The Rangers enter the 2021 season with numerous goals and aspirations. Some don’t seem as likely as others, but ultimately this team looks to build into the future. When you examine the Texas roster, especially on the pitching side, only five of thirty-nine pitchers are thirty years old or older. The bottom line, the Rangers are going young and are in the midst of rebuilding. Therefore, what’s the best method for getting guys ready in the big leagues? The answer isn’t simple. It’s like what’s the best teaching method for kids. Kids learn in all different fashions. Therefore, it may be better for pitchers to get their feet wet in the big leagues as soon as possible (like 2020) or go through the minors’ traditional development process.
I will say this; the Rangers have a lot of options in their rotation. Now do any of them fit the mold of a traditional 200 inning starter? Not right now. Does the question start with how the Rangers should handle their rotation and ultimately reach the end goal of development? Well, a route to get there is providing more opportunities against big league hitters. How do they do that? How about a six-man rotation instead of the traditional five-man rotation?
What a 3 pitch sequence from Mike Foltynewicz:
– fools Marwin on an 82 mph CB for strike one
– gets Marwin out ahead on an 88 mph CH
– drops a 88 mph SL below the knees for the K pic.twitter.com/Q6a1dxwE0m
— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) August 7, 2019
If the Rangers implement a six-man rotation, it provides an extra spot for a future starter in the organization. Chris Woodward stated earlier that even using split-starts for rotation spots is an option. Now, the club may not be able to do both depending on roster capabilities, but the issue with split-starts is that if your first pitcher’s performance is shaky or dominant, it puts that day’s plans in a wrench more than if you give guys their spot. The preparation for the second pitcher is also different than a starter’s prep. It also gives guys who already have a rotation spot (Gibson and Lyles for sure) an extra day of rest. Chris Woodward could likewise utilize this six-man rotation in long stretches of consecutive games.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 30, 2020
A con that stands out is the roster weight. Can the Rangers build their season roster around a six-man rotation? What it entails is that the club will either sacrifice a bench spot or a bullpen spot. With a young rotation, the club will need at least a couple of long relievers in the bullpen. Plus, the club has a crowded outfield; therefore, could the Rangers survive with three bench players? That could be a roster evaluation Woody and the general manager, Chris Young, need to make.
Spring Training is always essential for every team, but this spring training is massive for these young pitchers. They have a chance to make a major league club out of the gate in a scenario where they wouldn’t with a team that has a more polished roster. I don’t foresee the club going in this direction, at least to start the season. However, like a man can make Ariana Grande feel like a Dangerous Woman, success in Spring Training by multiple youngsters could push the Rangers in this possible dangerous route. We’re down to a few weeks until Spring starts, remember guys, “We just got to keep Breathin’ and Breathin’.”
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