Texas Rangers Mailbag: We Don’t Need Pitching!



May 9, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder prior to an a bat against the Boston Red Sox at Global Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week Texas Rangers’ GM Jon Daniels spoke about the season, the offseason, and the team’s priorities. We reported on Wednesday that Jon Daniels believes starting pitching to be the top priority of the Rangers this offseason.

Said Daniels,

“I think first and foremost, we’ve got to be able to address our pitching staff. Really, I mean innings in the rotation, quality innings…Outside of Darvish and Holland, I think we have three spots that are up in the air.”

The aftermath of this decree brought a couple angry emails concerning what the Rangers should really be focused on in free agency.

"The Rangers need to focus on offense. They were the second worst club in HRs last season and getting Prince Fielder back isn’t going to make everything better (offensively). The Rangers have been investing in pitching every year and the offense has gotten (worse) every year. We saw some good young arms toward the end of the year and with Darvish, Holland, Harrison, and Lewis all finally back, we will be fine."

– Sport DFW reader, Juan G

Thanks Juan. The offense was bad last year and the Rangers sure didn’t look like themselves in their “hitters ballpark”. I think the Rangers should add a powerful bat this offseason, but I don’t think the situation is as dire as pitching.

Let’s look at the rotation…

Darvish is a lock and Holland seems to be back better than ever. Colby Lewis is unsigned so the Rangers need to lock him down before we start counting him in the rotation. Even when/if they do, Lewis is best suited as a #5 guy (#4 at best) in a rotation.

Matt Harrison is not a factor at this point. His injuries are bad enough he may never get back (although I said the same about Colby Lewis so what do I know). The best way to handle Harrison is to prepare for the worst. If he comes back someday, then it’s your lucky day. If he never comes back, then you’re prepared.

Aug 15, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Nick Martinez (22) throws during the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Tepesch, Martinez, and Bonilla looked like they have a future, but as Daniels said, it’s better to have them fight for 1 spot in spring training, than be given a spot each. It’s possible all of them step up and become real starting pitchers in this league but it’s also possible they all flame out.

The Rangers have to place the priority on finding at least one proven starting pitcher his offseason. If they can get more, then even better! But if only one is found, he must be capable of being the #2 or, at worst, #3 pitcher in the rotation.

Bargains can be found at DH to address the offense. It would be nice to find a power-hitting solution in the outfield but that will be costly and probably have to wait a year.

The best way for the Rangers to compete in 2015 is to find a #2 pitcher, get Fielder and Choo back, develop Odor at 2nd, and find a veteran DH with a little power.

Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? Email SportDFW at permaximum@hotmail.com and you may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Don’t forget to include your first name.

Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth sports fan interested in writing about your favorite team(s). Apply online in minutes at: http://fansided.com/join-fansided/ Be sure to mention SportDFW as your target site!