Yesterday, the Texas Rangers equipment was prepared, loaded and headed out to Surprise, Arizona. Mike Maddux and other Rangers are ready to head to Arizona to start spring training and to get to warmer weather.
"“I tell you what, it’s days like today that make Arizona smell a whole lot better. It’s like 70 degrees out there, which is probably 50 degrees warmer than us.” said Maddux"
With pitchers and catchers reporting just over a week, February 16, the starting rotation and the bullpen is still a concern for the Texas Rangers.
But, the Rangers are continuing to pick up pitchers and look at potential pitcher they can put in the starting rotation.
"“You can never have too much,” said Mike Maddux"
Since the injury to Derek Holland, the Texas Rangers have picked up several other pitchers that could be used in the bullpen or possibly as a starter.
The Rangers have picked up Daniel Bard, Pedro Figueroa, Armando Galarraga, Rafael Perez, and Chaz Roe. Although, Chaz Roe was recently designated for assignment when the Texas Rangers picked up Figueroa. Roe could have taken his minor league assignment, but instead selected to decline the option and is now a free agent.
Daniel Bard won’t make an immediate impact, he’s recovering from surgery and won’t be healthy by spring training. It will take 2-3 months to recover from surgery. But the price the Texas Rangers paid for Bard is worth the gamble. Bard, when healthy is a good pitcher, and they could use him on the pitching staff.
Pedro Figueroa was recently lite up in the Caribbean World Series. He only pitched 2/3 innings and allowed 3 hits, 3 runs and 1 home run. He has potential, but so far with the A’s and the Rangers he hasn’t shown it. Read more about him here.
With Armando Galarraga, Rafael Perez, and Chaz Roe the Rangers are hoping to find another solid pitcher they can put in the bullpen. It possible that the Rangers may have to use Robbie Ross or another pitcher as starter. Although, in my opinion, that isn’t the best decision. Taking pitchers and yo-yoing them back and forth isn’t good for the team or the pitcher. This was apparent in Alexi Ogando and Neftali Feliz. Both of them spent numerous days on the disabled list and even Feliz had Tommy John surgery.
As sign of hope is that the Texas Rangers are looking at two starters. They recently saw Suk-min Yoon throw a bullpen session in Surprise, Arizona. Also, they are in talks with Tommy Hanson.
Overall, between the two, it Yoon seems to be the best option. Yoon is one of the top pitchers in the Korean Baseball Organization. He didn’t have a great year last year, due to injuries, but when he came back in the bullpen, he was very effective. Read more about Yoon here to find out his stats.
Tommy Hanson is a good second option. He is also on the upside of recovering from injuries. With the Braves, he was one of the best pitchers in the National League. The Rangers hope if they sign him, they can get part of that out of him again.
If the Rangers do not get either of those two options, then it will be up to Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis to come back healthy and to help the starting rotation. If Harrison continues at his current pace, he could make the starting rotation. But, Jon Daniels and the staff do not want to rush things just because Derek Holland is out. The team will monitor his progress throughout spring training and determine when he’ll return.
But it does seem that the Rangers do need him to return as soon as possible. Without Holland, that leaves the rotation with Yu Darvish, Martin Perez, Nich Tepesch and Alexi Ogando. We all know that Ogando wants to be a starter, and at times he has done well. But he has had a few issues keeping healthy in that role. As a reliever, he has been very effective and tended to stay healthy.
Hopefully the Matt Harrison‘s back will stay healthy and it would be an added bonus if Colby Lewis is able to comeback. If they Rangers pick up Hanson or Yoon and get Harrison and Lewis back, they could have one of the best pitching staff in the American League. Combine that with the upgraded offense, this should be a playoff year for the Rangers.