Texas Rangers: Struggling, Prove Importance of Pitching

The Texas Rangers need to quit horsing around and address their pitching woes. Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs

By Wiley Singleton

The Texas Rangers struggled in their games against their division rivals. They cannot get a starting pitcher to go past the 6th inning. The bullpen is being asked to do too much. The hitters have underperformed with the exception of Nathaniel Lowe. Matt Bush, Brett Martin, and John King are the best options out of the pen. They have been solid. Jonathan Hernandez and Jose Leclerc wait in the wings recovering from Tommy John Surgery. They will be flamethrowers in the late innings come July. Josh Sborz, another hard throwing bullpen arm, suffered an arm injury and was placed on the IL.

None of the batters except for Lowe are living up to their ability. Guys like Mitch Garver, Marcus Semien, and Adolis Garcia are underperforming but will eventually start to hit. The real issue is Dane “Stunning” Dunning and Taylor Hearn. Both young arms were expected to throw 180 mediocre innings each. Dunning looks underwhelming and has no strikeout pitch. Hearn has control issues and gives up a plethora of hits. Jon Gray, the “Ace” of the staff has been hurt twice already this season. He had a blister that sent him to the IL after one start. Now he has a minor knee issue. Gray will probably pitch under 150 innings this season. Martin Perez had an electric start against an awful Oakland team in the only series the Rangers have won all season. But he is still “The Perennially Disappointing” Martin Perez. Young pitching prospect and 5th starter Glenn Otto turned in a great performance against the A’s. He is a player to watch this season. If the Rangers succeed Glen Otto panning out will probably be a part of it. 

The Rangers lost 3 of 4 to the Angels. Then they lost 2 of 3 to the Mariners. Only then did they take a series off of the Oakland Pathetics. After the aforementioned pitching performances of Otto and Perez the Rangers dropped the final game of the series. They were shutout and looked mentally checked out. 

The bullpen got smashed pretty badly in all the series before Oakland. The Rangers will be prone to blowing big leads and having to retake them. This will make use of the roof at the stadium essential. 

The Rangers were dead last in ERA for the entire season until the series against the A’s. The A’s lineup is composed of nobodies after all their good players were offloaded in the offseason. Oakland is a joke team that should lose over 100 games. The Rangers getting shutout in the potential sweep game was disgraceful. Sweeps like that can be parlayed into momentum during a long season. That is a big part of how bad runs are broken; sweeps igniting a rhythm and confidence in a team. The Rangers pitchers were blistered the entire season until the Oakland series. Oakland’s offense is uniquely awful and the Rangers pitchers face an actual test with the two pennant winners coming to Arlington.

The Houston Astros will make an appearance and then will be followed by rare interleague opponent Atlanta. The Braves are deep and well-rounded, just like Houston. If the Rangers can escape with a 4-3 record it will be a successful week. 

Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
4/25 – vs Houston – 7:05 p.m.
4/26 – vs Houston – 7:05 p.m.
4/27 – vs Houston – 7:05 p.m.
4/28 – vs Houston – 1:05 p.m.
4/29 – vs Atlanta – 7:05 p.m.
4/30 – vs Atlanta – 6:05 p.m.
5/1 – vs Atlanta – 1:35 p.m.