The Texas Rangers have struggled to develop starting pitchers in the past and lefty Martin Perez is just another example.
In case you hadn’t heard, Martin Perez was moved to the bullpen. The Texas Rangers probably won’t pick up his option, either. In short, the Martin Perez experiment is over. I’m disappointed, because I liked Perez, both as a person and as a pitcher. But there’s no arguing it’s time to move on. Perez has been ineffective since he came back an injury that delayed the start to his season.
Perez is just the latest in a long line of Rangers pitchers who have failed to live up to expectations after tantalizing the team with stellar performances. Those pitchers always come back to earth, leaving the front office and the fans with a bitter taste in their mouth. The Rangers are still waiting for a homegrown pitcher to show sustained success.
Derek Holland had one of the greatest pitching performances ever in the 2011 World Series. We all thought it was just the beginning. Unfortunately, Holland could never find the consistency needed to be a top-tier starting pitcher and injuries eventually ended his time in Texas.
Alexi Ogando started out as a lock-down late innings reliever for the 2010 World Series team, and the next season was all-star starter for the 2011 World Series squad. After fading down the stretch that season, Ogando was moved back to the bullpen, where he was successful, going 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA. For some reason, he became a starter again and struggled with injuries throughout the season. In 2014, Ogando completely went off the rails, posting a 6.84 ERA. The Rangers didn’t re-sign him when he hit free agency that winter.
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And so on. Jon Daniels’ time in Arlington has been extremely successful, but one area he’s struggled is drafting starting pitching. This isn’t a huge knock on Daniels; finding elite starting pitching is hard. What’s been so frustrating is that pitchers like Perez and Holland have shown so much potential, only to become league-average or worse just a few seasons later.
Fortunately, pitching is on the way. Just check out this list of Rangers prospects. It’s full of potential all-star pitchers. Maybe one of these pitching prospects will finally be the ace the Rangers have been looking for all these years. Additionally, the Rangers could become players in this offseason’s free agent market where there figure to be a number of pitchers the Rangers could try and make a move on.