Remember last season when the Texas Rangers remarkably went an entire season without putting a starting pitcher on the disabled list? Well, that's all coming back to the Rangers now and baseball karma is starting to get its way.
In the past month, Neftali Feliz and Derek Holland have hit the disabled list and reliever Alexi Ogando, who excelled as a starter last season, made a spot start on Sunday only to strain his groin, and he appears to be destined for the DL himself. That leaves rotation possibilities at Colby Lewis, Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison and a less-than-inspiring Scott Feldman with newly signed Roy Oswalt set to make his Rangers debut on June 22.
Until then, what do the Rangers do? Well, some folks are suggesting moving Robbie Ross to the rotation after his stellar outing in relief of Ogando on Sunday when he went four innings and gave up just one hit and picked up the win to improve to 6-0 on the season.
One of the biggest seamheads in our area, Gerry Fraley, of The Dallas Morning News, shot that idea down in a hurry Tuesday morning on 1310 AM The Ticket with The Musers.
The biggest glaring problem with moving Ross to the rotation is that it would take the Rangers' only lefty out of the bullpen, and Fraley mentioned that but he also talked about the impact Ross can have on the team out of the relief role. Fraley said he can easily impact three or four games a week for the Rangers coming out of the bullpen, while only having a say in one, possibly two, per week out of the rotation.
Not to mention the fact that Ross' pitch count on Sunday was just in the 40s and that was the highest he's gone all season, meaning there's no way they could expect him to throw much more than 60 any time soon, even though he was groomed to be a minor-league starter in spring training.
Fraley suggested that Michael Kirkman could be the guy to get the call-up to make a start or two before Oswalt makes his Rangers debut in 10 days. Yes, that's the same Kirkman who entered spring training with the relief job in hand before Ross snatched it from his cold, dead hands. This year in Round Rock, Kirkman has done well. His ERA is a tad over 5.00 but his last few starts have been effective and he's sporting a 5-1 record. He's definitely not an ideal solution, but he could be a viable option to help keep the Rangers' bullpen intact until Oswalt gets to Arlington.