Sep 24, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers relief pitcher Tanner Scheppers (52) throws a pitch in the eighth inning of the game against the Houston Astros at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Texas Rangers beat the Houston Astros 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Surprise, Arizona – The Texas Rangers had a plan for their rotation when the off-season began, and that plan has seriously altered. The Derek Holland knee injury, The Matt Harrison back scare and the Alexi Ogando ineffectiveness has caused the Texas Rangers to do something that they would probably rather not do: go young. Yu Darvish is the veteran of the bunch, unless of course Joe Saunders makes the rotation, which I believe that he will. The Let’s assume for a minute that the rotation will shape up like I think it will: Yu Darvish, Martin Perez, Tanner Scheppers, Joe Saunders and Robbie Ross. The average age of that rotation is 26 years old. If Matt Harrison replaces Saunders when he comes back that drops the average age to 25. That is a young rotation.
So is it bad to have a young rotation? Not entirely, in my opinion. The Texas Rangers have gone into seasons past with young rotations that took them deep into the post season, but most of those teams had a veteran that kind of anchored the rotation. I am not sure this current group has that guy. If Ross and Scheppers can continue their spring training success, then it will not matter much. And of course one factor we are all forgetting about is how will Martin Perez look in his second full season as a starter? He may be great, or he may struggle. We will just have to wait and see. My opinion, the rotation will be good, but not great at first, but it has a chance to be great later on in the season. Just as Robbie Ross and Tanner Scheppers start tiring in the dog days of summer, Derek Holland will return and Colby Lewis may just make it back.
Does this rotation strike fear into the hearts of opponents? Not yet, but will it get the job done? I believe that it will. If the young guys can perform at the level we expect, then the Texas Rangers have a chance to compete for the division title, if they out perform themselves, then the Texas Rangers have a chance to be something special.