Maddux: Fifth Spot is Wide Open

When the Texas Rangers were able to work a deal for Yovani Gallardo earlier this week, it did a lot of things for the team's starting rotation.

Most importantly, it obviously filled a much-needed hole in the No. 3 spot in the rotation by acquiring a proven innings-eater in Gallardo. But it also helped the back end of the rotation by pushing everyone back a spot and meaning the only real question is with the No. 5 spot — not at all a rarity for several teams at this point in the year.

While it seemed recently acquired pitcher Ross Detwiler would be a lock for the rotation after spending most of his career as a starter for the Nationals before moving to the bullpen last season, Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux said that's not decided yet.

You see, there's some competition there, mainly in the form of Nick Tepesch and Nick Martinez, who were both key figures in the injury-plagued rotation a year ago.

“I would have to say there’s definitely a spot open and the more guys you have competing for that, I think that improves the depth in the organization,” Maddux told ESPN Dallas. “But who’s to say that one of those guys might not make the ball club in a different role? Then, as the season rolls on, you're gonna need a spot start here and there, that’s inevitable. Sometimes those guys get an opportunity like that, ‘Hey we got to see that again.’ Next thing you know, you got six pretty good starters on your hands and you don’t have enough room for them, but that’s a good problem to have.”

Maddux also mentioned Martinez as a possible reliever, while conventional thought would suggest Tepesch would be in the minors if he doesn't crack the rotation, which wouldn't be a bad thing for his development.

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