The Rangers opened Spring Training this week with 35 pitchers in the major league camp. Below, I will rate each pitcher and give their chances of making the 25-man active roster at the end of Spring Training.
Even though he is a non-roster invitee and was a very inconsistent pitcher for the last few years, I do think he has a chance to make the 25-man roster. He’ll have to have a strong Spring Training and let that sixth finger add a positive spin on the ball if he is going to make it. His age might not allow him to do that, leaving him in Triple-A or Double-A.
Percentage 71.2% chance of making the 25-man active roster at the end of Spring Training
He’s also a non-roster invitee which leads you to think that he’s not making the 25-man roster. He isn’t even going to be able to show his stuff because of Tommy John Surgery. Even if he is in the minors the whole year, he could bring even more character to the clubhouse in the minors. When Brian was pitching for the Indians he and Carl Sadler chased down a thief trying to steal a woman’s purse. Anyway, he’s going to need to recover fast if he’s going to the bigs.
He has played for the Orioles for his entire 4-year career. He only pitched 8.1 innings with a 9.72 ERA last year. The Rangers probably don’t expect much of him and probably don’t think that he’ll be in the MLB anytime soon.
Omar is having VISA problems because he got one illegally a couple years ago. He probably won’t be able to go to camp or even play in the majors or minors this year.
Joaquin has been known for struggling as a starter and shutting down hitters as a reliever. I think that Benoit will make the team as a long or middle reliever. He has the speed and stuff to strike out and just mow down hitters. If he can meet his potential he could become a starter. Last year he got closer to his potential pitching 87 innings with a 3.72 ERA. Of course, when he was a starter the ERA shot up. If he can have another season like that he will (in my perspective) meet his potential. He is out of options so he will probably be on the team.
Bukvich has a great minor league career but has struggled in the majors. If he can recover from his Tommy John surgery quickly and pitch like he used to in the minors, he has a good chance of being in the MLB. Ever since he was called up to the majors with the Royals in 2002, he has struggled everywhere except for the 7.1 innings pitched for the Royals in ‘04. He probably won’t recover from his Tommy John surgery quick enough to play the whole year for the Rangers.
Carlson is a non-roster invitee who does not have a big chance of going to the majors. Last year, he pitched 2 innings for the Blue Jays in Spring Training with a 9.00 ERA. In the minors with Toronto last year, Jesse went 4-3 with a 2.79 ERA. For three minor league seasons before that, his stats were 2.81 ERA and 182 strikeouts in 156.2 innings pitched.
Fabio has played in the White Sox organization throughout his career even though we got him from the Royals in the Rule-5 draft. If you get a player from the Rule 5 draft, he has to remain on the active major league roster for the entire season or else he will go through waivers. Since he was from the Rule 5 draft, it is very likely that he will be in the majors the whole year. His ERA has been outstanding with an ERA of 2.28 last year and 2.47 for the years before that put together. He has only played in the rookie league and single-A though. He has been in Spring Training once (2005) and put up an 8.10 ERA in 3.1 IP.
He has blazing stuff and from his major league performances, he is going to the MLB unless he gets injured.
John probably needs more experience in the minors to be able to pitch well in the majors because once he got to AA, he struggled with a 5.49 ERA in 98.1 innings. If he can get closer to his potential earlier than expected, he has a chance. It would take basically no-hit ball during Spring Training for him to make the majors.
Thomas, like John Danks, probably needs more experience in the minors to pitch well in the majors because he also struggled once he got to AA with a 5.35 ERA in 69 innings pitched. But with the Blaze, Thomas was dominant with a 1.99 ERA in 81.1 innings pitched. He also had 101 strikeouts. I think in a year or two, he will be able to pitch in the majors successfully. He will need to do the same as John Danks needs to do if he’s going to make the majors.
Jose has a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. Jose Diaz had a 9.13 ERA with a 2-2 record and 22 strike-outs in 18 games for the Royals’ AA Montgomery Biscuits as a reliever. He had a 0.00 ERA with a 0-0 record and 19 strike-outs in 8 games for the Indians’ AA Akron Aeros. He also had a 3.89 ERA with a 1-2 record and 44 strike-outs in 20 games for the Indians’ AAA Buffalo Bisons. For his career he has a 3.71 ERA and a 21-21 record with 340 strike-outs in 303.1 innings pitched. He started his career by signing with the Dodgers as an undrafted free agent in 2001. He has pitched against Nick Trzesniak, his likely catcher in AAA if he doesn’t make the majors.
R.A. (Robert Alan) needs to improve his new knuckleball to make the team. If he does and is successful with it, he has a good chance to be the fifth starter in the rotation. If somebody in the chase for the fifth rotation spot does better than Dickey, he has a good shot at a long reliever role.
