ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 14: Scott Feldman #39 of the Texas Rangers delivers a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on June 14, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
Scott Feldman's days as a starting pitcher for the Texas Rangers were on life support heading into his Tuesday night start against the lowly San Diego Padres.
He left Petco Park with his first victory of the season, snapping out of an 0-6 start to the season, and actually pitched well and gutted his way out of some defensive mistakes behind him. He showed he can pitch an adverse situations and did so with Justin Grimm breathing down his neck.
Now, what are the Rangers to do?
With Roy Oswalt set to make his Rangers debut this weekend, the team has many options with the starting rotation with Derek Holland set to return from the disabled list sometime by the end of June.
Feldman's best role with this team is as a long reliever, but his outing Tuesday night restored a little bit of faith that he can start games as he went six innings with five strikeouts and most importantly no walks. He gave up two earned runs though it should have just been one as Elvis Andrus threw away a sure inning-ending double play before Feldman bowed up to get a strikeout for the final out.
He also swung a nice bat, which of course, doesn't really matter but was nice to see anyway as he had an RBI single on a left-handed swing that could've easily been mistaken for Josh Hamilton's.
With Oswalt ready to come up and Justin Grimm looking fantastic against another awful team (Houston Astros) on Saturday, the Rangers could do one of two things on Friday — start Oswalt or start Grimm. Either way, you'd have to think the odd man out there will get Feldman's next start, which would likely come on Monday against the Detroit Tigers back at home and Feldman would move back to the bullpen.
But here's a what if, and it's a big one. What if Feldman got another start and performed well, that might be enough to get some decent value on the trade market for him to exchange for a right-handed bat to add to the bench.
Feldman is likely headed back to the bullpen immediately, and that's probably the right move with both Oswalt and Grimm instilling more confidence right now, but props to Feldman for sticking it out last night despite the usual defensive miscues behind him. He earned some trust back from fans, and most importantly, manager Ron Washington.
“He pitched out of situations,” Washington told reporters after the game. “He kept the ball down in the zone and he got the ball in play. That was a very good outing, very good. And he swung the bat a little.”