Texas Rangers to Face Pitching Dilemma Soon

By now everyone is well aware of the changes that the Texas Rangers have made to the pitching staff in lieu of injuries to Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland and now Alexi Ogando. Neftali’s injury forced Scott Feldman into the starting rotation and saw Yoshinori Tateyama called up. Derek Holland’s injury put Ogando into the rotation and saw Tanner Scheppers get called up and make his big league debut. And now Ogando appears headed to the disabled list which means Michael Kirkman will likely be called up with Robbie Ross taking Ogando’s (actually Holland’s) spot in the rotation. 


Confused? You will be soon. Roy Oswalt will be ready soon and he will take Feldman’s spot pushing Scooter back into the bullpen and sending Kirkman back down. When Neftali Feliz returns he will go straight to the bullpen sending either Scheppers or Tateyama down. Then when Holland gets back he will assume his spot in the rotation putting Ross back in the pen and sending Tanner or Yoshi (whoever is left) back down. But it’s not over then. You have to consider what happens once Ogando returns. Texas will have Colby Lewis, Yu Darvish, Roy Oswalt, Matt Harrison and Derek Holland in the rotation leaving Scott Feldman, Alexi Ogando, Mark Lowe, Robbie Ross, Neftali Feliz, Koji Uehara, Mike Adams and Joe Nathan in the bullpen. Sounds like an impressive bullpen doesn’t it? There’s just one problem. That’s eight men in the bullpen. Ron Washington only carries seven which means there is an odd man out. 

Nobody deserves to be sent down so the one thing that makes sense to me is to trade Scott Feldman for a right-handed outfielder. I would even package Feldman, Brandon Snyder and a low level prospect (plus cash to help ease the sting of Feldman’s salary) if it meant that we could get a legitimate bat who could platoon with David Murphy in left field. I can’t tell you how many times I have been defeated seeing Brandon Snyder at the plate this season. Sure, he has three home runs but he also has a 5:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

And to get back to pitching, I still have noticed several people discussing Texas trading for another starter. Why? Let’s say we trade for Matt Garza. Whose spot does he take in the rotation? What key part of the bullpen do we send down? Right now it makes absolutely no sense unless something else happens where we lose one of our starters for a significant amount of time. But for now it would just create an even bigger log jam. The only scenario I could imagine would involve trading Feldman and another reliever for Garza and moving Holland back into the bullpen but it still doesn’t make sense and I’m not too sure how Holland would respond to the move.

Yes, the Rangers are about to face several dilemmas regarding their pitching. It’s something I never thought I’d see. And I plan to enjoy it for as long as it lasts. 
James Holland is a Senior Columnist for ShutDownInning. He can be reached at James.Holland@shutdowninning.com or@SDIJamesHolland on Twitter.
James Holland

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