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Preseason Questions: When Will Pitching Help Come?

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When Will Pitching Help Come?

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Colby Lewis #48 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Houston Astros in the 1st inning on May 20, 2012 during interleague play at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.

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Since the Rangers failed to land really any of their off-season targets, there are several questions facing the team heading into spring training and the 2013 season.

Today's Question: When will the Rangers get some of their pitchers back from injury?

There's no question that the Texas Rangers need some help in the pitching department — both in the starting rotation and the bullpen. The Rangers have some big names that are rehabbing from surgery and there is a question of when they will be available.

Joakim Soria, who is expected to be the first one back, could return by late May but is more likely to return in early June. Assuming he's healthy and ready to roll, he could instantly be plugged in as the team's set-up man in front of closer Joe Nathan.

Perhaps the most important missing piece is Colby Lewis, who has been the rock of the Rangers' pitching staff for the past three seasons and has been nails in the postseason. He's slotted for a June or July return but general manager Jon Daniels told Norm Hitzges on 1310-AM The Ticket on Friday morning that Lewis' rehab is going extremely well so that return could be the sooner part of his timetable rather than the later. He would provide, at worst, a No. 5 starter and if he's back to his old self would probably be a No. 3 or No. 4.

The wild card here is Neftali Feliz, who would be doing well to pitch at all in 2013, but if he could get back from his Tommy John surgery and provide some depth in the bullpen that would be huge for the Rangers' staff.

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