PEORIA, AZ - MARCH 01: Arthur Rhodes #53 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Seattle Mariners during spring training at Peoria Stadium on March 1, 2011 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Arthur Rhodes
Today is the beginning of one of those scheduling nightmares for professional baseball teams.
Yes, physically, baseball is the easiest major sport on the body, but still, stretches like what the Texas Rangers are about to embark on are tough.
The Rangers will play 20 games in 20 days, beginning today when they start a three-game home series against the Kansas City Royals.
That can take a toll on a team -- especially in the bullpen, and especially if it's a struggling bullpen.
And make no mistakes, this Rangers bullpen is struggling terribly right now.
All of the problems in the bullpen have accentuated the importance of two guys on the wrong side of 40 in Darren Oliver and Arthur Rhodes.
Not saying those two guys can't pitch anymore. They're actually pretty good. They both have ERAs right around 3.00 (Oliver's is sub-3.00, Rhodes' is just over 3.00) and both have had a couple of bad outings and a couple of good ones.
But with the way the pen is struggling, and the way starter Colby Lewis is struggling, and the uncertainty still surrounding Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando, that pen might be working a lot in the next two weeks.
Oliver and Rhodes could be in line for a good amount of work, and the last thing Rangers fans want to see is those two guys running out of gas in August.