Yesterday on mlb.com, Richard Justice had his list of five teams that will be better than you think.
The Rangers were on that list. Here’s what he said:
“Rangers starters have a 3.15 ERA this spring, and now they’ve added Tim Lincecum to the back of the bullpen. Starting and bullpen quality and depth are the only question marks about a team picked to finish no higher than fourth in the American League West. They’re constructing a rotation from a bunch of guys trying for career rebirths. All have been quality starters at points in their career. So far, Bartolo Colon, Matt Moore and Doug Fister have allowed two earned runs in 12 1/3 innings. And Matt Bush—a key experiment to track this spring—looks capable of making the transition to starting.”
He may have a case of spring blindness. Facing Single- and Double-A hitters can do wonderful things to a guy’s stats.
But if they were all able to turn things around, it would make for a really fun season. For that to happen, though, they would need some pretty remarkable turnarounds from just about everyone.
Doug Fister’s 2017 ERA was 4.88. And he was the good one.
Bartolo Colon’s was 5.18.
Matt Moore’s was 5.52.
Guys with high ERAs coming to a team with low defensive metrics doesn’t exactly exude confidence, even if they had a two week stretch of pitching well against lower level prospects.
But unless Jake Arrieta or Lance Lynn fall into their laps, the Rangers rotation is going to be MacGyvered with duct tape and paper clips and wings and prayers.
So let’s hope.
Hope springs eternal in spring.