The Texas Rangers had everyone's attention this offseason when they signed Jacob deGrom, instantly making them contenders, not for the World Series, but for the "elite rotation" title everyone so dearly covets.
Now, of course, just that move doesn't put them in that company, but it definitely helps. deGrom, when healthy, has been the best pitcher in baseball several times. Usually, it's him, Gerrit Cole, and Max Scherzer. Now the Rangers have one of those guys on their squad, along with some other really great pitchers.
This staff can be elite, we just have to see them be consistent. On Thursday night in the Rangers' Spring Training, they showed exactly that against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Rangers' Jon Gray pitched a beauty
Jon Gray got the start for the Rangers, and he didn't disappoint. He showed that he can be a vital part of an elite and deep rotation if he can keep things consistent.
Gray is going into his ninth season and his second one with the Rangers after spending his entire career with the Rockies before. In Colorado, he was never viewed as a guy that could be a part of a great pitching staff, but then again, it is the Rockies.
Last season, his first in Texas, was his third best ERA he has ever had at 3.96. Hopefully, we can see that get lower in 2023. Based on what he did Thursday night, there is a big possibility he can string together some good ball.
Against the Dodgers, he went four innings, allowed just two hits, had zero errors, no earned runs, and finished his night off with four strikeouts. Sure, he didn't pitch for as long as a starter normally would who is having the game he was, but at the same time, it is spring training.
As we said earlier, hope we can see more great performances like this from the guys we expect to see on the 40-man roster.