Texas Rangers Staff – A Preseason Pitching Analysis: State Of The Union
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By Brooke Robinson (Rangers Correspondent): Follow @bka_9
Though baseball season begins in Texas just hours away, there were many questions left for the team to answer throughout Spring Training. Who will become the fifth starter? Who will recover from surgery this season? And who will revive the Bullpen?
In the past month of training in Surprise, Arizona, some of the answers of these questions have come to light. The Rangers were plagued with injury in the latter part of the 2012 season, particularly with their pitching.
So it was no surprise that the front office brought in and up some new faces to test out this spring. Pitchers that will still be recovering at the beginning of the season include: RHP Colby Lewis, RHP Neftali Feliz, RHP Joakim Soria, and LHP Martin Perez.
Neftali Feliz hits 100 MPH!
Although this list seems dismantling, the good news is that most of these pitchers are ahead of schedule for recovery. Both Feliz and Lewis are scheduled to throw live BP sessions at the beginning of April. Perez has been cleared to begin throwing program as early as the first week of April.
This makes the current rotation look like: LHP Matt Harrison, RHP Yu Darvish, LHP Derek Holland, RHP Alexi Ogando, and RHP Nick Tepesch. Fifth starter Tepesch will be on the AAA Round Rock roster, and be called up for spot starts until either Perez returns, or until Lewis is fully recovered.
Tepesch posted a 3.67 ERA in 49 games started in the 2012 season, and has not pitched above the AA level.
The bullpen in Arlington seems to be the most interesting change this season. There were many pitchers who went into Free Agency and were not re-signed by the team including Koji Uehara, Mike Adams, and Mark Lowe. So the organization brought in a few new pitchers during the winter – and brought up a few from the farm system to try out this spring.
RHP Joakim Soria is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, but will add a lot to the pen with current closer Joe Nathan. The two-time All Star pitcher posted a 4.03 ERA in the 2011 season along with 28 Saves before his surgery in 2012.
The Rangers have 2 of the top 6 Closers on the Active Save Leaders List
|1.||Mariano Rivera (18, 43)||608||R|
|2.||Joe Nathan (12, 38)||298||R|
|3.||Jonathan Papelbon (8, 32)||257||R|
|4.||Huston Street (8, 29)||201||R|
|5.||J.J. Putz (10, 36)||183||R|
|6.||Joakim Soria (5, 29)||160||R|
A few new faces will be seen in the bullpen this season, including LHP Joe Ortiz, RHP Josh Lindblom, RHP Jason Frasor, RHP Derek Lowe, and RHP Cory Burns.
Lindblom was acquired in the Michael Young trade with Philadelphia during the winter, and adds more depth to the Bullpen. The Right-Hander posted a 2.13 ERA in 2011 with Chattanooga, along with 17 Saves.
Lowe competed for a Starting spot this spring, but officially made the team in the Bullpen. Lowe has a career 4.00 ERA and 86 Saves. He could also see some time in the Starting Rotation if injuries occur.
With the help of the Maddux brothers this spring, the mound in Arlington this year has the potential to be one of the best that the organization has had since the days of Nolan Ryan.
From the veterans to the rookies, there is plenty of depth and potential to regain control from where the 2012 season left off at. So Ranger fans: do not fear the new faces on the mound this season and instead, welcome them with open arms.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***
A big thank-you goes out to our ‘Rangers Correspondent’ Brooke Robinson for preparing today’s featured article. Brooke is a junior Sport Management major at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. She is a native of Fort Worth, Texas. Spending time at the Texas Rangers spring training facility in Arizona and seeing all of the prospects are what she loves most about baseball. Feel free to follow Brooke on twitter and talk the game of baseball with her. Follow @bka_9
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Posted on March 30, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 25 Man Roster texas rangers, @bka_9 on twitter, aaa round rock, AL Cy Young Voting, AL West, Alexi Ogando, American league, American League All - star, brooke robinson, Cory Burns., Derek Holland, derek lowe, Greg Maddux, j.j. putz, Jason Frasor, joakim soria, joe nathan, Joe Ortiz, jonathan papelbon, josh lindblom, koji uehara, mariano rivera, mark lowe, Matt Harrison, micheal young, mike adams, Mike Maddux, Nick Tepesch., nolan ryan, opening day texas, philadelphia phillies, Spring Training Texas Rangers, suprise, texas, texas rangers, Texas rangers bullpen, Texas rangers starting rotation, the ballpark in arlington, tommy john, yu darvish. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Texas Rangers Staff – A Preseason Pitching Analysis: State Of The Union.
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