Additional Pitching Key to Texas Rangers' Postseason Run

Pitching not hitting should be the Rangers main priority during the trade deadline.
Texas Rangers v San Diego Padres
Texas Rangers v San Diego Padres / Denis Poroy/GettyImages

The Texas Rangers have been in a slump lately. Over their past seven games, the team has gone 2-5 with losses to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros. The main struggle has been the starting/relief pitching. Go back to the beginning of the Dodgers series. In game 1 Andrew Heaney allowed four runs during the first five innings. He had three walks, four earned runs, and allowed five hits. Texas went on to later lose the game, as they went through six pitchers.

Fast forward to game 2 and not much changed. In three innings Dane Dunning allowed five runs on seven hits. The relief pitching didn't help either, as Glenn Otto permitted five runs, while Yerry Rodriguez accounted for three.

Jon Gray added to the team's headache Monday when he threw for five innings and gave up six runs . Two innings later Aroldis Chapman had his worst performance with the team, as he allowed three runs. Against the San Diego Padres on Friday, both Dunning and Rodriguez combined for seven runs and five walks.

If the Dodgers and Astros showed us anything, it is that the Rangers have to get pitching help. Possibly an extra starter and reliever would be ideal.

The Texas Rangers must use the trade deadline to add depth to their pitching staff if they hope to make a late run in October.

Currently, there are rumors of a number of pitchers the team has been linked to. Our own Brian Sweet recently wrote about Texas bringing in former rival Justin Verlander. Michael Sanders also added to the rumors, as he discussed the possibility of the Rangers adding David Bednar. Recently, news also broke out about the team being linked to St. Louis Cardinals closer Jordan Hicks.

Before this, Texas had been connected to pitchers Shohei Ohtani, Lance Lynn, and Lucas Giolito. However, all those dreams died when Ohtani was taken off the trade block. Lynn would later be traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Giolito would be sent to the Los Angeles Angels.

It wasn't too long ago that Texas began the season with a starting rotation of Jacob DeGrom, Nathan Eovaldi, Martin Perez, Jon Gray, and Andrew Heaney. That rotation quickly changed when DeGrom went down with a torn UCL in his elbow.

How does the Texas pitching staff stack up against the rest of the league?

Currently, the team sits in the middle in terms of team ERA. This is in part to the 431 earned runs they have allowed this season.

Eovaldi is the sole pitcher on the team to eclipse 11 wins. He also ranks second in the league in ERA. No other pitcher on the team has an ERA below 3.00.

Inconsistency seems to be the underlining issue. During the month of July, Dunning has pitched in five games with the team winning two of his starts. He is struggling right now with his command as he throws right down the middle or away from the strike zone. Gray too has won just two of his starts this month. In his past three games he has allowed four or more runs.

The problem though goes beyond the starters. Relief pitching seems to be another issue. Remember it wasn't too long ago that Jose Leclerc was set to be the team's dominant closer. However, his early struggles moved him to the middle of the pack. He has shown some progress, but still lacks in giving the team that reliability late in games. Other pitchers like Brock Burke and Cody Bradford haven't been great either in July. Combined they have allowed 24 hits and nine runs in 26 2/3rd innings.

What can Chris Young do to fix these issues?

With the trade deadline fast approaching, Texas must do everything it can to improve their rotation and their bullpen. It's possible Texas could explore pitching options in singles or pairs. Could the team target both Eduardo Rodriguez and Michael Lorenzen from the Detroit Tigers? Or how about Mitch Keller and David Bednar from the Pittsburgh Pirates? How about Blake Snell and Josh Hader from the Padres?

Either way, it's pretty clear that Texas will be as aggressive as they can to improve their bullpen.