The 2014 season approaches. Here are five bold predictions about what we will see from the Texas Rangers’ pitching staff in 2014
1. The Texas Rangers rotation has a below average ERA (for the AL) despite Yu Darvish having a sub 2.50 ERA.
Yu will have another magnificent year, perhaps his best yet if he attacks the zone and gets deeper into games than he has in the past. The rest of the rotation is suspect and will likely be no better than average. With as many injury concerns as this rotation has sub par starters are going to get starts and those pitchers will push this rotation’s ERA up past league average. The rotation is going to have to rely on some combination of Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogano, Colby Lewis, Nick Tepesch, Robbie Ross and even Tanner Scheppers. While all of these pitchers (except Nick Tepesch?) have the capacity to be average or better as a starter, the expectations should be kept low for all these pitchers in 2014. Between injuries and inexperience the last three spots, or perhaps every spot not held by Yu Darvish (Sorry Martin Perez), is pretty suspect.
The season could open with Yu Darvish, Perez, Harrison, Ogando and Tepesch all in the rotation. This rotation would have the potential to be plenty good to start the season, if Harrison bounces back and Perez maintains, or improves on, his 2013 performance, but eventually the rotation is likely to break down. Once Ogando goes down and if Harrison cannot stay healthy the rotation may degrade into Yu Darvish, Perez, Lewis, Tepesch, and Ross which would be a sub par starting five.