Yu Out, Chi Chi In? | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Yu Out, Chi Chi In?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Andy Jacobsohn/The Dallas Morning News
    Texas Rangers pitcher Alex Gonzalez pitches in the eighth inning during a Major League Baseball spring training game against the Kansas City Royals at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Arizona Wednesday March 4, 2015. The Royals beat the Rangers 13-2.

    With Yu Darvish in New York for a Hail Mary second opinion on his elbow and the Rangers holding their breath, opportunity knocks.

    It’s an irrationally optimistic view on undoubtedly devastating news in Spring Training, but Darvish’s likely departure will open a spot for an unlikely starter.

    Welcome to the rotation, Chi Chi Gonzalez?

    Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez grabbed the early lead for Yu’s spot Monday by throwing three scoreless innings against the A’s. He allowed two hits and struck out three in his 58-pitch inning. And, oh yeah, he stayed healthy.

    Without Darvish, the Rangers’ No. 1 starter is Derek Holland, followed by Yovani Gallardo, Colby Lewis, then maybe Ross Detwiler and … Gonzalez?

    I know. Yikes.

    Also vying for the 5th spot with Chi Chi are Nick Tepesch, Nick Martinez and Anthony Ranaudo. While Tepesch and Martinez pitched for Texas last season and the acquired Ranaudo in an off-season trade with the Red Sox, Gonzalez is an intriguing prospect.

    At 6 foot 2 and with a college career at Oral Roberts, the 23-year-old went 7-4 with a 2.71 ERA in Frisco in 2014. He's got a mean cutter, a love for sushi and the nickname bestowed upon him by his grandfather.

    The Rangers drafted him in the 1st round in 2013 and have planned for him to be a starter in Arlington some day.

    That day, ready or not, may not be far off.

    A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.