When Scott Baker was injured after making a few starts in late August for the Texas Rangers, it opened up the door for another young, unheralded pitcher to make a splash in the Rangers' starting rotation — a familiar theme for the 2014 Rangers.
The latest "beneficiary" to take an opportunity and run with has been 24-year-old Lisalverto Bonilla, who struggled horribly last year in Triple-A Round Rock before settling down and putting up somewhat decent numbers for Round Rock this season.
Bonilla had made a couple of relief appearances for the Rangers before earning his first start a couple of weekends ago against the Atlanta Braves, and the righty picked up his first big-league win in helping the Rangers sweep the Braves.
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Bonilla came right back in his last start and beat the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend, improving to 2-0 on the season and earning himself another start on Wednesday in the series finale against the Astros.
Bonilla hasn't been particularly efficient — walking four batters apiece in each of his two starts — but he's allowed just four hits in those two starts combined and has worked six and five innings, respectively.
“What he’s done has put him on the map,” interim manager Tim Bogar told reporters on Monday. “He gets lumped in with the other guys to decide what we’re going to do with the last few spots in our rotation.”
Bonilla seems like a long shot to factor into the Rangers' rotation plans in 2015 with the likes of Nick Tepesch, Nick Martinez and Colby Lewis in the picture, but he could find a nice role for himself in the bullpen if he continues his success.