Max Scherzer's return gives hope that Rangers could turn corner in unexpected manner

Kansas City Royals v Texas Rangers
Kansas City Royals v Texas Rangers / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

On heels of a Max Scherzer masterpiece, during which he retired 15 of the 16 batters he faced, the Texas Rangers completed the three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals. This is the first sweep for the Rangers this season, excluding a two-game series vs the Diamondbacks.

Texas is now riding a four-game winning streak (their longest of the year) heading into Milwaukee this week to play the Brewers.

Scherzer looked like himself in his return to the mound. He threw five innings of one-hit ball and was then piggy-backed by the likes of Jose Ureña, who matched Scherzer's one-hit performance. Scherzer pitching like this should give hope to every Rangers fan out there, but not for the reason you would think.

Texas currently ranks 10th in starting pitching ERA — stat that is almost unbelievable if you consider that they've been without Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, Tyler Mahle, and Cody Bradford for most of the season. Despite the great over-performance of the rotation, they still only rank 17th in total ERA. This is because the bullpen has pitched to the tune of a 4.56 ERA.

It is no secret that the past two seasons the Rangers bullpen has been near the bottom of the barrel. Currently, the Rangers rank 26th in bullpen ERA just a year removed from ranking 24th and converting less than half of their save opportunities. It has been a rough go at it for the Rangers' bullpen for almost two full seasons now. There is a saving grace, however.

The Rangers have quite possibly one of the deepest starting pitching staffs in the league. With fully healthy the Rangers have 10 legitimate options in the rotation including Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, Nathan Eovaldi, Jon Gray, Tyler Mahle, Andrew Heaney, Dane Dunning, Jose Ureña, Michael Lorenzen, and Cody Bradford. So what happens when they do inevitably get healthier?

Well, all this means is that they will have to move more of these trusted options into the bullpen. We already saw this begin to take place as Dunning was sent to the bullpen to coincide with Scherzer coming back. With more Rangers set to come off the shelf soon, look out for names like Lorenzen and Heaney to go help hold down the fort in multi-inning relief appearances during important games.

A bullpen already consisting of a least a few good arms such as David Robertson, Kirby Yates, Jose Leclerc and Josh Sborz could now become one of the best in baseball with the addition of some of these starters.