Opening Day Starter

Last year at this time, we were hoping Cliff Lee would grace the mound on Opening Day 2011. He didn’t, he left to go pursue “something really special”.

C.J. Wilson was actually the opening day starter in 2011, and he heeded the role nicely, until the playoffs. But, he left to pursue “friends and stuff”.

The Yu Darvish posting winner will be known later today. He may very well be someone the Rangers roll out there on Opening Day. My co-writer, Patrick Despain, wouldn’t agree, he would prefer Darvish spend some time in AAA Round Rock, acclimating himself. So, Darvish may not be the man for the job, even if the Rangers win his bidding tomorrow.

Scott Feldman– No. “Scooter” was the Opening Day starter in 2010, but I doubt the Rangers run “Red Beard” (no one calls him this) out there just for a nostalgic factor.

Alexi Ogando– No. If the Rangers land another starter, “Ogie” (no one calls him this) seems like the man to move to the ‘pen. He has a violent delivery that may not hold up, over 200 innings as a starter. The Rangers could protect him and increase his effectiveness by keeping him in the bullpen.

On the other hand, Ogando (everyone calls him this) was the Rangers best pitcher of the first half last season, and did go to the All-Star Game.

Neftali Feliz– No. The Rangers just moved “Felix” (everyone calls him this) to the rotation, it’s a good bet he won’t be the 2012 Opening Day starter. “Happy” (no one calls him this) could be the 2013 Opening Day starter, though.

Matt Harrison– “Dirty Harry” (no one else calls him this) is a good number two or three starter. He is still a little green, having eclipsed 100 innings pitched for the first time in his career, last season. It wouldn’t be wise to pit “Matty” (no one calls him this either) against other team’s best pitcher, just yet.

Derek Holland– There is certainly a case to be made for the “Dutch Oven” (everyone calls him this). He can be electric and downright exciting at times, but as well as know- consistency is the only thing holding back Mr. Oven (no one calls him this).

The Rangers have to start someone, that glorious day, and barring them signing, say Roy Oswalt, or trading for Matt Garza, or letting Greg Maddux don a uniform. It should, and will be, the free-agent to be – Colby Lewis.

“The Big Carp” (no one calls him this) regressed a tad during his stellar return to the Americas, in 2010. Lewis pitched through a nagging hip problem. His inability to plant his leg caused him to leave the ball up in the zone, thus leading to the spike in HR balls, so says, my co-writer Mike McGehee.

The combination of health and Colby’s only chance at a huge payday in his career, gives me reason to believe Colby (everyone calls him this) could take his game to another level- ”The Contract-Year Level”.

I am NOT saying Colby is a greedy jerk, who will leave us after having an awesome 2012 season. I AM saying that he will be a highly motivated baseball player, who will leave us after having an awesome 2012 season, for “something special”.

Dan Allsup

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