For the first time in a very long time(ever?) the Texas Rangers have a problem, a pitching problem…of a good variety. Throughout the month of June the Rangers pitching rotation started to look like a MASH unit. Neftali Feliz was the first one to go down, the Derek Holland followed and then spot starter/long reliever Alexi Ogando joined them on the disabled list. While a lot of fans started panicking and thought this would end up being a detriment to the club, some unexpected players came in and did what was asked of them.
Scott Feldman did his part when he had a chance to be put on the mound as a started, then the club decided to bring up Justin Grim from AA Frisco and he made a great start and showed why the team has been high on him this season. Then they brought up coveted prospects Tanner Scheppers and Martin Perez to help out in the bullpen, which lead to a spot start recently by Perez. Martin Perez showed the fans why he has been so highly touted in his one and only big league start on Saturday. But this now leads to some questions of who will stay up and who will go back down to the minors when everyone starts getting healthy.
Derek Holland is expected to be the first one to return from the disabled list here this week, and there are already some questions as to who will be the one to leave when he is activated. Right now it looks like Justin Grimm will return to Frisco for the time being, because he has been good, but he needs more time to develop before he can withstand a long stint. Then when Ogando and Feliz return that will leave Scheppers and Perez in the hot seat.
With the All Star Break coming up, this is when teams usually start getting very active in trade talks and the pretenders start selling off big contracts to aid in their rebuilding. So there may be some relief for Perez and Scheppers if some of the guys rumored start being shopped in trade deals. For any long time Rangers fan, this is new territory because the Rangers have always been a pitching wasteland and never worried about too many quality arms in bullpen. Now it looks like decisions will have to be made to get back the every day rotation.
But lets not forget recent signee Roy Oswalt has joined the team and had two very good starts and looks to lock down a solid 3rd or 4th spot starter heading into the toughest part of the season. Now we are also hearing rumors of the Rangers interest in Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels? What are they going to do, carry an 8 man rotation? That is doubtful and unlikely but that will also open up the chance to move some quality arms back into the bullpen.
So while the Rangers front office has to decide who will be the “Odd man(men) out” will be, this is a very good problem to have and shows how the Rangers have done things right leading up to the last few years. This is truly an exciting time to be a Rangers fan.Please be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook