Texas Rangers: Does Chi Chi Gonzalez Still Have A Future with Texas?

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 27: Chi Chi Gonzalez (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 27: Chi Chi Gonzalez (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The Texas Rangers will spend this winter looking for options to fill their 2018 starting rotation. Sadly, former first round pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez will miss next season. Does he still have a future in the MLB with Texas?

It was frustrating news when the Texas Rangers discovered that pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez needed to have Tommy John surgery. He not only missed the rest of 2017, but he’ll be unable to pitch in 2018 as well.

That means the Rangers and Gonzalez are aiming for a 2019 return, but is it already too late? The 25-year-old has failed to stick in the Rangers rotation after two attempts. He put up decent numbers in 2015, but won’t see Arlington again until at least 2019.

The Rangers selected Gonzalez in the 1st round of the June amateur draft in 2013. He pitched well in the minors and earned a chance with Texas in 2015. He went 4-6 with a 3.90 ERA in 13 games (10 starts) with Texas that season.

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He started just three games with the Rangers in 2016 and allowed 10 earned runs in 10.1 innings of work. He pitched to a 4.70 ERA in 25 games in Triple-A Round Rock in 2016, but clearly not best of numbers from Gonzalez.

The good news for the Rangers is that Gonzalez isn’t eligible for free agency until 2023. He doesn’t cost the organization much, and it’s really a no lose situation for Texas. The organization would love to see that early pick pay off, but injuries happen.

The only thing left to do now is wait for Gonzalez to recover and hope for the best. He pitched well in Spring Training before his injury. A move to the bullpen could be a better solution after the surgery, but we’ll wait and see.

It’s unlikely that Gonzalez ever lives up to that 1st round status. He’s a young pitcher, and he’s under contract for quite some time. He’ll have an opportunity to earn his place in Arlington in 2019.