The Rangers know that he has incredible stuff that can just mow down hitters but he will still need to prove that he cares about doing well and not just about getting the money. He has a tendency to show up late and not keep his head in the game. If he can just mature himself, he could easily become a starter.
Jayson Paul Durocher has a career major league ERA of 3.09 in 55.1 innings pitched. He has only played in 45 major league games. He has a tendency to get injured and hasn’t played in the majors since 2003. He has played professional baseball since 1993 and only played in the majors in ’02 and ’03. He is a non-roster invitee and has very little chance of making the team.
He is a proven starter and is going to be one unless he’s injured.
If Scott Feldman can pitch like he did last year in the majors, he has a great chance of staying on the active roster. Last year, he had a 0.96 ERA in 9.1 major league innings.
Frank is still recovering from Tommy John surgery and likely won’t be back until May.
Armando did well in single-A (2.48 ERA in 80 innings) but struggled in double-A (5.19 ERA in 76.1 innings) in 2005. Like Omar Beltre, he is having VISA problems. However, he is expected to be in camp. He does not have a chance at making the majors out of Spring Training.
Jon struggled badly in ’05 with a 5.51 ERA in 98 AAA innings and a 9.00 ERA in 9 innings pitched for the Cubs. However, he pitched great in 2004 with a 3.89 ERA in 41.2 innings pitched for the Cubs. He will need to pitch like he did in 2004 this spring for him to make the majors out of camp.
Wes has been a decent minor league player who probably will not play in the majors for the whole season. In AA last year, Wes had a 3.97 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 81.2 innings pitched. If he can pitch well in Oklahoma City, he could easily be a late season call-up.
Kameron probably has established himself enough in the majors to make it to the majors out of camp this year.
Even though Mahay is a non-roster invitee, if he has a good Spring Training, he has a great chance of making the team because he is established in the majors. In ’05, he had a 6.81 ERA in 35.2 innings pitched but in ’04, he had a 2.55 ERA in 67 innings.
Kevin will make it out of camp unless he gets injured. He led the league in ERA last year and was brought in to be the team’s ace.
Otsuka will make the team as long as he can stay healthy. He was brought in to set up Francisco Cordero.
Vicente has established himself enough to have a 100% chance to be a starter out of camp.
Ramirez has had enough experience to do well in the majors. As long as he can stay healthy and have a decent spring, he will make the team. Last year, he had a 3.91 ERA in 23 major league innings.
Nick Regilio (non-roster)
Nick had elbow tendonitis and should be back from his injury in time for Spring Training. He shouldn’t make the team because he will still be rebuilding his arm strength. Like Wes, he could be a big candidate for being called up later in the season.
Josh did very well in the majors at the end of last year, with a 2.79 ERA in 9.2 innings pitched. You would think that Juan Dominguez or R.A. Dickey would out pitch him and win the fifth starter role. He would need to out pitch five other pitchers (Dominguez, Dickey, Mahay, Wilson, and Volquez) for the fifth role in the rotation. If he can’t be a starter in the majors, I think they will send him to Triple-A so he can pitch every five days.
Shouse should make the team unless he has a terrible spring or gets injured. That’s because he is one of their only left-handers and has had two great years for the Rangers (2003 and 2004). Last year, he had a 5.23 ERA in 53.1 innings.
Jose has basically no chance at making the team. He played in the majors from 1996 through 2002 with 5.41 ERA in 427.1 innings. Since then, he has been playing in Triple-A and struggled badly, putting up a 6.03 ERA in 2005. He is a non-roster invitee, giving him even less of a chance.
With last year’s stats in the majors of a 14.21 ERA in 12.2 innings pitched, you can tell he needs more time in the minors. He would have to have a monster spring to make the majors.
Kevin probably won’t make the team. He has a career ERA of 4.76 in 102 innings pitched. He was with the White Sox in ‘05 for 9 games so he has a World Series ring under his belt. Texas will be his fourth organization in four years. Since he is a lefty, if he has a strong spring, he has a chance.
As long as he doesn’t have an awful spring, he is probably a lock. If he makes the team, the best role for him in my opinion is as a long reliever. Last year, he had a 4.28 ERA in 75.2 innings.
Last year, Christopher John Wilson struggled as a starter but pitched great as a reliever. As long as he can have a decent spring, he could lock up the last long reliever spot.
My prediction of which pitchers will be on the active roster is the following:
Kevin Millwood – starter
Adam Eaton – starter
Vicente Padilla – starter
Kameron Loe – starter
R.A. Dickey – starter
John Wasdin – long relief
Brian Shouse – lefty
Joaquin Benoit – long relief
Fabio Castro – middle relief
Francisco Cordero – closer
Akinori Otsuka – setup man
Erasmo Ramirez – lefty
Next in line:
- Antonio Alfonseca
- C.J. Wilson
- Ron Mahay
- Juan Dominguez
- Scott Feldman
Come back next week for the position players.