Texas Rangers Spring Training: Starting rotation predictions

SURPRISE, ARIZONA - MARCH 07: Pitcher Dane Dunning #33 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning of the MLB spring training baseball game at Surprise Stadium on March 07, 2021 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
SURPRISE, ARIZONA - MARCH 07: Pitcher Dane Dunning #33 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning of the MLB spring training baseball game at Surprise Stadium on March 07, 2021 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /
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One of the most important units a baseball club must have is a strong starting rotation. The starting pitcher sets the tone and momentum of the game.

The Texas Rangers have a lot of talented pitchers who could be in that rotation this year. Let’s break down who I think could comprise this group.

Kyle Gibson

Kyle Gibson will likely find himself starting on Opening Day for the Texas Rangers.

Gibson is one of the returning pitchers from last year’s team. After throwing 58 strikeouts with Texas last year, expect him to be the starter against the Toronto Blue Jays on Opening Day.

Mike Foltynewicz

“Folty” is looking to reclaim his All-Star form.

Foltynewicz signed with Texas this offseason after a long stay with the Atlanta Braves. After a disastrous last season with the braves due to injury, he finished the season strong and in the playoffs. This could be a Mike Minor 2.0 signing if he has a great start to the 2021 season.

Dane Dunning

The young righty provides a pitching talent infusion.

Dunning was acquired from the White Sox this offseason for Lance Lynn. While he was with the White Sox, Dunning showed he has the arsenal of an MLB Starter. After throwing 35 strikeouts in 34 innings, I can see why the Rangers wanted him in Texas.

Kolby Allard

Acquired from the Braves several years ago, Allard is seeking a bounce-back.

Allard is having a very good spring training and Rangers fans shouldn’t be shocked if he makes the starting rotation this year. Don’t let the ERA of 7.75 from last season fool you, he might have a breakout season this year.

Kohei Arihara

The Texas Rangers took the Yu Darvish path with Kohei Arihara.

Arihara is a new pitcher that comes over to Texas from Japan. When he was with the Nippon Ham Fighters last season, he had an 8-9 record and throwing 106 strikeouts. Based on how his spring training is going, look for him to be a huge factor in the rotation this year.

Taylor Hearn

Don’t sleep on “Rodeo’s” rotation chances in 2021.

The reason why I’m doing six pitchers for the rotation this season is because of COVID and injury concerns that could happen during the season. Hearn has proven himself to the Rangers that he could be a part of starting rotation this spring training.

Conclusion

I wouldn’t look at last year’s stats and judge the pitchers based on them due to COVID. If the pitchers Texas has right now set the proper tone and momentum this season, the Rangers could have a better rotation than many people give them credit for.

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