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Texas Rangers MLB News - Rangers Baseball Blog » The Texas Rangers have high hopes for the starting rotation in 2011

The Texas Rangers have high hopes for the starting rotation in 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 15 March 2011 at 3:37 pm

The Rangers are hoping that the starting rotation gives them just as many good innings as they did in 2011. It all starts with 30-year old lefty C.J. Wilson who has already been named the opening day starter. He started 33 games for the Rangers last season and he was 15-8 with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Wilson did have issues with his control last season as he walked 93 batters in 204 innings but he also whiffed 170 batters which got him out of some trouble. Wilson has now pitched in 291 games (39 starts) in his first six years with the Rangers and he is 27-28 with 52 saves, a 3.90 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. The Rangers hope that Wilson can give them 200+ innings once again in 2011, as he was a relief pitcher until last year.

It appears as if 22-year old righty Neftali Feliz will be moving from the pen to the starting rotation in 2011. Feliz pitched in 70 games (0 starts) for the Rangers last season and he was 4-3 with 40 saves, a 2.73 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP as he won the A.L. Rookie of the Year Award. He has now pitched in 90 games (0 starts) in parts of two years with the Rangers and he is 5-3 with 42 saves, a 2.42 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP. He only gave up 56 hits in 100 1/3 innings so far for the Rangers and he has 110 whiffs and only 26 walks. His contol and stuff will play well in the starting rotation for the Rangers.

31-year old Colby Lewis will also be back in the rotation for the Rangers. He appears to have learned how to pitch in Japan because he was solid for the Rangers last year. Lewis started 32 games for the Rangers last season and he was 12-13 with a 3.72 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. He has now pitched in 76 games (65 starts) in his first four years with the Rangers and he is 24-26 with a 5.17 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. The Rangers need Lewis to repeat the success he had in 2010 this season.

24-year old righty Tommy Hunter will likely be the Rangers’ #4 starter when the 2011 season begins. Hunter pitched in 23 games (22 starts) for the Rangers last season and he was 13-4 with a 3.73 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. He has now pitched in 45 games (44 starts) in his first three years with the Rangers and he is 22-12 with a 4.45 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. The Rangers hope that 2010 was a glimpse into the future for Hunter.

31-year old righty David Bush will compete for the #5 job this spring. He pitched in 32 games (31 starts) for the Brewers last season and he was 8-13 with a 4.54 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP. He has now pitched in 193 games (184 starts) in his first 7 years in the majors and he is 56-68 with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. Bush is a solid pitcher, so he could help the Rangers at the back end of the rotation.

31-year old righty Brandon Webb is likely going to start the season on the D.L. He missed all of last season due to injury. Webb only started 1 game in 2009 with the D-Backs and he was 0-0 with a 13.50 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP. Webb has pitched in 199 games (198 starts) in his first 8 years in the majors and he is 87-62 with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. He was the National League’s Cy Young Award winner back in 2006 with the D-Backs.

24-year old lefty Derek Holland has a great throwing arm and I think he’s going to put it all together at some point in the very near future. Holland pitched in 14 games (10 starts) for the Rangers last season and he was 3-4 with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. He has now pitched in 47 games (31 starts) in his first two years with the Rangers and he is 11-17 with a 5.52 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. I wouldn’t be surprised if Holland wins the #5 job in the starting rotation this spring.

25-year old lefty Matt Harrison also has really solid stuff. He pitched in 37 games (6 starts) for the Rangers last season and he was 3-2 with 2 saves, a 4.71 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. He has now pitched in 63 games (32 starts) in his first three years with the Rangers and he is 16-10 with 2 saves, a 5.39 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP. Harrison will likely find a spot in the bullpen if he doesn’t win a job in the rotation for the Rangers in 2011.

28-year old righty Scott Feldman will likely start the season late this year. He pitched in 29 games (22 starts) for the Rangers last season and he was 7-11 with a 5.48 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP. Feldman has now pitched in 164 games (78 starts) in his first six years with the Rangers and he is 31-32 with a 4.80 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Feldman might wind up being the long man in the pen if he can’t win a job in the starting rotation.

37-year old righty Brett Tomko signed a minor league deal with the Rangers a couple of weeks ago. He pitched in 14 games (all starts) in Rookie+A+AAA-ball last season and he was 2-3 with a 7.18 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP. Tomko last pitched in the majors in 2009 with the A’s & Yankees. Tomko has now pitched in 389 games (266 starts) in his first 13 years in the majors and he is 100-102 with 2 saves, a 4.65 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. He will likely start this year in the minors and have to work his way up to the majors.

30-year old righty Seth McClung did not pitch at all last season. He last pitched in the majors in 2009 with the Brewers. McClung has pitched in 177 games (51 starts) in his first six years in the majors and he is 26-34 with 6 saves, a 5.46 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. He has a good arm but has never really learned how to pitch in the majors.

27-year old lefty Zach Jackson is a longshot to pitch for the Rangers in 2011. He pitched in 35 games (5 starts) in AAA-ball last season and he was 2-3 with a 5.64 ERA and a 1.83 WHIP. Jackson last pitched in the majors back in 2009 with the Indians. He has pitched in 22 games (17 starts) in parts of three years in the majors and he is 4-5 with a 5.81 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE RANGERS STARTING ROTATION IN 2011: B

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