Who fills out the rotation?
Lynn and Minor are in the rotation, but the remaining three slots are uncertain. The Rangers would like to form a veteran staff to allow Yohander Mendez and Ariel Jurado additional time to develop in the minor leagues. Of course, that would mean Smyly, Miller and Volquez would have to be healthy and capable.
Tommy John surgery intervened with all three, causing Smyly to miss the last two seasons and Miller and Volquez to miss 2018. Though, each arm is said to be on track for the start of the regular season.
The Rangers have options, which is great. They have fallbacks in case of injury and a deep bullpen to give the rotation flexibility. A six-man rotation could be in play, as could the “opener” strategy. Filling the rotation will be one of Chris Woodward‘s greatest tests in his inaugural season as the Texas manager.
Every starting pitching candidate will be an intriguing watch this spring.