Rangers may have to turn to one of MLB’s true villains to save their 2024 rotation

No one thought this Rangers pitcher would matter at this point in 2024, but here we are.
Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics
Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

There is no denying that the Texas Rangers have a real problem with their starting rotation at the moment. Max Scherzer's rehab has been delayed due to some numbness in his fingers, Jacob deGrom isn't returning anytime soon, Cody Bradford is out for a while with a back injury, and both Nathan Eovaldi and Dane Dunning have gotten hurt just in the last week.

No team can lose THAT many pitchers and not be impacted by it, even with an offense as explosive as Texas' lineup. The hope was that Jack Leiter would be able to fill the void at least partially, but he has struggled in both of his big league starts so far.

While Eovaldi and Dunning are not expected to be out for long and Scherzer probably won't be thrown too far off course, Texas may have to hinge their short-term success on an unlikely name in Jose Ureña.

Could Jose Ureña end up exceeding the Rangers' wildest expectations in 2024?

When the Rangers signed Ureña to a minor-league deal back in January, it got little in the way of press and for good reason. He hasn't been good in years and is more known as the guy that decided to take matters into his own hands and throw at Ronald Acuña Jr. back in 2018, leading to a huge kerfuffle and a suspension for his troubles.

However, Ureña has somehow established himself as one of the Rangers' best options at the moment in their rotation while all of these guys are out. Texas found themselves in need of a spot start, and while Ureña wasn't awesome, he gave the Rangers five innings, which is more than anyone thought he could provide, and manager Bruce Bochy had high praise for him after his performance.

Will Ureña regain the form he had early in his career while also avoid getting himself in trouble? Probably not as he has looked like a shell of himself going back several years now. However, if the Rangers can get a couple decent starts from one of baseball's more hated pitchers, that may be all that they need to weather this rough patch of injuries.

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