The Rangers will have two new faces in the starting rotation in 2012 as they spent a lot of cash to bring 25-year old righty Yu Darvish from Japan and they will be changing 23-year old former closer Neftali Feliz’ role with the team. The Rangers are going to be shifting Alexi Ogando and Scott Feldman to the bullpen in 2012, as the Rangers have quality depth. Here is a look at the Rangers’ rotation for 2012 as of right now:
#1: Colby Lewis: 32-year old righty Colby Lewis learned how to pitch in Japan and he has been great in his second go around with the Rangers. Lewis pitched in 32 games (all starts) for the Rangers last year and he was 14-10 with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. He has now pitched in 108 games (97 starts) in his first five years with the Rangers and he is 38-36 with a 4.90 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. Lewis has now pitched in 136 games (98 starts) in his first seven years in the show and he is 38-38 with a 4.99 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. The Rangers are expecting another good year out of Lewis in 2012.
#2: Derek Holland: 25-year old lefty Derek Holland really started to learn how to pitch in 2011. He pitched in 32 games (all starts) for the Rangers last year and he was 16-5 with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Holland threw four complete game shutouts last night as he was just plain nasty at times. He has now pitched in 79 games (63 starts) in his first three years with the Rangers and he is 27-22 with a 4.73 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. I look for Holland to take the next step in 2012 and pitch like an All-Star.
#3: Yu Darvish: The Rangers spent a ton of loot to pry 25-year old righty Yu Darvish from his team in Japan. Darvish pitched in 28 games (all starts) in Japan last year and he was 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP. He has now pitched in 128 games (126 starts) in his five years in Japan and he was 76-28 with a 1.72 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. Darvish only gave up 691 hits while whiffing 1,083 batters in 1024 1/3 innings last year, showing just how nasty he can be. He also showed pinpoint contol as he only walked 221 batters in Japan. Darvish also likes to finish what he starts as he had 50 complete games (15 shutouts) in his career in Japan. Darvish is not the typical soft tosser from Japan as he is a big time power pitcher. It will be interesting to see how he will deal with the better hitters of the U.S.
#4: Neftali Feliz: 23-year old righty Neftali Feliz will turn in his successful role as the closer for the Rangers for a spot in the 2012 starting rotation. Feliz pitched in 64 games (0 starts) for the Rangers last year and he was 2-3 with 32 saves, a 2.74 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. He has now pitched in 154 games (0 starts) in his first three years with the Rangers and he is 7-6 with 74 saves, a 2.55 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP. It will be interesting to see how Feliz adjusts to his new role, but he has enough outstanding pitches to handle the job.
#5: Matt Harrison: 26-year old lefty Matt Harrison really turned the corner last year for the Rangers as he was outstanding. Harrison pitched in 31 games (30 starts) for the Rangers last year and he was 14-9 with a 3.39 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. He has now pitched in 94 games (62 starts) in his first four years in the majors and he is 30-19 with a 4.49 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Look for Harrison to continue to improve in 2012.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE STARTING ROTATION IN 2012: A-