Jul 5, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcherNick Tepesch
(49) hands the ball over to managerRon Washington
(38) during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
As you all know by now, Rangers starting pitcher Derek Holland had to have knee surgery due to an injury he sustained playing with his dog. Now, although it sounds like something we should all get mad about, I don’t believe that I can get mad about a freak accident like this. I am not saying that I am not disappointed by the news, but I am not mad at Holland. It happens. But it is a bad start to a season where the Rangers already had question marks about the rotation.
We all know that Yu Darvish is gong to be the opening day starter, and then I had Holland slated to follow. So now who gets moved up to the number two slot? We have Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando and Martin Perez to choose from. I think I would stick Alexi Ogando in Holland’s place, because when he is on he can be one of the most dominant pitchers in the Rangers rotation. So that is who I would have to replace the hole filled in the number two spot in the rotation, but I am not sure who I would get to fill his spot in general.
I personally don’t have a problem bringing Nick Tepesch back up to the majors and letting him get another shot at getting big league hitters out. Like all young pitchers, he had moments where he looked really good last season with the Rangers (Tepesch was 2-1 with a 2.53 ERA in April) and moments where he looked really bad (five earned runs against the Cubs in four innings of work) but overall he could be a nice stop-gap for this team. I also know the Rangers have discussed letting both Robbie Ross and Tanner Scheppers try out to be starters this spring, and I have to believe that Scheppers is more valuable in the pen than he would be as a starter. I would hate to see the Rangers weaken the pen to add an arm to the rotation when they have pitchers like Tepesch and Wilmer Font at Round Rock.
There is also the possibility of going out and getting someone either off of a waiver wire or from free agency or through a trade, but with Holland coming back mid-season I am not sure that the Rangers want to give away prospects for a guy that they really are only going to need for half a season. Then again, I could be wrong. You also have to wonder if the Ranger will be all in on Tanaka as David wrote about here. I personally think that the Yankees are dead set on bringing Tanaka to New York, and I don’t believe that the Rangers want to get into a bidding war over a guy they don’t value at the same level as Yu Darvish. I think, especially now that Alex Rodriguez has been suspended without pay for the entire 2014 season. The Yankees now have some extra money they were not counting on.
My feeling on the matter is that the Rangers will go internally on this decision and use a stop-gap type of player, and if I had to guess I would put my money on Nick Tepesch, at least to start the season as the number five guy. Jon Daniels is one who always is able to surprise me with what he can get done, so I wouldn’t be surprise at all if he makes something happen.