This offseason started with a bang in the acquisitions of Shin-Soo Choo and Prince Fielder. Then a precursor of things to come started plaguing the Texas Rangers, injuries. It started with Derek Holland and his dog then continued with Matt Harrison and his bed. Recently Martin Perez has been shut down for the season after Tommy John surgery. All that being said could these injuries be a blessing in disguise?
Two names that you could hear about for years to come are Nick Martinez and Nick Tepesch. With the overload of pitching injuries in the spring Texas brought up a young right-hander who most fans had never heard of before, Nick Martinez. Martinez had never pitched above AA ball but had produced in every stop he made in the minors. So far, Martinez has not let the organization down by continuing his minor league production and showing promise that he has the ability to get big league bats out.
Martinez earned his first career win Saturday against a lineup in Detroit that boasts a team average of .278 and has 3 of the top 5 hitters in the A.L. Martinez went 6 innings and allowed 8 hits but only gave up 1 run.Martinez isn’t going to go out and wow people with 10 strikeouts but when he is on the mound fans and players alike know that he is going to give quality innings and keep a team in the game. Martinez doesn’t turn 24 until August 5th of this year which should give Texas fans hope and promise that Martinez will be productive for many years to come.
Nick Tepesch was last year’s Nick Martinez for the Texas Rangers and has come in this year and produced 2 good starts and accumulated a 1-0 record. Last year Tepesch had his ups and downs but most of all showed ability to get big league hitters out consistently and showed that he can be a solid bottom of the rotation pitcher. He was able to toss 93 innings in the majors last year and while starting 7 games in AAA this year Tepesch has been dominating hitters with a 7-1 record and an ERA of 1.58. Since being called up to Texas this season Tepesch has continued pitching well with an ERA of 3.09 in 11.2 innings pitched.
With injuries ravishing the Texas Rangers ballclub, rotation especially, there have been some bright spots to emerge. This rotation could feature 5 players next season that are all under the age of 30. With all the injuries in 2014 is this rotation in “good hands” for years to come?