Mendez and Jurado can further develop
The Rangers want to start Yohander Mendez and Ariel Jurado in the minor leagues this year. As the team is not expected to contend, it makes sense for the two young pitchers to get some additional developmental time.
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If the veteran starters are healthy and productive this spring, Texas can stay true to their plan for Mendez and Jurado. That is a big IF, however, as Smyly and Volquez are alongside Miller in their returns from TJ surgery. Any one of them could come back great or terrible; post-Tommy John is always difficult to predict.
Hopefully the experienced arms can at least start the season healthy so Mendez and Jurado can benefit in the minors before their inevitable call-ups. The longer Texas can avoid promoting either arm, the better (for the 2019 season).
If anything, the Rangers’ sudden bulk of starting pitching plays as a safety net to any struggles that come about. It allows them to carry out their plans for young players and players on the trade block.