Even though the Texas Rangers are still celebrating the franchise's first ever World Series title, it is time to start looking ahead at what the 2024 roster could look like. Michael Sanders wrote about what a dream lineup might look like late last week, and Jacob Stubbs will be looking at a possible dream bullpen later this week, but this piece will tackle the subject of a potential dream rotation. The premise is that while this rotation is a dream of sorts, it is also one that could actually become a reality.
The dream 2024 Texas Rangers starting rotation
If Chris Young showed us anything last season, it is his commitment to pitching and lots of it. It would be easy to slot the current pitchers on the roster into the rotation and roll with it, but that is highly unlikely what will happen. With injuries that can, and usually do, occur throughout a 162 game season to pitchers, the more quality arms that are available the better. With that in mind, Dane Dunning, Andrew Heaney, and Cody Bradford will not be in this dream rotation. That isn't to say that they will not play a huge role for the team in 2024. The reality is that they will all more than likely find themselves starting games at some point in the season.
There is also the outside chance that Jacob deGrom gets to pitch at the very end of next season. After coming back from Tommy John surgery if he is able to take the mound it will be in a limited capacity, but it would be awesome to have him out there some in September and a potential playoff run. But if deGrom does pitch next season, it might be out of the pen or as an opener of sorts. With that in mind, let's take a look at the dream (yet realistic) rotation for 2024.
When a team gets to slot Jon Gray into the fifth spot in the rotation, that means that they have some strong arms. Gray is a tough competitor, that has had to fight through some injuries over his first two seasons in Arlington. He didn't miss significant time this year but did miss some starts in both the regular season as well as the playoffs. Even with the time on the IL and missed starts, Gray still managed to start 29 games this season and pitched the third highest innings total of his career, at 157 1/3.
One of the keys to a fifth starter is having someone that is dependable and can eat innings. He isn't a top of the rotation guy, but he is a very good pitcher and gives the Rangers a chance to win every time that he toes the rubber. Gray also proved his worth in this year's playoff run as he came out of the pen on three different occasions and performed wonderfully. He is under contract for the next two seasons. The name appeal might not be that of the next guy on this list, but Jon Gray is a solid pitcher that has, and will continue to help the Rangers win games.