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Chi Chi Gets Next Chance to Nail Down Role

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Chi Chi Gonzalez #21 of the Texas Rangers throws in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Global Life Park in Arlington on August 18, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)

    The Texas Rangers' rotation is pretty much set, and it's really set when Yu Darvish returns from Tommy John surgery in late May or early June.

    Until then, the Rangers will need one arm to hold down the No. 5 starter's spot in the rotation — a race that pretty much includes just two guys, Chi Chi Gonzalez and Nick Martinez, with some fringe candidates in A.J. Griffin and possibly Jeremy Guthrie.

    Gonzalez burst on to the scene as rookie last season before eventually hitting a rookie wall. On the year, he was 4-6 with a 3.90 ERA with a complete-game shutout in the midst of a wonderful stretch before he hit that rookie wall.

    His first four starts saw him rack up 30 innings (more than seven innings per start) to go with a 0.90 ERA. His one flaw was his lack of an out pitch, as he struck out just 10 batters in those first 30 innings of work and only 30 in 67 innings on the season.

    In his first start of the spring, Gonzalez made it known he's interested in holding down that starter's job when the Rangers break camp after he gave up a hit in two innings of work in his spring debut and nothing else.

    He gets another shot on Wednesday, and if he can continue to put up clean innings like that, he's only going to strengthen his grip on the job.