Thearon W. Henderson
Robbie Ross and his bullpen mates got a lot of work in over the weekend and the team used seven pitchers Sunday heading into Monday's doubleheader.
The Texas Rangers were looking for another starting pitcher to fill out their starting rotation before Derek Holland suffered a freak injury that will shelf him for much of the season.
Now, they're looking for two.
There are several options out there, many of which have been detailed in Red Fever, but there are also internal options, and before Holland's injury even occurred it was announced that both Robbie Ross and Tanner Scheppers would go to Arizona for spring training trying to be stretched out as starters, with presumably one of them winning a spot.
Before Holland's injury, the Rangers' rotation was set through the fourth spot with Yu Darvish, Holland, Matt Harrison and Martin Perez and there were any number of options for the fifth spot, which would likely have meant Alexi Ogando returning to the bullpen after another failed try at being a long-term starter in 2013.
Now, Ogando might figure into the rotation again, which takes one power arm away from the bullpen. Losing Scheppers would be a big blow as well, as he established himself as one of the league's best set-up men last season. Robbie Ross was one of the best sixth-, seventh-inning lefties in the game, as well.
Now, Joe Nathan is gone, and it's presumed Neftali Feliz will be the Rangers' closer, which pushes everyone up a notch. Imagine a bullpen of Ross and Ogando as guys who can go multiple innings, setting up for Soria, setting up for Scheppers, setting up for Feliz. It's almost an embarrassment of riches, and when the Rangers gave Jason Frasor a new deal as soon as the 2013 season ended, you had to figure their plans were for one of those names to end up in the starting rotation or on another team's roster.
There are a lot of moving parts in the Rangers' pitching situation, and Holland's injury added to it even more. We'll see how it plays out.