Projected Rangers Starting Pitching Rotation
By Kenneth Nash
With Cole Hamels now officially announced as the Texas Rangers Opening Day starter, we’ll take a look at a projected rotation once the season starts.
The Texas Rangers are less than two weeks away from Opening Day and with the competition for the 5th starter position heating up, we have our prediction for the starting rotation to begin the season.
1. Cole Hamels/LHP
Cole Hamels has already been announced as the Texas Rangers Opening Day starter and is undoubtedly the ace in this staff at least until Yu Darvish returns. Hamels was acquired by the Rangers at the trade deadline in 2015 from the Phillies and quickly became the number 1 pitcher in Texas’ staff. In 12 starts for the Rangers last year Hamels went 7-1 posting a 3.66 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 83.2 innings.
2. Derek Holland/LHP
In my list, Derek Holland is the number two man in the rotation. In reality he’s a third man in the rotation quality starter but until Darvish returns, he’s the Texas Rangers number two. He’s a lefty with good off speed and breaking pitches and the potential to rack up a lot of strikeouts. In 2015, Holland only made 10 starts and had a 4.91 ERA but coming into 2016 he seems to be fully healthy and his performances in Spring Training have been impressive.
3. Colby Lewis/RHP
Lewis, the eldest of the Rangers starters, is heading into his 9th total season with the Texas Rangers at the age of 36. In 2015, Lewis posted a 4.66 ERA across 33 starts and went 17-9. Lewis is not known for his ability to shutdown teams but he does eat up innings for Texas throwing 204. 2 innings last season. Lewis generally is going to put Texas in a position to win the game on most nights. He’s an effective middle of the rotation pitcher because of his workhorse mentality. When Darvish returns, I think he’ll drop down to the fifth starter spot or maybe even be moved to the bullpen depending on how the number five starter pitchers early in the season.
4. Martin Perez/LHP
Martin Perez has the potential to be a number two rotation man as he develops. As a 24 year old in 2015, he made 14 starts and went 3-6. His ERA was a little high at 4.46 but he had stretches of domination on the mound highlighting the potential he has. In hopefully a healthy season, he can pitch more towards that potential and become one of the Rangers top starters. He won’t be a hard set number four for Texas being interchangeable with Lewis when the need arises. This placing isn’t saying that Lewis is the better pitcher of the two but more so just to split up the Rangers lefty pitchers.
5. Chi Chi Gonzalez/RHP
The fifth starter spot to this day is still sort of a toss up. Gonzalez, Guthrie, and Griffin have all been considered as well as Nick Martinez. I think the spot at this point will go to Gonzalez. Chi Chi was the favorite for the spot headed into the season and nobody in my opinion has pitched well enough this Spring to take the spot away. Gonzalez made 10 starts in 14 appearances last season going 4-6 with a 3.90 ERA. He’ll look to improve upon those number this year but as he matures I believe he’s got the ability to become a mainstay in the rotation.
Comment below if you agree with this rotation or what changes you’d make.
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