The Rangers opened Spring Training this week with 28 pitchers in major league camp. I did an analysis of all the pitchers in big league camp, gave their chances of making the team at the end of Spring Training, and predicted the pitching roster.
Joaquin Benoit – Joaquin was the Rangers Pitcher of the Year last year, after posting a 2.85 ERA in his best season ever. He’ll be on the team.
Percentage: 100% chance of making the 25-man active roster at the end of Spring Training
Jason Davis – Jason was signed to compete for a #5 starting pitcher role and long reliever role. He has pitched 427 career innings, with a 4.78 career ERA and only 256 strike-outs. He isn’t a very good fielder with a .895 career fielding percentage. Last year, with the Indians and Mariners, he combined for a 5.84 ERA, 4.76 with the Indians and 6.31 with the Mariners. He had 37 total innings. I don’t think he’ll make the team out of Spring Training, but he has a good shot at being called up during the year.
Thomas Diamond – He probably won’t make the team, especially since he’s not fully recovered from Tommy John. He’ll probably be in Oklahoma City.
Percentage: 0.5 %
Scott Feldman – Last year, Scott really struggled, with a 5.77 ERA in 39 innings. In 2006, he had a 3.92 ERA in 41.1 innings. In ’07 Scott had 32 walks compared to 10 in ’06. If he pitches well in Spring Training, he could make the team. Otherwise, he’ll probably start in Oklahoma City.
Frankie Francisco – Frankie had a 4.55 ERA with 49 strike-outs in 59.1 innings pitched. He will have the first shot at a bullpen spot. He should make the team.
Kazuo Fukumori – Kazuo Fukumori, who we signed from Japan this offseason, will be the 7th or 8th inning guy unless he totally blows it in Spring Training. Last year with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, Kazuo had a 4.75 ERA with 33 strike-outs in 36 innings pitched. In 2006, he had a 2.17 ERA with 55 strike-outs in 58 innings pitched. He will make the team.
Kason Gabbard – Kason, who was traded to the Rangers from the Red Sox last year, went 6-1on the year with a 4.65 ERA. He also had 55 strike-outs in 81.1 innings pitched. He’ll probably be the #4 or 5 starter. As long as he has a decent spring and based on his performance last year, the Rangers will want him in the rotation because he’ll be their only lefty.
Percentage: 98.6 %
Franklyn German - 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. In 2006, 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 was in Spring Training with the Rangers last year, but never made the team. I don’t think that he’ll make the team this year, either.
Eddie Guardado – Eddie had been very injury-prone lately. He has only pitched 27.2 innings over the past two years. He had a 7.24 ERA last year. He could do very well or he could be on the DL the whole year.
Percentage: 78.9% (due to injury chance)
Matt Harrison – Matt is only in big league camp to get experience. He has no chance to make the team. Matt hasn’t played above double-A. Last year, in the twenty games he played before getting injured, he went 5-7 with a 3.39 ERA and 78 strike-outs in 116.1 innings pitched.
Eric Hurley – Eric had a great year last year with the Roughriders, going 7-2 with a 3.25 ERA before getting promoted to Oklahoma, where he struggled with a 4-7 record and a 4.91 ERA. Eric probably will not make the team out of Spring Training due to his lack of experience and Oklahoma City troubles. He will probably be called up during the year, though, if he does well in Oklahoma City and the Rangers are out of the playoff race.
Jason Jennings – Jason was signed to be part of the starting rotation. He had a rough year last year (6.45 ERA in 19 games) due to injury. Unless he gets injured he’ll make the team.
Kea Kometani – Kea was converted into a middle reliever/set-up man/closer last year. He had a 4.27 ERA and 8 saves with the double-A Riders last year and will probably not make the team. He might make the team if there was less competition, but there’s too much competition for him to have much of a chance, especially since he’s not currently on the 40-man roster.
Wes Littleton – In ’06 Wes had a 1.73 ERA and last year he had a 4.31 ERA. Wes has a career record of 5-3. He’s had major league success but I think he’ll barely miss making the team. He’ll probably be called up sometime during the year as an injury replacement.
