Strength In Numbers
Robbie Ross: The possibility of the 24 year old left hander starting the season as
a member of the rotation is very strong. He will reportedly be stretched out as a starter in Spring Training and will compete to earn a spot in the rotation. He was a
starter in the minor leagues and faired well there, as he had a 2.88 ERA and struck
out 7.6 per nine innings (68 starts).
2013: 62.1 IP 3.03 ERA 136 ERA+ 8.4 K/9 2.7 BB/9
Neal Cotts: REAL DEAL NEAL
2013: 57.0 IP 1.11 ERA 375 ERA+ 10.3 K/9 2.8 BB/9
Joseph Ortiz: He was apparently hit by a motorcycle in Venezuela and had surgery to repair a broken foot. He will likely miss 3 months.
2013: 44.2 IP 4.23 ERA 98 ERA+ 5.4 K/9 2.0 BB/9
Michael Kirkman: His season was cut short in 2013 because of a recurring battle
with skin cancer. His 2014 is also one that people are unsure about because he is out
of minor league options so if he does not make the team out of spring training, he
will but put on waivers and will probably not clear them.
2013: 22.0 IP 8.18 ERA 51 ERA+ 10.2 K/9 6.1 BB/9
Pedro Figueroa: The Rangers claimed the 28 year old from the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday (1/29/14)
2013(AAA): 59.1 IP 4.10 ERA 7.4 K/9 5.0 BB/9
Aaron Poreda: Texas signed the former first round pick to a minor league deal in
2013: did not pitch
2012 (AA): 16.0 IP 2.25 ERA 6.2 K/9 6.2 BB/9
Joakim Soria: He is one of three relievers that have a good chance of winning the closers role out of spring training, the other two, being Neftali Feliz and Tanner
Scheppers. Soria had Tommy John surgery in the April of 2012 and was signed by
the Rangers after that season, earning 2 year, $8 million deal.
2013: 23.2 IP 3.80 ERA 101 ERA+ 10.6 K/9 5.3 BB/9
Neftali Feliz: In 10 appearances (9.2 IP), Feliz pitched well in the Dominican
Winter League. He carried an ERA of 2.79, while striking out 11 batters. According
to reports from the Fort Worth Star Telegram, he was clocked at 98 mph during
his time pitching in the Dominican. He did make a few appearances in 2013 after
coming back from Tommy John surgery.
2013: 4.2 IP 0.00 ERA 7.7 K/9 3.9 BB/9
MILB (Rk, AAA): 10.2 IP 0.00 ERA 11.0 K/9 3.4 BB/9
Tanner Scheppers: He is expected to be stretched out as a starter in Spring
Training and compete for a rotation spot. His 2013 season came out of nowhere in
a sense, but he is a candidate for regression in 2014, considering his strikeout rates
and his 3.74 FIP.
2013: 76.2 IP 1.88 ERA 220 ERA+ 6.9 K/9 2.8 BB/9
Jason Frasor: Texas signed Frasor to a 1 year/ $1.75 million deal very early in
the offseason, which appears to be an extreme bargain. His 2013 was a pleasant
surprise for Texas, and his second half was even better, holding batters to a slash
line of .167/.270/.244.
2013: 49.0 IP 2.57 ERA 161 ERA+ 8.8 K/9 3.7 BB/9
Cory Burns: Burns was traded from San Diego to Texas for a PTBNL (Wilfredo
Boscan) in 2012. A lot of Burns’ success can be attributed to his plus circle change.
2013: 11.1 IP 3.18 ERA 134 ERA+ 4.0 K/9 5.6 BB/9
AAA: 37.2 IP 2.15 ERA 11.5 K/9 3.6 BB/9
Ben Rowen: He was 2012 Rangers minor league reliever of the year.
2013 (AA, AAA): 65.2 IP 0.69 ERA 7.9 K/9 2.3 BB/9
Shawn Tolleson: The former Allen Eagle and Baylor Bear was claimed off waivers
by the Rangers from the Los Angeles Dodgers in November. He was out for most of
2013 due to hip and back surgeries.
