What Can the Texas Rangers Expect From Ross Detwiler?

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When the Washington Nationals traded left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler to the Texas Rangers this offseason, he looked at this as a fresh start. He knew he would get a chance to be happy as a starter, especially after being a reliever for the Nationals last season.

With Yu Darvish out for the season due to season-ending Tommy John surgery, this gives an opening for the new Ranger to get a rotation spot. He has had enough experience as a starter for the team to ride with him.

It remains to be seen if Detwiler will be in the starting rotation for the entire season. He still has to prove he is worthy of being in the rotation. He might as well be auditioning to stay in that role.

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In Detwiler’s start against the Reds two weeks ago, he did not pitch well. He gave up four runs (three earned) and seven hits in four innings of work against the Reds. Granted, his fielders did not do a good job either. Still, his pitches were up. He had a hard time finding his location and he was often behind the count.

This is what Detwiler is. He can wow folks at times by overpowering hitters, and then he gives a performance like the other night that resembles pitching in batting practice. His inconsistency was why the Nationals never saw him as a starter. The Nationals tried their best to get the most out of him for years. Now, it’s the Rangers’ turn to do the same.

The Rangers are taking a flier on him with the idea he will figure it out and win some games for them. They hope he can give them innings and stabilize the back end of the rotation. They will be happy if he is decent.

For Detwiler, he looks at himself as a starter who can be a No. 2 or No. 3 starter. He feels he can be a starter that can pan out late after years of inconsistency. He has the stuff to be good, but he has to show he can pitch out of jams. He has to show he can’t be erratic. He has to know how to put all of this together consistently for him to be reliable.

There’s no question Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux will do all he can in order to get the most out of Detwiler’s potential, but this has to translate into games. It’s going to be a challenge. In a way, Detwiler is an interesting storyline for the 2015 Rangers. Can he finally break out this season? Can he be a guy that can win 10 games for them?

He has done okay in spring training, but we won’t find out how good he can be after watching him make 10 starts this season. That’s where the Rangers will get their answer.

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For the Rangers southpaw, it’s now or never for him. This could be his last chance as a starter. He’s 29 years old. He does not have time to learn on the job. He started 69 games in his career, and that should be enough to know what his ceiling is. Quite frankly, Detwiler hasn’t showed he can be a starter. Not when he has a 4.02 ERA in 376 career innings. There was a reason the Nationals gave up on him as a starter.

The Rangers have to hope he can give them something. They are going to need him to pan out with so many questions marks about the other starters on the team. They don’t know what he can do. They know they are hard-pressed to take much out of spring training. Even Detwiler knows he can’t take much out of his spring training starts. All he can do is build on his outings and get ready to go in the regular season.

The Rangers are going to find out soon enough what he can do. Detwiler will, too. He knows he is running out of time, so a good start is important for him to get his career on track. He doesn’t know what he can do until he is out there every fifth day. He can only wait until he makes his first start of the year in a couple of weeks.

He will get his opportunity, and he knows he has to make this count or he can find himself out of baseball soon enough.

Contact or Follow Leslie Monteiro: @Nolanwriting201

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