Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
I’m almost afraid to answer that question. I’m afraid because the question isn’t “How good is the Texas Rangers rotation?”; which has a very different connotation. So something is obviously amiss here…
We are now about 1/4 of the way through the long season, with Colby Lewis taking the hill tonight in game 39 against the Houston Astros. And after 25% of the season your Texas Rangers sit right at .500. So how bad is the rotation? At the moment, unfortunately, the answer is: pretty dang bad.
On March 31st, the starting rotation looked like this:
2. Martin Perez
4. Joe Saunders
Today is May 12th, and after Colby pitches tonight, the next four days will look like this:
Tuesday: Matt Harrison @ Houston
Wednesday: Nick Tepesch @ Houston
Friday: Yu Darvish vs. Toronto
Saturday: Robbie Ross vs. Toronto
I only mention this to say that there is only one consistency out of 5 guys from those two lists. Of course, several of the “new” names in that 2nd list are of returning players that we desperately wanted back: Yu Darvish (who only missed one start at the beginning of the season), Matt Harrison (returning from back surgery), and Colby Lewis (also returning from injury).
But, we also have to consider that the injury bug hit Tanner Scheppers, the Rangers Opening Day starter, Joe Saunders, and now Martin Perez; and that completely messes up, not only the rotation, but the bullpen.
Scheppers did not have a good stint as a first-time Big League starter; giving up 20 earned runs in 18.1 innings. Perhaps some of that was due to his injury, but even if not, at the very least his injury has given the Rangers a chance to move him back into the bullpen if need be.
Joe Saunders is almost in the same boat; except he’s not the inexperienced youngster that needs development (as a starter), like Scheppers is. In fact, he’s working on his 10th Major League season. But the similarity is that Saunders’ first stint as a starter this year didn’t go well to say the least; his ERA was 9.82 when he went on the DL. So his time away from the field has given the Rangers a chance to evaluate alternatives – although Saunders has said he wants to come back as a starter.
The really bad news here, if you weren’t upset enough already, is that Martin Perez is now injured as well. Your Texas Rangers announced yesterday that he will miss his next start due to some elbow inflammation he experienced during Saturday’s game against the Red Sox. And The Dallas Morning News is reporting that he may possibly land on the disabled list. Nick Tepesch will kick off his 2014 Big League season in Perez’ place on Wednesday.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get worse…
The club will have to consider taking Robbie Ross out of the rotation. Fortunately, it would not be due to injury. Unfortunately, it would be due to poor pitching. Ross has given up 21 runs and 29 hits in his last three outings; a total of 15.1 innings. Just a day ago, The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram had reported that the Rangers would be sticking with Ross as a starter. But, that was before yesterday’s 5 run, 6.2 inning outing. Ross is still on the docket for Saturday as of now, and the team hasn’t made any announcements; but if he were moved back to the bullpen, I’m not sure anyone would be surprised.
Nobody likes a Debbie Downer. So I’ll leave you with a good note about our rotation:
Matt Harrison has come back with a vengeance; pitching better than I think anyone thought he would. He’s had 3 solid outings and currently has an ERA of 2.87.
Need another bright spot?
Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Hopefully we can find some solutions to our rotation woes…solutions short of cloning this guy, that is.
38 down,124 to go.
Your Texas Rangers are 19-19.