Career in MILB: 127.2 IP 1.34 ERA 13.0 K/9 2.2 BB/9
Wilmer Font: Power. Power. Power. Font has an electric and incredibly effective
fastball… if he can control it. If I remember correctly, he has one minor league option
2013 (AA, AAA): 52.0 IP 1.04 ERA 12.3 K/9 5.9 BB/9
Miles Mikolas: He was traded from Pittsburgh to Texas for first baseman Chris
2013 (AAA): 61 IP 3.25 ERA 5.9 K/9 2.5 BB/9
Future Bullpen Options for the Rangers:
Jimmy Reyes: A personal favorite, Reyes (age 24) has had a steady walk rate for his career at 2.0 BB/9. His dominance of left handed batters in 2013 is what really has me intrigued (LHB opp. slash line; .176/.255/.235)
2013 (AA): 67.0 IP 2.69 ERA 7.7 K/9 2.7 BB/9
Alex Claudio: He won the 2013 Rangers minor league reliever of the year award.
He is said to have the best changeup in the minor league system by the people at
Baseball America. That changeup can be seen here at 1:10 in a video from Lone Star Ball’s, Tepid Participation;
2013 (lowA/AA):78.2 IP 1.83 ERA 10.4 K/9 2.1 BB/9
Cody Ege: 2013 15th round draft pick
2013 (Rk, LoA, HiA): 30.0 IP .90 ERA 11.7 K/9 1.5 BB/9
Lisalverto Bonilla: He was traded from Philadelphia in the Michael Young trade.
Many have been intrigued by the potential of Bonilla due to his plus changeup.
2013 (AA, AAA): 73.1 IP 4.79 ERA 13.0 K/9 4.0 BB/9
Ryan Harvey: The 2012 draftee looked great in his opening season in Spokane, but
struggled a bit in the jump to Hi-A ball in Myrtle Beach. He saw his walk rate more
than double and strikeout rate drop considerably. Alas, The potential for Harvey is
still there because of his mid 90’s fastball and slider combination.
2013 (A+): 58.0 IP 3.41 ERA 8.4 K/9 5.6 BB/9
Phil Klein: The 24 year old right hander has always had a high walk rate (career –
5.2 BB/9) but we saw that number go up by more than a full batter per nine innings
in 2013. Standing 6’7, he looks like a power pitcher but his fastball sits around 91-
93 mph. Despite the speed of his fastball, his fastball/slider combination has gotten
great results through the minors
2013 (A+, AA): 67.1 IP 2.41 ERA 11.5 K/9 6.3 BB/9
Keone Kela: The 20 year old pitched in the Arizona Fall League and in the Venezuela Winter League. This workload may have led to his eventual elbow soreness, resulting in him being shut down for the rest of the winter. Despite that, the future is bright for the young right-hander. The great minds at Baseball America think that Kela’s fastball is the best in the Rangers farm system.
2013 (Rk, A-, A): 39.0 IP 3.46 ERA 12.0 K/9 3.5 BB/9
Randy Henry: Henry was traded from Baltimore to Texas for Taylor Teagarden. His success has been steady, including 2013 in Frisco, where he continued to progress (0.770 WHIP).
2013 (AA): 50.2 IP 1.07 ERA 7.1 K/9 1.2 BB/9
Sam Wolff: 2013 6th round draft pick
2013 (A-, A): 30.0 IP 0.60 ERA 13.2 K/9 2.7 BB/9
Daniel Bard: News broke on Friday that Daniel Bard had an agreement with the
Rangers. The 28 year old right-hander had thoracic outlet syndrome surgery early in January. I’m assuming that they are not looking for him to be a starter but a reliever.
2013 (Rk, A-, AA): 15.1 IP 6.46 ERA 5.3 K/9 15.8 BB/
Predictions: Just for fun, I thought I’d throw my 2014 bullpen predictions out there
2014 closer: Neftali Feliz
2014 minor league reliever of the year: Cody Ege
Lowest ERA in the Texas bullpen with 25+ innings: Ben Rowen
I expect the bullpen for the 2014 Texas Rangers to be a definite strength. I also think that the future is bright. Considering the depth that the ownership group has loaded into our farm system, I think that the minor league bullpen arms are the second biggest strength in the organization behind of course, the depth at middle infield (Sardinas, Odor, Bostick, etc.). As we’ve seen in the past (2011 World Series), bullpen depth can make or break a playoff run. Based on the current depth of the bullpen, the Rangers seem well prepared in that aspect.