OAKLAND, CA - MAY 13: Pitcher Justin Grimm #51 of the Texas Rangers walks back to the dugout after he was taken out of the game against the Oakland Athletics in the six inning at O.co Coliseum on May 13, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Remember back in April when the Texas Rangers began the season with a series victory over their new division rivals and the then-projected/now-realized worst team in baseball, the Houston Astros?
Remember the way the Rangers' pitching rotation was set heading into the 2013 season? It was suggested that it would be the major strength of a team looking to get back atop the AL West after having the crown swiped from them on the season's last day by the Oakland A's.
It was set as Yu Darvish and Matt Harrison as 1 and 1a, respectively. Then Derek Holland. Then Alexi Ogando. Then Nick Tepesch, who only was there because Martin Perez broke his forearm in spring training and was put on the shelf for more than a month.
Now, the only guys left standing from that group are Darvish and Holland, who are now the 1-2 in Texas' rotation as Matt Harrison is out until at least August, Ogando is on the DL for the second time and Tepesch hit the DL over the weekend. Wow, what a sticky situation.
The Rangers have Perez back, and he's pitched well in his three starts, but they expected to have Colby Lewis back from elbow surgery about a month ago, and now it's projected he won't be back until the end of July. Justin Grimm, who took Harrison's spot after he went on the DL following two horrible starts, had his moments initially but has since declined dramatically and is sporting an ERA of 9.00 over his last seven starts, a number that would have him in the minors or on the streets in most organizations but the Rangers just don't have that luxury right now.
There was some talk the Rangers might trade for Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco, but the Dodgers did that over the weekend. There's Matt Garza, but the price would be astronomical for a rental. Cliff Lee isn't a rental, and the price would be even higher.
At this point, Wednesday's starter is "TBD" and will most likely be Ross Wolf or Josh Lindblom, both of whom have had spot starts this year with varied levels of success, and it's starting to look like one pitching acquisition might not be enough to make the Rangers a serious contender. That's not to say two or three moves wouldn't, and that's not out of the question, but right now, the Rangers have some serious pitching problems and the end of them is hopefully coming this month. But by then, will it be too late?