What the Michael Lorenzen signing means for Rangers' rotation

Several pitchers could be impacted by Michael Lorenzen signing.


Ranger fans' hope of finding a pitcher to solidify the rotation, at least for the first half of the season, was growing bleaker and bleaker by the day. But fans were given an unexpected gift of hope that the rotation can keep the Rangers in contention late on Wednesday night. Michael Lorenzen joined the fold on a one-year, $4.5 million contract.

Lorenzen has gone somewhat under the radar this offseason after finishing last season in Philadelphia, where he notched his first career no-hitter. The right-hander has had a rather pedestrian career through eight years, though. He currently owns a 4.11 ERA, 4.32 FIP and 1.33 WHIP. Even if Lorenzen's stats don't pop off the page, he still can help keep the Rangers' rotation afloat for the first half of the season, at least until deGrom and Scherzer return in the middle of the summer.

Thankfully, the Rangers will most likely only need Lorenzen for just that, which bodes well because of the 32-year-old's track record. Currently, he has only made it through three full seasons without being injured or running out of gas.

With Lorenzen joining the team, the Rangers will most likely have to send someone down to the bullpen from their rotation -- and it's looking like it'll be between Cody Braford and Andrew Heaney. Heaney served as the Rangers fifth starter in the rotation last season and put up pretty decent numbers finishing with 4.15 ERA.

On the other hand, Bradford is looking to start the season as a starter for the first time in his young career. He has put up a pretty solid spring campaign, with a 3.94 ERA through five games. About a week ago, GM Chirs Young announced that Bradford will begin the season as the Rangers' fifth starter, and Young could have the awkward task of having to walk his worlds back and demote Bradford to the bullpen or Triple-A.

The Rangers could always move into a six-man rotation for the first half of the season, which could be beneficial, especially for how shallow the team's pitching staff currently is. A six-man rotation could reduce the chances of starters getting injured thanks to an extra day of rest. Six-man rotations have become more prevalent over the past few seasons, with the Angels electing to execute the strategy for half of last year.

Either way, Lorenzen will be joining the Rangers rotation and will hopefully contribute to the currently diminished cast of arms.