Promote Joe Palumbo or Another Minor-Leaguer Permanently
This was probably the most common response to solving the Drew Smyly problem but it also probably is the worst. Joe Palumbo made his Major League debut for Texas on Saturday and pitched really well in his first start especially through 3 innings. He gave up 4 runs in the 4th although part of the responsibility falls on poor defensive play that just didn’t count as errors. A ground ball right to where Rougned Odor usually would be positioned rolled slowly into right center when Rougie didn’t see the ball off the bat. Then, a hard hit single to left field rolled all the way to the wall when Hunter Pence tried to make a sliding stop and whiffed on the ball.
So it’s safe to say that Palumbo had a successful debut. Still, he’s clearly not ready to be a part of the Rangers rotation every 5 days. He also is coming off a Tommy John surgery of his own and is on a bit of an innings restriction. While that restriction is fine to manage in the minors, it’s tougher to deal with when you’re a team that at this point, is competing for a playoff spot. Palumbo, as much as I’d love seeing him in Arlington every 5th day, isn’t and shouldn’t be an option.
Of all the options, perhaps promoting a veteran minor-leaguer is the most likely however there’s no clear cut option. Veterans like Seth Maness and Tim Dillard are a part of the Triple-A Nashville rotation but neither is on the 40-man roster meaning Texas would have to DFA a player to make the move. Additionally, neither of them has been great at the Triple-A level and it’s hard to see them getting better in the big leagues. Maness has an ERA of 3.77 ERA but opponents are hitting .281 against him which is a scary number to see. Truthfully, I wouldn’t be comfortable with either of these guys filling that 5th rotation spot and I don’t think Texas would either.