Former Texas Rangers pitcher, Cole Ragans, wins AL pitcher of month

The Texas Rangers traded Cole Ragans to the Kansas City Royals at the end of June in order to get Aroldis Chapman and help bolster their bullpen. Two months later, Ragans is the AL pitcher of the month.
St. Louis Cardinals v Kansas City Royals
St. Louis Cardinals v Kansas City Royals / Ed Zurga/GettyImages

When the Texas Rangers traded for Aroldis Chapman at the end of June, the team was in desperate need of bullpen assistance. As we sit here at the beginning of August the bullpen is still a mess. Adding salt to the wound, is the fact that the young pitcher the Rangers had to send to Kansas City, Cole Ragans, was just named AL pitcher of the month for August.

I don't know that anyone within the Rangers organization was exactly happy with the idea of trading Ragans because it is hard to send off young talent. However, when they made the move the team was 49-32 and five games ahead in the AL West. Since that time, Texas is now 75-60 and tied with the Astros at one game behind the Mariners in the division and trying to hold off Toronto for the final wild card spot. The trade was one that the team needed to make, and yet it is one that perhaps will haunt the club at times as Ragans continues to mature as a pitcher.

Ragans started his time in the Royals organization with their Triple-A affiliate, the Omaha Storm Chasers. He made a spot start in the middle of July for the big club and did very well. Then when the calendar turned to August, Ragans found himself as a fixture in the Royals rotation and was dominate. Over the course of six starts and 36 2/3 innings pitched, he had a record of 3-1, struck out 53, walked nine, allowed one home run, recorded a 1.72 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and a .222 batting average against.

Despite giving up runs in four of his last six outings, Chapman has played a key role in adding some, key word some, depth and stability to the Rangers bullpen. I was a fan of the move when it went down, and I can't complain about it now. That is the thing about trades, some of them work out as expected, others better than expected, and some end up being downright disastrous. Trading a young pitcher for a rental reliever can be tough to do, but when it is the price to play and a team like the Rangers is in position to make a push for the division and the playoffs, it is a sacrifice that usually needs to be made.

Is Cole Ragans going to end up being a top of the rotation pitcher that left the organization for three months of Aroldis Chapman? That is yet to be determined. But one thing is for sure, he had a fantastic month of August for the lowly Royals that earned him AL pitcher of the month.