he has had Tommy John’s surgery, been signed and released by the Pittsburg Pirates and the New York Yankees. There are questions concerning the condition of his arm and hip as he failed a team physical with the Yankees, but he appears to have cleared up the questions as he was able to pass the Rangers physical.
Currently the bullpen features Scott Feldman in long relief, 7th inning man in Alexi Ogando, 8th inning setup for Mike Adams, closer Joe Nathan, with Koji Uehara, Yoshinori Tateyama, and Mark Lowe in spot situations the only role for a left handed would be for a spot situation. Given the near league minimum that I am sure Cotts signed for if he was able to get the job it would be a major coup for him and a great money saver for JD.
Since the last time he pitched was over two years ago there is no real valid point from examining his stats. His future with the Rangers will be based solely on his performance in Spring Training. Acknowledging the fact that the average Rangers fan has not heard of Cotts before, a quick recap of his career stats may help to see what his ceiling will be. His career ERA is 4.63, WHIP is 1.467, K/9 of 8.3, and SO/BB is 1.79. What this tells me is that he puts the ball into play a good deal as well as not being overpowering but able to average nearly a strikeout an inning.
If he makes the roster and is successful he will be a wonderful redemption story. If he doesn’t JD wouldn’t have made a large investment anyway.
Good Luck Neil Coots and Go Rangers.