The Texas Rangers usually invite a lot of non-roster pitchers to camp, and this season is no different. The Texas Rangers are inviting nine non-roster pitchers to camp, so I thought I would break the pitchers down into two posts. These are in no particular order, it is just a list to let you know who these players are.
Colby Lewis – Yes, Lewis is actually a non-roster invitee, but we all know that he is fighting for the fifth starter spot and he feels like he has a good chance of getting it. He says he is healthy and feels the best he has in a long time, and I hope that it shows. Colby is the most experienced pitcher coming to camp trying to get the fifth starter spot. He is also the Texas Rangers winningest post season pitcher. We all know what a healthy Colby Lewis brings to the Texas Rangers. He gives up about a home run a game, he eats up a lot of innings and he keeps his team in the game. The question is how healthy is he and how rusty will he be after not pitching for a year and a half? Only time will tell us that.
Rafael Perez – Perez spent 2006-2012 with the Indians, a lot of that time in the big leagues as a reliever. The lefty is 21-12 with a 3.64 ERA, 268 strikeouts and 117 walks. Perez spent 2013 going between AA ball and AAA ball and never made it to the majors. He pitched for both Minnesota and Boston affiliates last season, he was 3-2 with a 2.60 ERA combined in both levels he pitched at. The Texas Rangers picked him up on January 19 of this year. He also has three major league saves.
Aaron Poreda – Aaron has only pitched in 14 games at the major league level, four for the Padres and 10 for the White Sox. In 2012, the left-handed reliever needed Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2013 season recovering. Poreda, a former first round draft pick, has a combined 3.84 ERA at the double and triple A level of baseball, and his ERA in the majors is 2.70, but that is in just 13.1 innings pitched, and he has had Tommy John surgery since. Not sure where Aaron is going to be this spring training, but the Texas Rangers are willing to find out if this former first rounder has anything to offer.
Armando Rodriguez – This 26-year-old prospect the Texas Rangers picked up has yet to pitch in the majors, and most likely will not pitch in the majors this season either. The right hander pitched in 50 games last season (39 at AAA ball, 11 at AA ball) and had a combined ERA of 4.81. Rodriguez has roughly a 3-1 strike out to walk ratio and the Texas Rangers just want to get a look at him and see if they feel there is anything to work with. Look for him to be assigned to either Frisco or Round Rock if the Texas Rangers decide to keep him.