Rangers All-star pitchers

**ORIGINAL POST DATE 6/30/12**

Here we are 78 games into the season. Almost halfway through 2012 baseball. Kansas City will host the All-Star Game soon, and it seems the roster will be stacked with Rangers. Since the Rangers still own the best record in baseball, why shouldn’t it be? Ron Washington gets the opportunity to manage the American League team for the second straight time, which means he picks the pitchers who go with him. Every team has to be represented, but there are at least five Rangers pitchers who could join him. 
The five who I would pick are Matt Harrison, Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis, Robbie Ross, and Joe Nathan.

Out of the three starters, the one who could get the starting nod (but most likely won’t) is Matt Harrison. Before Friday’s game against the A’s, Matt Harrison had gone 10-3 in 15 games, and has the lowest ERA among active Rangers starters (10th in the American League with a 3.24). Friday’s game was his 11th win, giving him the best record in the American League. He has been nothing short of impressive in June with a 1.06 ERA during that month. In 97 innings pitched, he has only allowed 35 runs. His 24 walks allowed suggests he is not giving up any free base runners. Harrison controls his pitches and keeps the Rangers in games allowing the wins to come.

Colby Lewis has been as consistent as they come. His numbers may not stand out to everyone as phenomenal, and his record is only 6-6 for the year, but he has been solid almost every outing. What’s great about Colby is his ability to throw strikes consistently. He’s only allowed 12 walks in 100 innings pitched. Yu Darvish, on the other hand, has a high walk count at 50 in 95.2 innings, but he has an uncanny ability to strikeout batters. Darvish has recorded 106 strikeouts this season, which holds the 4th highest record in the American League. Darvish has also won 10 games in a 15 game span. All together these three starters have kept the Rangers alive when the bats have slumped.

As far as relievers go, it doesn’t get much better than Robbie Ross and Joe Nathan. I am partial to Rookies who perform better than expected. Some say there’s added pressure and nerves for a Rookie, and being able to overcome the excitement and hype with the ability to focus on the task at hand is commendable. Robbie Ross is a fresh 23 years old in his first year in the bigs. He has pitched 41 innings so far and held a 1.09 ERA, recording 6 wins, and an incredible 0.976 WHIP. Even more incredible is Joe Nathan. Nathan had a rocky start with a blown save and a loss in his first two appearances, but since those games he’s been dominant and has recorded 18 saves. The most impressive stat from Nathan is his strikeout to walk ratio which is a 13.67. Nathan records outs, and records them fast. In a season where closers have melted down or gotten hurt at a rapid rate, Joe Nathan has held steady.

Not all of these pitchers will get chosen for the All-Star Game, but there’s a case for each. The Rangers are 20 games over .500, and it’s not only because of the killer offense. These pitchers have stayed consistent and performed well over the season. Ron Washington gets to take his boys with him to the game, and if I had any say in the matter, all five of these would go. Unfortunately, I have no say. However, if I had money, I’d bet that at least Matt Harrison, Robbie Ross, and Joe Nathan will be in Kansas City on July 10th. They have certainly proven their worth.  

Emily Cates is a Staff Writer for ShutDownInning. She can be reached via email at Emily.Cates@ShutDownInning.com or on Twitter @EmLikesBaseball
Emily Cates

Leave a Reply