This offseason the Texas Ranger’s fan base has been rejuvenated by some very big names. Shin-Soo Choo and Prince Fielder are a couple of the biggest of the big names, but are they the most impactful? Perhaps the most impactful name is a name you may have never even heard before, Wrigley. Who’s Wrigley? Why it’s Derek Holland‘s dog of course!
On an early January morning, the Rangers rotation took a big blow when Wrigley caused Holland to fall and injure his knee. The injury was bad enough that Holland had to have surgery within a couple days. The thought is that he will be out until the all-star game if not longer. Before this happened, Rangers fans were enthusiastic and anxious for the season to start. But now question marks surround the top of the rotation.
The offseason started with the club making big moves. They added Choo and Fielder, that bolstered a lineup that didn’t live up to expectations last year. The rotation looked like a strength too. Following the emergence of Martin Perez last season and the return of Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis it was hard not to be excited.
Derek Holland was the sure fire number 2 behind Yu Darvish. With Tanaka off the market the Rangers still have plenty of options left. The only question is, do they go after one of the remaining veterans left in free agency or promote in house. Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana, and Bronson Arroyo are some of the veteran pitchers available.
Robbie Ross and Tanner Scheppers are possibilities along with Nick Tepesch to be giving an opportunity to start. Tepesch was named a starter out of spring training last year and showed signs that he could be a good number 4 or 5 in rotation. The only thing is, does he have it mentally? With a pitcher, confidence is a huge part of being successful.
Note: The free agent pitcher I think would be a good fit is Bronson Arroyo. He has a history of staying healthy and eating innings. He has averaged 210 innings a season for the last 8 years.
The big concern with the Rangers rotation is health. Last year Colby Lewis missed the entire year. Matt Harrison was opening day starter but after just 2 starts, he missed the rest of the season with 2 back surgeries. Unlike last year though, this lineup has potential to be lethal. For the first time in years they finally have a true leadoff hitter in Choo. If he can repeat his .400 obp from last year that will give Fielder and Beltre plenty of opportunities to knock in runs. This has been a very busy offseason for the Rangers. They still have a couple big decisions to make with only 3 weeks left until pitchers and catchers report to spring training. Lets just hope that Wrigley doesn’t try to and put his name in the headlines again!