Rangers reinvent concept of opener. 158 comments


He should have stopped at 89: Rangers starter Drew Smyly exits in the fourth inning after throwing 90 pitches. Pitch 90 was a grand slam to Mike Trout.

 

The Rangers are revolutionizing the concept of the opener. For generations, the opener was a relief pitcher who started the game and went just few innings, then the game was turned over to the starter who pitched an inning or two until the bullpen comes in to close it out. This was done to spare the starter of the arduous task of having to pitch six innings.

It was an idea that worked fine all those years. But, like with everything, someone always finds a better way.

And that someone is the Texas Rangers.

Their new concept is to open the game with a starter, have him go just a few innings, then bring in the bullpen where the starter used to come in, and finally have the bullpen comes on to close out the game for the bullpen.

Radical.

Here is how the “new opener” works:

Mike Minor, 4.2 innings.
Edinson Volquez, 4 innings.
Drew Smyly, 3 innings.
Shelby Miller, 3.2 innings.
Edinson Volquez, 3.2 innings.
Drew Smyly, 3.1 innings.

So far, out of 79 total innings pitched this season, only 42 have been logged by a starting pitcher. In nine games, only three times has a starter made it past five innings, and only twice into the seventh.

The concept of a quality start doesn’t apply to the Rangers. Their starters don’t throw enough innings.

The Rangers went into the season with a precarious rotation. Five starters with six Tommy John surgeries among them. After Thursday’s game, Edinson Volquez left with elbow soreness. It doesn’t look good.

Suddenly, the Rangers rotation has a hole. Chances are great Volquez won’t be the only one going down. Drew Smyly didn’t pitch at all last season. So, every inning he throws, even though it’s just three a game, he is exceeding his innings total. It won’t be long until they start monitoring his innings. But what does that mean? Cutting him down to two innings per start?

Shelby Miller pitched just sixteen innings. Just four more starts and he will exceed his total from last year, and then he will be on the watch list.

The trouble is, the Rangers barely had arms for a rotation begin with. There are no extra pitchers waiting in the wings. It’s another case of what Jon Daniels has said on more than one occasion of his leaving the major league team “exposed.”

Texas won’t just be in desperate need of rotation arms soon. With most starters barely making it through three innings, that leaves five or six innings a game the bullpen is going to have to work.

That means it won’t be long until guys get overtaxed. Or, long guys become starters and short relievers are asked to do what they aren’t capable of.

And then, when the pitching caves, the offense starts feeling pressure to score seven runs a game, which is never a good thing.

In other words, it’s going to be a real mess soon. What a shame. It could have been prevented.

But hey, we’ll have a roof next year.

*****
TODAY’S GAME:

Shelby Miller (0-0, 4.91) vs. Chris Stratton (0-1, 8.31)
Game time: 3:07

  • CrazyEd

    Well Kevin, you just about covered it. I was thinking along the same lines, but didn’t take it nearly as deep. It’s already bad, but has the potential for turning into a real supersized mess.

  • CrazyEd

    Guzman is more than likely out 4 to 6 weeks. The Rangers need a replacement. The options are let Gallo play first and call up an outfielder from Nash or call up a frist baseman from Nash.

    Your the GM, you make the call:

    Outfielders:
    Tocci currently LF and CF BA .333 OPS .762
    Calhoun currently LF and DH BA .125 OPS .750 (He’s been drawing a lot of walks)

    !st Basemen:
    Davidson BA .182 OPS .539
    Wisdom BA .250 OPS .857

    Admittedly there are a lot of other metrics that I don’t have, such as defensive ability, etc. But, that’s the data that I have readily available.

    • Tony Howell

      Start Pence in left and move Gallo to first, bring Tocci up for 4th outfielder. And find some better pitching…….

    • calntom

      I reckon they will make a move this evening or tomorrow. My money is on Davidson as to not upset the apple cart.

    • RR3

      The complications were detailed in today’s Dallas Morning News by Evan Grant.

      1. They could move Gallo to first and bring up Calhoun. First base was going to be Gallo’s position last year until injuries forced them to move him to the outfield, and bring up Guzman. They now see Gallo as an outfielder and Chris Woodward doesn’t want to move him to first temporarily since it will stunt his outfield growth.

      2. They could call up either Matt Davidson or Patrick Wisdom. Davidson has major league experience and is more major-league ready than Wisdom. But, Davidson isn’t on the 40-man roster and Wisdom is. If they bring up Davidson, they would have to drop someone from the 40-man. That could be Volquez if his career is over or if he is moved to the 60-day DL, but they won’t know that for a few more days. Davidson is out of options. So if they do put him on the 40-man roster, when Guzman comes back, they would have to keep him or risk losing him to waivers. Wisdom is the easier of the two to call up now since he has options and since he is on the 40-man. But he’s not as ready to hit major league pitching.

  • calntom

    Well……. you know JD will sign a body to come in, or two. Then it will be all the young dudes from the farm that are not ready. Going to be an interesting merry-go-round throughout this season. Lots of guys with options out there so they can bring them up and send them back down at will to keep fresh arms among the 13.

  • CrazyEd

    Kevin, r.e. our discussion of coffee cups. The inside of my 20 oz yeti tumbler that I absolutely loved until all the after market ones came out at one third the price. Don’t ask me why, it’s just a Navy thing.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/13bd916dc07a411d1c31609cf4687de9c4f9dbb0b650e6b45816ea7e35295c26.jpg

  • CrazyEd

    A little birdie told me that Wisdom is on his way. Sometimes birdies lie. Sometimes they don’t.

