Texas Rangers pitching depth to be tested in the near term

Seth Carlson
May 21, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Kyle Gibson (44) throws during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
May 21, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Kyle Gibson (44) throws during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /
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As the Texas Rangers embark on an eight game road trip featuring two divisional opponents in Anaheim and Seattle and finishing with the Colorado Rockies in Denver, they’ll be doing so short-handed on the pitching end.

First, right-hander Kohei Arihara was recently diagnosed with an aneurysm in his throwing shoulder, which will sideline him for at least 12 weeks after surgery, if not more. Not much longer after that, reliever Hunter Wood was diagnosed with right elbow discomfort and subsequently placed on the IL.

But the Rangers received perhaps the worst injury news they could get on Tuesday with the news that ace Kyle Gibson would be out with a groin strain and placed on the IL.

The Texas Rangers will need to rely on their pitching depth to weather a recent injury storm.

Ok, maybe an injury to Adolis Garcia would’ve been the only thing worse, but it nevertheless stings to lose your ace pitcher for any length of time.

Maybe Adolis can use his superhero-esque powers to pitch?

Gibson was having a sparkling season as the Rangers’ No. 1 starter, with a 2.24 ERA in 60.1 innings pitched across 10 starts.

Now, he’ll spend roughly the next two weeks on the shelf.

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It’s not what you want, as Gibson had been so valuable to this staff prior to the injury, being the most reliable by far. No disrespect to Dane Dunning or Folty, who had his best start of the season so far Sunday, or Jordan Lyles, but it’s clear what Gibby has meant to this team early on.

Between Gibson and Arihara’s injuries, the Texas Rangers will need to patch together innings from other pitchers to make up for those lost frames.

That will be easier said than done.

Hyeon-jong Yang, who starts Tuesday night for the Rangers against the Angels in Anaheim, looks to be a rotation stopgap, a role he has been effective in over a limited sample size so far.

Wes Benjamin, recalled from AAA prior to the Angels series, should also see a fair amount of time in the starting rotation in the absences of Gibson and Arihara.

Kolby Allard has starting experience and figures to perhaps see some rotation time as well. Taylor Hearn could be an option as he was stretched out to be an opener in spring training. Hearn has also expressed interest previously in becoming a starter, and he’s earned that opportunity as far as we’re concerned.

As for the bullpen, Wood’s injury hurts, but the team’s depth there is solid enough (DeMarcus Evans was called up) to mask the effects of his absence.

In any case, the Texas Rangers’ pitching depth as a whole will be tested heavily with some key contributors expected to miss some time.

Next. Folty's last start was massive. dark

It’s time to see what they can do.

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