I don’t think there was a single doubt in anyone’s mind that the most significant need for the Texas Rangers this offseason was starting pitching. Chris Young and the front office also knew that and got to work. They began by resigning Martin Perez on the qualifying offer and followed that by bringing in external additions of Jacob deGrom, Jake Odorizzi, Andrew Heaney, and Nathan Eovaldi.
In the span of one offseason, the Texas Rangers went from having a bottom-five rotation in all of baseball to having a top-five rotation in all of baseball. The new and improved starting staff should solidify this team as fully ready to compete for a playoff spot in the 2023 season.
So we know who’s going to be in the rotation, but what will it look like? Let’s break it all down.
As of now, I see the Rangers rotation shaping out something like this
The Ace – When healthy Jacob deGrom is the best-starting pitcher in all of baseball. With that being said he will easily be the ace of this Rangers staff. It’ll be interesting to see how the Rangers choose to monitor deGrom’s injury situation but there is no doubt that he’ll be the ace of this staff.
The Two Returners – The way that I see things, Martin Perez and Jon Gray are gonna be your 2 and 3 starters, give or take the order. I personally am one who has high expectations for Jon Gray in the 2023 season, I think if he can stay healthy unlike he did last year, he is going to emerge as the true number two starter on this team. Martin Perez on the other hand, I think may take a bit of a step back this season. The shift being banned will probably hurt him a little this year and just in general it’ll be hard for him to repeat the type of play that he had last year. However, with that being said Perez doesn’t have to have the type of season he did last year because he is not your ace anymore. Having a guy like Martin Perez as your number-three starter means you have a great rotation.
The Newcomers Rounding Out The Back End – Sure, the Rangers landed the best-starting pitcher in all of baseball, but they didn’t stop there. The club also landed Nathan Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney to solidify the back end of their starting rotation. Eovaldi slots in at number four in my opinion and man, he’s a good number four starter. A lot of teams would love to have the former Red Sox as their number four. Last season, Eovaldi had a 3.87 ERA in 20 starts with Boston. What many people probably don’t realize about former LA Dodger Andrew Heaney is that his strikeout percentage ranks amongst the top in baseball. Heaney will slide into the Rangers’ number-five spot in the rotation after having a very solid bounce-back season with the Dodgers last year.
The Possibility Of A Six-Man Rotation – The way I see things, there is a very strong possibility that the Rangers turn to a six-man rotation in the 2023 season. With the past injury history of many of the guys in their rotation, it just makes too much sense to me. If that were to be the case, newly acquired Jake Odorizzi would be the sixth starter.
No matter how you slice up this Rangers starting rotation, it’s going to be one of the best in baseball and certainly much improved from last season. This staff will be ready to elevate the team to contention in 2023.