It seems the Rangers finally have things looking up in the Tommy John Memorial Bullpen. The 2015 pitching rotation received a much needed shot in the arm from Milwaukee in the form of Fort Worth Trimble Tech product Yovani Gallardo. With the Gallardo trade, the Rangers send infielder Luis Sardinas, reliever Corey Knebel and Minor League pitcher Marcos Diplan north in exchange for the Brewers right-hander.
The Brew Crew will also kick in $4 million towards Gallardo’s $13 million, one-year 2015 contract. Now, for the first time in far too long, it appears the Rangers could actually have five legitimate major league pitchers to take to the hill. That sentence alone makes this season better than the last.
Yu Darvish remains the ace. The innings eating wizard is just as likely to strike out a dozen as he is to carry a no-no into the 8th. Or better. Time will tell, but Yu may be the most impressive pitcher in Rangers history. If he never had to face the As, Darvish might be the best.
The clown prince of the squad is a solid number two starter. 2015 can be the year Derek Holland finally hits his stride and becomes the pitcher he has always shown flashes of what he can be.
Whether Manager Jeff Banister slots Gallardo or veteran Colby Lewis as the number three, the number four spot won’t be much of a drop off. Gallardo comes off a 32-start season that saw him go 8-11 with a 3.51 ERA. Comparatively, Lewis came back from Tommy John surgery in 2014 and went 10-14 in 29 starts and a 5.18 ERA.
The Rangers front office has taken some heat for how quiet the Winter Meetings went and the relatively sedate off-season. But the additions of Gallardo and Detwiler emphasize how close the Rangers can be to returning to form. “If” is the largest word in baseball, but if the Rangers can overcome the rash of injuries that killed the 2014 effort, there’s a good opportunity to return to the postseason.