Kameron Loe – Kameron will probably make the team as a long reliever, but it’s not a sure thing. He should be competing for the last relief spot with Wes Littleton, Jamey Wright, Scott Feldman, and Jason Davis. Last year, he pitched 23 games as a starter with a 5.36 ERA and 5 games as a reliever with a 5.40 ERA. There are probably too many locks for the starting rotation for him to have much of a shot at being a starter, but hopefully he’ll make it tough on the Rangers like he did last spring.
Warner Madrigal – Warner has only made it to single-A ball, so he has no chance to make the team. Last year in single-A he had a 2.07 ERA with 75 strike-outs in 61 innings pitched.
Brandon McCarthy – Brandon will get the #4 or 5 spot. The Rangers hope he’ll bounce back from a rough year last year (5-10, 4.87 ERA in only 23 games).
Luis Mendoza – Last year with the Rangers, Mendoza had a 2.25 ERA in 16 innings, and even though he pitched well, he probably won’t make the team. He’ll probably start in Oklahoma City but may be used as a spot starter during the season.
Kevin Millwood – Kevin will be the #1 starter.
A.J. Murray – Murray had a 4.50 ERA in 28 major league innings last year. In Oklahoma City last year, he had a 3.08 ERA. He probably won’t make the team out of camp unless John Rheinecker really struggles, but he has an outside chance. He’ll be on the short list to be called up during the season.
Vicente Padilla – Vicente will be the #2 or 3 pitcher this year. The Rangers need a much better year from him in 2008.
Elizardo Ramirez – Elizardo has been up and down ever since 2004. He has played for the Phillies and Reds. He has done very well in the minors, going 39-27 with a 3.45 career minor league ERA, and a 4-14 record with a 5.99 ERA in the majors. I think he might make it up sometime this year, but that he doesn’t stand much of a chance out of Spring Training.
John Rheinecker – John had a 5.36 ERA in the majors last year, mostly as a reliever. He probably has first shot at the left-handed reliever role since he’s out of options.
Josh Rupe – Josh is recovering from an injury. That will probably keep him from having a chance at making the team out of camp.
Robinson Tejeda – After last year’s 5-9 record and 6.61 ERA in 95.1 innings, he almost has no chance at making the team. The fact that he wasn’t brought up in September probably means that he’s out of the Rangers’ plans. He has no options remaining so is probably out of the organization by the end of Spring Training.
Bill White – Bill made it up to the team last year and went 2-0 with a 4.82 ERA in 9.1 innings in his major league debut. With the RoughRiders last year, he went 2-0 with a 4.44 ERA in 48.2 innings. I don’t think he’ll make the team for Opening Day, but that he might later make the team.
C.J. Wilson – Last year he had a 3.03 ERA. He’ll be fighting for the closer spot this year and even if he loses that he’ll make the team.
Jamey Wright – Jamey had a career year with the Rangers last year, with his best ever ERA (3.62). He did much better as a reliever than a starter with a 2.05 ERA in relief and a 4.66 ERA when he started. Jamey really struggles in the 3rd inning with a 9.35 ERA in that inning. With his good year last year, he definitely has a shot, but not being on the 40-man roster could hold him back. I don’t think he’ll make the team for their first game, but that he’ll be on the team sometime during the year.
Predicted pitching roster:
Starting pitcher #1: Kevin Millwood
Starting pitcher #2: Vicente Padilla
Starting pitcher #3: Jason Jennings
Starting pitcher #4: Brandon McCarthy
Starting pitcher #5: Kason Gabbard
Closer: CJ Wilson
Set-up man: Eddie Guardado
7th inning man: Kazuo Fukumori
Middle Reliever: Frankie Francisco
Middle/Long Reliever: Joaquin Benoit
Long Reliever: Kameron Loe
Left-handed Reliever: John Rheinecker
Next in line:
Results of last week’s poll:
Who do you think will be the closer in 2008?
CJ Wilson – 93%
Joaquin Benoit – 5%
Kazuo Fukumori – 2%
Others – 0%
Come back next week for an analysis of the Spring Training outfielders.