Texas Rangers: Should Austin Bibens-Dirkx Join the Rotation in 2018?

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 17: Austin Bibens-Dirkx (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 17: Austin Bibens-Dirkx (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Finding pitchers to fill the starting rotation is going to be the main task of the Texas Rangers front office this winter. Could soft-tossing Austin Bibens-Dirkx slide into the rotation in 2018?

Whenever an organization has as many holes to fill as the Texas Rangers do it’s always easiest to check in-house before writing a big check. Finding three starting pitchers isn’t going to be cheap, but moving a current bullpen pitcher into the rotation could be a solution.

32-year-old Austin Bibens-Dirkx is an interesting candidate for a possible rotation spot in 2018. This season was his rookie campaign, and he surprised many with his performance. Does he have a future in the starting rotation?

He appeared in 24 games (six starts) posting a 4.67 ERA, but pitched much better than the numbers show. A couple rough bullpen outings destroyed his ERA, but don’t take that too seriously.

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At best he could be a possible fifth starter for Texas. His fastball only reaches around 89 mph which means he’s a Kyle Hendricks type of pitcher. A soft-throwing pitcher that uses his location and command to get batters out.

The difference is that Hendricks has much better breaking pitches, and better command. Bibens-Dirkx struggled with command issues, but at best could be a reliable back-end starting pitcher. The Rangers should at least consider this as a possible solution.

The free agent market for starting pitching isn’t going to be fantastic. The Rangers will likely need to rely on some in-house options to fill some of these holes. Bibens-Dirkx should at least get an opportunity in spring training to earn a spot in the rotation.