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Predicting the Rangers 2022 Opening Day Roster: Pitchers

Photo: Kamp Fender/Iconsportswire

Predicting the Rangers 2022 Opening Day Roster: Pitchers

Last week, I looked at the Rangers roster and made position player projections for Opening Day on March 31 against the Yankees. Now it’s on to the pitcher projections. The Rangers have some excellent pitching depth in the minor leagues that are on the way in the next few years. With that said, I don’t foresee Texas making many big pitching splashes.

Rotation (in order): Taylor Hearn (OD), Clayton Kershaw, Dane Dunning, Jon Gray, Spencer Howard/John King

With Taylor Hearn’s season in 2021, I have Taylor starting Opening Day against the Yankees. Sure, having Clayton Kershaw would be the sexy pick, but I think team seniority overrides MLB service seniority. I do suspect Clayton signs with the Rangers based on where the franchise is at the moment, plus Clayton has his family in town. I think Kershaw would be the perfect option for the Rangers as a veteran presence (not a bad arm on the mound either). That said, I think Kershaw may hang it up after a few years with Texas being his last stop. The Dodgers didn’t appear to be in much on Corey Seager. While Kershaw’s tenure with Los Angeles was more storybook, the Dodgers made a point of where they want to be as a franchise and not filling their rotation with an older pitcher who may be at the tail end of their career (I hope Clayton proves me wrong).

Dane Dunning makes sense for another spot, and of course, newly signed Jon Gray gets a nod. I’m excited to see what Dunning is capable of without any innings limits and what effectiveness he can bring to the Rangers rotation. It’ll be intriguing to see what Jon Gray can do without having to worry about pitching at Coors Field. Numbers say he was a better pitcher there than on the road, but there’s something different in pitching at home than on the road (other factors involved). Therefore, pitching at home in a much more pitcher-friendly park should do wonders for Gray. Finally, I think the Rangers may start with another tandem between Spencer Howard and John King. The Rangers wanted to ease King into a starting spot, but John’s injury put a halt to that, and I think the Rangers want to see Howard’s capability.

I’ll say this, the fifth spot in the rotation will be an intense competition between Howard, King, Glenn Otto, and A.J. Alexy. For guys like Otto and Alexy, if they don’t make the rotation, they’ll start in AAA to gain innings, and of course, barring injuries, they’re the next man up,

Relievers: Joe Barlow (C), Josh Sborz (8), Brett Martin (7), Nick Snyder, Dennis Santana, Kolby Allard, Matt Bush

Joe Barlow is the closer heading into the 2021 season, and it’s his job to lose, even when Jonathan Hernandez and Jose Leclerc come back from injury. Nick Snyder makes the team out of Spring Training, and I think manager Chris Woodward will ease him in early on but eventually may take a seventh or eighth inning spot. Kolby Allard will likely be the club’s long relief man, and I think Texas will re-sign Matt Bush, and he’ll make the Opening Day roster, especially with what he means to the organization. Of course, that means someone currently is off the forty-man roster, especially with a possible Clayton Kershaw addition (and Lewis Brinson from the position player projection).

Credentialed Media Staff Writer covering the Texas Rangers for Dallas Sports Fanatic | 2014 University of North Texas graduate with a Bachelor's in Radio, Television, and Film. I talk about things. Find me on the tweeter @aplinckTX

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