Texas Rangers set 2023 rotation - including Opening Day starter
By West Jones
On Friday the Texas Rangers annouced the starting rotation for the begining of the 2023 season. It was a forgone conclusion, who the five starters would be, but it was still up in the air as to the exact order that the organization would send them out.
Jacob deGrom will get the start for the Texas Rangers on Opening Day
The highly anticipated information on who would take the mound on Opening Day was the biggest news by far. It might seem like it was an obvious decision to give the new ace,Jacob deGrom, the ball on Thursday when the Rangers open the 2023 season at home against the Philidelphia Phillies, but there was a little more to it.
First off, Martin Perez pitched so well last season for the Rangers that many, and rightly so, felt like the veteran lefty had earned the honor of pitching Opening Day. Perez anchored a rotation that was young and inexperienced last year. He recorded a 12W - 8L record, pitched 196.1 innings while starting 32 times, struck out 169, racked up 3.8 fWAR and finished the season with an ERA of 2.89. Minus a Jacob deGrom caliber signing, Perez would have been a lock for the first start of 2023.
The other factor with the decision to go with deGrom on Thursday, is that the Rangers have an off day on Friday. deGrom was late getting his spring training work going due to tightness in his left side early on. He is now back on track, but will more than likely be limited to five innings for Opening Day. With the off day on Fri, Bruce Bochy will have full access to his bullpen.
The order that the Rangers will deploy their revamped starting rotation will be 1. Jacob deGrom RHP 2. Nathan Eovaldi RHP 3. Martin Perez LHP 4. Jon Gray RHP 5. Andrew Heaney LHP. Time will tell if this group can stay healthy and execute this year, but on paper this is probably the deepest rotation that the club has ever started a season with.
Everyone knows who and what deGrom is. When he pitches, he is the best in the business. Nathan Eovaldi, the Alvin, TX native has been nearly unhittable this spring and appears ready to have another solid season as he returns to his home state of Texas. The Rangers have had great success with right-handed starters out of Alvin, as the namesake of this website would indicate! As previously discussed, Perez was lights out last year, and hopefully will carry that momentum into this campaign as well.
Jon Gray could have easily slotted in as the No.2 starter. When healthy last year, he was dominate and a force on the mound. Having him slotted as a fourth starter is quite remarkable. Andrew Heaney is a fascinating pitcher. Despite electric stuff, the lefty out of Oklahoma, has struggled at times in his career. Last year was not one of those years. In his one season with the Dodgers, Heaney pitched great, again, while healthy. The Rangers signed him to a one-year contract and are hoping that he can not only stay healthy but can produce much closer to last year's results than his previous career numbers.
Every MLB team goes into a season hoping that they will only need their five main starters but knowing that reality is, they will use many more. Sometimes it is for an extended time period and sometimes it is for a spot start or two. The Rangers are positioned to have both quality and quantity of arms to fill in when needed. Dane Dunning, Cole Ragans, Glenn Otto, Jake Odorizzi, along with prospects Cole Winn, Owen White, Jack Leiter, and Kumar Rocker are all quality arms that could see action in Arlington if their services are needed.
The Texas Rangers have their arms lined up to start the season. There is an excitement around this group and the team as a whole, that has been missing for quite some time. The 2023 season starts on Thursday and Jacob deGrom will throw the first pitch for the Rangers. Let that sink in Ranger's fans!