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The problem is the latter three are returning from Tommy John surgery. There is no guarantee they’ll return to their productive selves. Even if they do, it may take some time.
If the Rangers’ plan falls through, Yohander Mendez or Ariel Jurado would likely be the next man up. Both got roughed up in their spring debuts. Mendez allowed three earned runs on four hits in one inning pitched on Sunday. Jurado allowed two earned runs on four hits over two innings on Saturday.
The fifth spot in the rotation could go to the one who has a stellar spring, if one does have a stellar spring. With Mendez and Jurado being so young (24 and 23), the organization will send them to the minors if there’s any suspicion that they’re not ready to return to the bigs.
27-year-old Adrian Sampson is a starting pitcher to keep an eye on as well. He started four games for the Rangers last season and posted a 4.30 ERA.