Texas Rangers: 5 players with something to prove in the closing month

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ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 15: Yohander Mendez #65 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Colorado Rockies in the top of the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on June 15, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 15: Yohander Mendez #65 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Colorado Rockies in the top of the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on June 15, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Texas Rangers
ARLINGTON, TX – AUGUST 16: Ariel Jurado #57 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 16, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Ariel Jurado

Like Yohander Mendez, Ariel Jurado is in pursuit of a rotation spot in 2019. He’s benefited from a good amount of playing time this season, but just because he is currently part of the big league mix does not mean he will be next year.

The rookie has much to improve on. Over nine outings, he has an unimpressive 7.03 ERA and 1.664 WHIP. He has also averaged less than five innings per start. Command has been a problem; however, that is to be expected from a first year big leaguer.

Jurado needs to show improvement in his remaining few starts this season. As a sinkerball pitcher, he needs to be able to pound the strike zone and force ground balls. If he can’t do those things then he is not going to find much success in MLB.

A strong finish would be nice, but his true test will come in spring training. As of this moment, it seems the big right-hander would be part of the opening day roster. With that said, the Rangers could sign a couple of starting pitchers this offseason to add to Jurado’s competition. We already know he’ll be competing with Mendez in the spring so let’s go ahead and declare our first position battle of 2019.

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