The Rangers opened Spring Training this week with 32 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.
Rick Bauer, RHP:
Rick had a very good season last year, but ended it badly. He will probably make the team unless he either gets injured or plays awful.
Joaquin Benoit, RHP:
Benoit’s a clinch at the long reliever position.
Bruce Chen, LHP:
He is very home run prone and had a very bad year last year. He had a 6.93 ERA for the Orioles last year, a 3.83 ERA in ’05 and a 4.60 ERA in his 9-year career, playing for the Braves, Phillies, Mets, Expos, Reds, Astros, Red Sox, and finally the Orioles. The Rangers might be the 9th team on that list. But he does have a decent chance because he’s had a decent career and he would be the only lefty in the rotation. He will also be competing with two other left-handers (John Koronka and John Rheinecker) who is more likely to win the job. Even if Chen isn’t the 5th starter, he could become a long relief pitcher. If he doesn’t make the Rangers out of camp, he’ll probably be brought up during the season.
Francisco Cruceta, RHP:
The Rangers acquired Cruceta off waivers from the Mariners after last season. He was a starter with AAA Tacoma last season, where he went 13-9 with a 4.38 ERA in 28 games. Cruceta is probably not going to make the team with our strong bullpen. He has a pretty low chance although he probably will be called up in September, since he’s on the 40-man roster.
Thomas Diamond, RHP:
Thomas probably won’t make it to the bigs until September this year, much less out of camp. He’ll spend the year at AAA.
Willie Eyre, RHP:
Willie’s only year in the majors was last year with the Twins, where he had a 5.31 ERA in 42 games, all in relief. He’ll probably get called up in September if he has a great year but not out of Spring Training.
Scott Feldman, RHP:
Scott has proven himself in the bigs and has almost clinched a middle relief spot.
Frank Francisco, RHP:
Frank can be a good pitcher if he stays healthy. I think if he is healthy, that he gets a real shot at a middle relief role or the seventh inning role.
Eric Gagne, RHP:
Eric’s our closer unless he gets injured.
Armando Galarraga, RHP:
Armando struggled with injuries last year and went 1-6 with a 4.61 ERA in 9 starts with Frisco. He isn’t going to the majors this year and will probably be gone by the time Spring Training is halfway through.
Franklyn German, RHP:
Franklyn has a chance of making the team, although not a very good one. He has a 4.60 ERA in 137 IP spread throughout five years. Last year, he had a 3.00 ERA in 12.0 innings pitched. He is not home run prone nor is he great against home runs. He has 99 strikeouts in his career. He doesn’t have bad stats but he’s coming off of shoulder surgery, which could really limit his effectiveness.
Daniel Haigwood, LHP:
Daniel won’t make it to the bigs this year. He had a 3.63 ERA with Frisco last year in 62 innings. He allowed 4 HR and had a record of 1-2.
Eric Hurley, RHP:
Eric Hurley isn’t ready for the majors nor is he going to be in the majors. The Rangers probably brought him to big league camp to show him how highly they think of him.
John Koronka, LHP:
John Koronka, John Rheinecker and Bruce Chen are the left-handers competing for the 5th starter and will be the only lefty in the rotation if they win the 5th job. Koronka is the most likely of the three since he pitched so well at the beginning of the season last year.
Wes Littleton, RHP:
With Wes’ performance last year he is going to make the team if he doesn’t do awful.
Kameron Loe, RHP:
Kameron is going to compete for the 5th starter role but probably won’t make it. He also could be a reliever but probably not out of spring training. He struggled last year in both the majors and the minors and probably will need to pitch well in AAA before getting called up.
Ron Mahay, LHP:
Mahay was 1-3 with a 3.95 ERA in 62 appearances last season, his fourth in Texas. He has a guaranteed contract so probably will make the team.
Brandon McCarthy, RHP:
Brandon is the #3 starter no matter what, in my opinion.
Kevin Millwood, RHP:
Kevin is the ace of this team and the ace makes the team.
AJ Murray, LHP:
AJ has had a decent minor league career but has struggled with injuries (he didn’t pitch in 2004 or 2006). He won’t make the team for at least two more years.
Alexi Ogando, RHP:
Alexi can’t come to camp because he can’t get a visa.
Akinori Otsuka, RHP:
Aki’s the set-up man unless he gets injured.
Vicente Padilla, RHP:
Padilla’s the #2 starter.
John Rheinecker, LHP:
John is going to compete for the 5th starting pitcher job in Spring Training, but with his shaky finish last year, I don’t think he’ll win the job.
Scott Rice, LHP:
Scott is a middle reliever who will compete for a job at Spring Training. He had a 3.86 ERA in 65.1 innings last year. That was his first year in Triple-A. If he wins the job, he’s going to be one of the least used relievers.
Josh Rupe, RHP:
Josh was held back from injuries last year, and he probably would have been the 5th starter. When he got back he posted a 3.41 ERA in 29 innings pitched for the Rangers.
Robinson Tejeda, RHP:
Robinson is our #4 starter unless he really struggles in camp.
Jose Vargas, RHP:
Jose spent the last two years in the Triple-A Mexican League. Last year, he went 6-4 with a 1.36 ERA in 73 innings. He had 70 strikeouts and only allowed one homer. He also had 27 saves, leading the league. He seems like a very good player who could win a relieving spot.
Edinson Volquez, RHP:
Edinson is probably one of the least likely of the competitors for the 5th starting job because he has options and has really struggled in the majors so far in his career.
CJ Wilson, LHP:
CJ has clinched a bullpen job.
Mike Wood, RHP:
Wood has career stats of a 13-20 record with a 5.52 ERA in 293.1 innings pitched. He has given up 45 HR’s, becoming more and more home run prone each year. He probably won’t make the team.
Jamey Wright, RHP:
Jamey has 11 years of MLB experience. His career stats are a 67-98 record with a 5.14 ERA in 1461.2 IP. Last year he had a 6-10 record posting a 5.19 ERA in 156 IP. Jamey hasn’t had a good career so far and probably will not win the job.
Predicted pitchers at the beginning of the year:
1. Kevin Millwood-starter
2. Vicente Padilla-starter
3. Brandon McCarthy-starter
4. Robinson Tejeda-starter
5. John Koronka-left-handed starter
6. Joaquin Benoit-long reliever
7. Scott Feldman-middle reliever
8. CJ Wilson-middle reliever
9. Ron Mahay-middle reliever
10. Wes Littleton-middle reliever
11. Akinori Otsuka-setup
12. Eric Gagne-closer
Next in line:
1. Rick Bauer
2. Bruce Chen
3. Josh Rupe
4. Jose Vargas
5. Frank Francisco
Come back next week for outfielders and the one DH. I’ll continue my analysis of the divisions after this series.