Chi Chi Looking to Edge Out Martinez for Fifth Spot | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Chi Chi Looking to Edge Out Martinez for Fifth Spot

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    Chi Chi Gonzalez #21 of the Texas Rangers throws a pitch in the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during game three of the American League Division Series on October 11, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    The Texas Rangers had to scramble to fill out their starting rotation a year ago after Yu Darvish began the season knowing he'd miss the entire year and Derek Holland threw one inning in the Rangers' home opener before being shelved for four months.

    This year, it seems much more solid with just one spot up for grabs, and the Rangers hope that's just a temporary spot.

    It's like going to come down to Nick Martinez or second-year righty Chi Chi Gonzalez for the No. 5 starter's job, which will likely be pushed out when Darvish returns to No. 1 or No. 2 and slides everyone else back a spot.

    Gonzalez would seem to be the clubhouse favorite because of his youth and relative upside, even though he struggled after a hot start to his career due to his lack out an out-pitch. But Martinez is pretty much in the same boat, except he's followed the same track for several years now and not just as a rookie.

    Both pitchers got off to great starts last year — hell, Martinez was one of the league's ERA leaders through the first month-plus of the season — before fading and falling out of favor with the Rangers' brass.

    When Darvish returns, the Rangers just hope it's to stay and that Cole Hamels, Derek Holland, Martin Perez and Colby Lewis can all be durable and hold down their spots because Lewis or Perez as your No. 5 starter is a lot more attractive than either Gonzalez or Martinez.