The Texas Rangers pitching staff is getting no healthier as the Spring rolls along. Yu Darvish left his first start of Spring Training with right forearm tightness and will undergo Tommy John Surgery on Tuesday. The Rangers also saw Ross Detwiler leave the game on Friday with a left wrist contusion, Anthony Ranaudo left a game early this Spring, and now Ross Ohlendorf walked off the field Sunday with tightness in his right groin. The Rangers say Ohlendorf will receive treatment on Sunday and be reevaluated on Monday.
Outside of the games, Tanner Scheppers rolled an ankle early in the spring doing conditioning drills, but is expected to make his Spring debut this week. There is good news in Rangers camp though, as Derek Holland pitched in a B game on Saturday against the Padres and came through without any issues. He is expected to be back on the big league mound soon.
The Rangers depth chart shows Matt Harrison as an option, but he is coming back from spinal fusion surgery, making him throwing a single pitch in the big leagues this year a success for him. Martin Perez had Tommy John Surgery in 2014, and won’t be ready until mid-to-late season this year.
With all the injuries, trading for Yovani Gallardo this offseason becomes even more important, as he will have to take position near the top of the Rangers rotations, and the injuries may open up some opportunities for some of the talented youngsters in the Rangers system.
Should the guys currently projected to be healthy by opening day not have any setbacks, and there not be any other injuries to impact the bullpen, the rotation could still be ok come opening day. Holland and Gallardo would be the top two guys in the rotation with Detwiler and Colby Lewis handling the middle of the rotation. The Rangers went out and brought in several guys to serve as depth in the rotation, which now has become a very interesting battle for the number five job.
Nick Tepesch, Nick Martinez, and Anthony Ranaudo are all in the mix for that job, but Chi Chi Gonzalez has had a very good showing this spring, however he is not on the 40-man roster yet, meaning he is likely a mid-summer candidate, not an early season option.
The Rangers suffered from a seemingly unprecedented number of significant season ending injuries in 2014, and 2015 is not off to any better a start, but there is depth in the rotation not seen in Arlington in recent years that should keep the Rangers competitive late into the season.