The Rangers have 31 pitchers in major league. This week, I analyzed the second half of the pitchers in big league camp and gave their chances of making the team at the end of Spring Training (see last week’s post for analysis of the first half of the pitchers). I also gave my prediction for what the Opening Day pitching roster will look like.
Brandon McCarthy – Sadly, last year Brandon had the second most major league innings pitched in a season in his career, even though he threw just 97.1 innings, and that’s only 4.1 innings away from his career high in that stat category. Last year he went 7-4 with a 4.62 ERA and 65 strikeouts for the Rangers. If Brandon doesn’t get injured in Spring Training, I think that he’ll be on the team at the start of the season.
Luis Mendoza – Mendoza is out of options, and so if he does not make the team out of Spring Training, he will go through waivers. That said, I still don’t think he’ll make the team, as two years ago in the majors (he only threw one inning in ’09, and allowed four runs in that inning), he went 3-8 with an 8.67 ERA and a 1.93 WHIP in 63.1 innings pitched. That followed up a 2007 season where he dominated, with a 2.25 ERA in 16 innings. He didn’t really have that good a year in the minors last year, either, going 6-7 with a 4.53 ERA in 111.1 IP for the AAA Redhawks last year.
Guillermo Moscoso – Last year Moscoso pitched 14 innings for the Rangers, and did pretty well, with a 3.21 ERA. That was after struggling in Frisco in his first year in the Rangers organization after being traded to Texas by the Tigers in the ’08-’09 offseason, going 3-1, but with a 4.46 ERA in just 42.1 innings pitched. He has a shot to win a spot in the bullpen to start the year off, but I don’t think he will.
Dustin Nippert – In his second year as a Ranger, Dustin pitched very well while in the majors. In 69.2 innings pitched, he was 5-3 with a 3.88 ERA. He pitched in 20 games, and ten of those were starts. He had some solid starts, but he also had some very bad starts. He is on the outside looking in on the team right now, but with a good Spring Training he could force his way into either the starting rotation or the bullpen.
Darren O’Day – After picking up the loss in his first game as a Ranger in Toronto while wearing a Kason Gabbard jersey (they didn’t have Darren’s ready yet) on the day that the Rangers got him from the Mets, O’Day was brilliant. While with the Rangers, he went 2-1 with a 1.94 ERA in 55.2 innings pitched. His BAA was an incredible .199, and I would be shocked if he wasn’t on the team out of Spring Training.
Alexi Ogando – Alexi is one of the two guys from the Dominican Republic who were coming over to the US and got caught up in a marriage scandal, which caused the US to deny them entry for five years. He is just now getting to come over to the United States. He has no pitching experience in the United States, and really won’t have a shot to make the team out of Spring Training. Like Omar Beltre, Alexi will most likely start at Frisco and get some experience before he can get called up to the big leagues.
Darren Oliver – This will be Darren’s third stint with the Rangers. He was a Ranger from ’93-’98 and again from ‘00-’01. The last four years, Darren has been incredible, especially the last two with the Angels. In ’08 he was 7-1 with a 2.88 ERA in 72 IP, and last year he was 5-1 with a 2.71 ERA in 73 IP. The Angels used him in a very large amount of games, as he has pitched in 117 games the past two seasons. This will be his 17th season in the major leagues. There is no way he won’t be on the team out of Spring Training.
Zach Phillips – Phillips is on the 40-man roster because the Rangers wanted to protect him from the Rule-5 draft and does not really have much of a shot to make the team out of Spring Training. He had a great year in the minors last year, with a 1.23 ERA in Bakersfield (44 innings), and a 1.64 ERA in Frisco (33 innings). He pitched in 36 games total, three of them being starts, and amazingly only gave up two total home runs in 77 innings of work.
Omar Poveda – Although Poveda really doesn’t have a chance at the team out of camp, he was one of the people Jon Daniels mentioned as having a good shot at making a spot start down the road during the year. He was a Double-A All-Star last year with Frisco, with an 11-5 record and a 4.07 ERA in 130.1 innings pitched.
Clay Rapada – Rapada has 27.1 major league innings in his career, and is 3-0 with a 4.94 ERA and 21 strikeouts (and an incredibly high 18 walks, a number even Mitch Williams would think was too high) in those innings. Last year he had a really good year with the Tigers AAA team in Toledo. He went 4-2 with a 2.80 ERA in 45 innings pitched (and 17 walks, which is less than his MLB amount). He probably will not make the team out of Spring Training, a fact not helped by him not being on the 40-man roster.
Chris Ray – Chris missed all of 2008 due to injury, and really struggled in ’09, with a 7.27 ERA in 43.1 innings pitched, and was 0-for-3 in his save opportunities. But he was just that good in 2006, as he had a 2.73 ERA and 33 saves in 66 innings. He followed ’06 up with a decent year in 2007, with a 4.43 ERA with 16 saves in ’07. Unless he gets injured, he should be on the team out of Spring Training.
Tanner Scheppers – Tanner is not on the 40-man roster and has no major or minor league baseball experience, so he does not have much of a chance to be on the Rangers’ roster on Opening Day. But he has very mature stuff and is close to major-league ready, so he’s probably not that far off on the horizon as far as being on the Rangers active roster goes.
Ben Snyder – Ben was the Orioles’ Rule-5 draft pick (Snyder was originally from the Giants organization and was acquired by the Rangers from the Orioles in the Kevin Millwood trade), and so he will almost surely return to the Giants if he is not on the Rangers’ Active Roster at any point during the season. So if he is not on the Rangers out of Spring Training, he will go back to the Giants. Ben has no major league experience, but last year in Double-A Connecticut, he was 4-4 with a 2.88 ERA in 97 innings pitched. I think he will be on the team at the start of the year because the Rangers will want to keep him in the organization.
Pedro Strop – Last year Pedro threw just seven innings with the Rangers, and had a 7.71 ERA in his limited action. He did okay with Frisco last year, as he had a 5-5 record and a 4.38 ERA, along with 48 strikeouts in 51.1 innings pitched. I think he has a chance to be on the team on Opening Day, but it will take a lot of work and a great Spring Training for that to happen.
CJ Wilson – CJ had a very good season last year, as he was 5-6 with a 2.81 ERA in 73.2 innings pitched. He had an amazing 84 strikeouts, and he also had 14 saves. Personally, I think that he both deserves and should be the closer to start off the year, and if he’s given the opportunity, I think he’ll be dominant. I just hope they give him the chance to win the job in Spring Training.
Projected Opening Day Pitching Roster:
Starter #1: Scott Feldman
Starter #2: Rich Harden
Starter #3: Colby Lewis
Starter #4: Derek Holland
Starter #5: Brandon McCarthy
Long Reliever: Ben Snyder
Middle Reliever: Neftali Feliz
Middle Reliever: Chris Ray
Middle Reliever: Darren O’Day
Lefty Specialist: Darren Oliver
Set-up Man: CJ Wilson
Closer: Frank Francisco
Next in Line:
Come back next week for my Spring Training Infielders Analysis.