Matt Harrison against the Chicago White Sox May 17. Texas Rangers (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Okay, so yesterday I used stats to take an educated (I use that term loosely) guess at how the Rangers offensive starters will perform. Will I be right? Well no one knows that. But that is not going to stop me from looking at the starting pitching today! Of course, with the pitching, it is more my hopes than my expected results. The Texas Rangers have a chance to be something special when it comes to starting pitching, and I think they will be. With superstar Yu Darvish, a confident Derek Holland, a more experienced Martin Perez and a healthy Matt Harrison, this rotation should be going places. Good places.
The only problem right now is that pesky fifth starter spot in the rotation. Names in the hat for that slot in the rotation include Alexi Ogando, Colby Lewis, Robbie Ross, Tanner Scheppers, Nick Tepesch just to name a few of the main ones. Since we don’t know who it will be, i am going to project what I would like to see out of that fifth spot.
Last season the fifth starter was not a great spot for the Texas Rangers last season. It was filled by guys like Ross Wolf, Josh Lindbloom, Travis Blackley and Justin Grimm, and a few more spot starters. This season I would like to see that spot get held down by one player, and i would like that player to be a healthy Colby Lewis. Realistically, that is probably not going to be the case for the whole season. Nonetheless, here is what I would like to see from the fifth spot.
9-11 wins, 120 strikeouts, 70 walks, 180-200 innings.
This may be too much to ask from the fifth starter, then again it may be too little. This is what i want to see though.
Matt was not healthy in 2013, but all accounts say that he is now healthy. I am going to base my projections on a healthy Matt Harrison for 2014. I think Matt will start out slow due to not having pitched in almost a year, but I believe he will have a very good season once he gets going. And I believe that he will wind up having close to his best season as a Ranger.
Matt won 14 games in 2010 and 18 games in 2011, and I project him to be somewhere in between that at 15-17 games, have a ERA around 3.50, 125 strikeouts, 60 walks, and if he remains healthy between 190 and 200 innings.
Perez had a very successful first season in the Texas Rangers rotation in 2013, going 10-6 with a 3.62 ERA. He had a stretch where he was unbeatable in August. Martin is a future star (in this writers humble opinion) and will start to show why the Texas Rangers had so much faith in him. He will be the surprise stud of the rotation. Martin will win between 13-15 games with an ERA of 3.30, he will strike out 140 while walking 65, and I believe he will pitch 200-210 innings.
We waited and waited and waited for Derek to become the great pitcher we all kept hearing he could be, and he showed us some of that talent in 2011. That season Derek went 16-5 with a 3.95 ERA, but after signing the big contract, he has slumped a little, going 22-16 with an ERA of 4.02 over that stretch, which by the way, isn’t bad. I think Derek will have another 2011 type season in 2014, call it a wish, call it a gut feeling, call it crazy. Derek will win 15-17 games with an ERA of 3.90, strike out 190 (he struck out 189 last season, his career high), walk 61, and pitch between 205-215 innings. He will be a workhorse for the Rangers.
Darvish was nothing short of incredible last season for the Texas Rangers, going 13-9 (he lost way to many 1-0 games) with an ERA of 2.83. He struck out an amazing 277 batters along the way as well. Darvish is the opening day starter, I don’t believe there will be any debate about that, the rest may not be in the order I have placed them in for my hypothetical article today. I believe that Darvish, with a better line-up behind him will win between 16-18 games with an ERA of 2.80 (pretty much the same as last season), he will strike out 290 (he seems to get better at that every season) and walk 75 (I am hopeful his walks will go down) and pitch somewhere between 190 and 200 innings.
Again, I am just speculating for fun what the season will look like through the eyes of a baseball drunk crazy fan/writer, this is intended for your entertainment and argument only. I will probably be way off on all of these numbers, but it was fun to look at. Thanks for reading.