Abominable pitching in opening series proves Texas Rangers must draft new arms

Vanderbilt's Jack Leiter, left, and Kumar Rocker could be the first two pitchers selected in the 2021 MLB Draft.Leiter Rocker
Vanderbilt's Jack Leiter, left, and Kumar Rocker could be the first two pitchers selected in the 2021 MLB Draft.Leiter Rocker /

Let’s just cut to the chase: Texas Rangers pitching in the opening series of 2021 against the Kansas City Royals was flat out awful.

No one should’ve approached this season thinking the Rangers would be anything special on the mound, especially when the team deploys a tandem strategy because they’re not confident enough in their starters, or when a six-man rotation is being considered.

A team whose Opening Day starter was Kyle Gibson leaves plenty to be desired, after all.

Through two games, the Rangers team ERA stands at an abominable 14.06.

14.06! That’s not a typo.

The Texas Rangers pitching staff is struggling immensely to start the 2021 season.

Fortunately, allowing 25 runs over 18 innings pitched thus far is probably an unsustainable pace for a season, but we don’t need the third game of this series to get the picture: Rangers pitching is  a complete mess.

Opening Day starter Kyle Gibson lasted one-third of an inning in his outing, and stands with a 135.00 ERA this season. As a result, the bullpen was vastly overworked that day, pitching in 8.2 innings and allowing nine more runs on top of Gibson’s five.

More from Nolan Writin'

That’s just not going to be acceptable on any given day, even if the lineup exploded for 10 runs of its own.

That fact actually makes the lackluster pitching look even worse: the Texas Rangers’ lineup may actually provide some semblance of quality this season, meaning that it’s going to come down to the pitching staff to hold down leads.

The Rangers couldn’t do a lot of scoring or pitching in 2020, but they can do some scoring in 2021 as evidenced by their offensive production in the opening series.

Kohei Arihara made his MLB debut in the second game of the series and looked solid, if unspectacular over five innings, allowing six hits and three runs while striking out one.

We always knew Arihara would have a strike-throwing, pitch-to-contact approach on the mound since he lacks power stuff, but with the Rangers scoring four runs in the contest, that should’ve been enough to hang on.

It wasn’t.

Instead, a second consecutive bullpen meltdown occurred and the Rangers surrendered double digit runs to the Royals again and wasting what could’ve been a win in his first start for Arihara.

So all this is to say what?

The Texas Rangers must draft a pitcher with their second overall selection in the 2021 MLB Draft.

Be it Jack Leiter or Kumar Rocker of Vanderbilt (depending on who’s available), the Rangers must not miss on an opportunity to draft a pitcher who can change their franchise in an instant.

Leiter and Rocker are both polished products with electric stuff, both of whom are regarded as some of the top pitchers in the country, and who could make an immediate impact (relativey speaking) on the Texas Rangers organization.

The tape truly speaks for itself.


The Texas Rangers need to draft a pitcher this year.

Just filthy.

The Texas Rangers can only hope that their opening series pitching performance against the Royals was just a matter of shaking off some rust, and that Mike Foltynewicz can give the staff some hope in the 2021 home opener against Toronto.

Next. An Opening Day to remember or forget?. dark

If not, the Rangers have a ready-made solution for their pitching woes coming up this July.