  • CrazyEd
  • JacobMcCandles

    Trout has not hit a Slam in 1600 ABs so odds were huge agst it….so thats Baseball….Need a win today and get back on the tracks

  • Rowdy Yates

    Luckily missed the last two Trout 6 RBI whuppings and the pitching meltdowns. But even if the pitching is good it’s hard to win when the boys only score one run per game.

    • JacobMcCandles

      Amen

    • elkaba

      Several slumps seem to have crept up on us.

  • CrazyEd

    Just in case it slipped by anybody without them noticing, today is National Beer Day.

    • JacobMcCandles

      Thought that was every day that ended in “Y”

    • Nate Whitten

      Heineken. St. Pauli Girl. Stella Artois. Northern European lagers.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Amstel lite

      • CrazyEd

        I’m not picky

  • CrazyEd

    O.K. help please. Frisco has “sensory-safe area locations.” What, forever, are they talking about?

    • GT500

      Ed, many arenas, stadiums, parks, or other public (and private) venues started providing “sensory safe zones” for intellectually or developmentally challenged people away from the noise of the crowds and in an atmosphere consisting of things like the sound of waterfalls, soft music, and soothing visuals similar to what we knew as lava lamps and other scenes…..I think the original concept was to provide for families with autistic children…..seems to be a popular trend

      • CrazyEd

        Thanks, sounds like a good idea.

  • CrazyEd

    Reed Anderson is shoving at Down East, scoreless through 4. Woodies scored four in bottom of the 4th so leading 4 to zip.

    • CrazyEd

      Just found out Anderson had a no hitter going. Still pulled after hitting his pitch limit.

  • CrazyEd

    The Blueclaws are putting the hurts on the Crawdads five zip and batting bottom of the 4th.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Reverse Lone Star DH today….Astros then Rangers

  • elkaba

    Word of advice for Woody, as the all the joy in Mudville seems to be dissipating quickly… WALK TROUT!!!!!

  • CrazyEd

    Jose Trevino just broke the tie for the lowest batting average in Nashville. Now batting .100. He was tied with Calhoun at .111.

  • TD30
    • Nate Whitten

      Odor 2nd? He hasn’t hit a horse apple(or Osage orange).

      • CrazyEd

        Good one!!!

  • Nate Whitten

    Will the Rangers win today? They need to start scoring again.

    • CrazyEd

      They need to score early. Angels have a good bull pen.

      • Nate Whitten

        How is Guzman hurt badly ?

        • CrazyEd

          2nd grade hamstring strain. So sort of middle of the road. How long he’ll be out remains to be told.

          • Nate Whitten

            bad

          • Nate Whitten


            Reply

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            JacobMcCandles > CrazyEd • 3 hours ago

            As predicted yesterday……think it will be Wisdom

            Wisdom BA .250 OPS .857 yes, Jake

        • JacobMcCandles

          Probably a month

          • Nate Whitten

            bad. he was hitting well and is a great 1B
            see my repost of yours below re: Wisdom

          • JacobMcCandles

            Yessir

      • Nate Whitten

        1st?

  • CrazyEd

    Baltimore just put a new pitcher in the game. Hanser Alberto!

    • elkaba

      Lol

  • RR3

    1-for-13 with seven Ks so far in this series.

    • elkaba

      And that single cost a runner in scoring position.

  • RR3

    Did he tag Trout?

    • CrazyEd

      I don’t know, The ump said he did. I couldn’t tell.

    • vegasRANGER

      NO

  • RR3

    Good inning for Miller.

  • Nate Whitten

    so when do Rangers score big?

    • CrazyEd

      Just now

  • RR3

    Gallo having a year.

  • WhoKnowscs

    And with one swing in the 2nd. The Rangers have scored as many runs as they have in the last 2 games combined.

    • RR3

      Let’s just hope they can keep Trout at bay.

      • WhoKnowscs

        Keep the bases clear and have at least a 2 run lead for every one of his ABs and it won’t be a problem.

        • RR3

          Right.

  • RR3

    I remember when Pujols used to be the threat Trout is.

  • CrazyEd

    This is not going well

  • CrazyEd

    Better get a lot of outs quickly. Trout is looming.

  • WhoKnowscs

    JD should be fired for this pathetic excuse for a rotation.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Forget about Trout, if our starters can’t even go 2 innings without getting into trouble we have bigger fish to fry.

  • RR3

    No brainer.

  • RR3

    This lineup is not good. If the Rangers would quit giving them gifts.

  • RR3

    finally.

  • RR3

    Huge play.

  • WhoKnowscs

    BB coming.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Rouggie worked a walk! Rouggie worked a walk!

  • WhoKnowscs

    Elvis, number 2 would be nice.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Cubs move to 2-7.

    • RR3

      Wow, who would have thought that?

  • WhoKnowscs

    Rangers look like the Angels that first night.

  • CrazyEd

    Off day tomorrow, go ahead and use the pen.

  • RR3

    This is how bad this team is.

    A .067 pinch hitter replaces a .038 hitter.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Hey JD! The Tommy John Squad is lasting fewer innings each start!

  • RR3

    Two nice catches to end the last two innings.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Walk Please.

    • WhoKnowscs

      Thanks.

      • RR3

        He heard you.

  • CrazyEd

    This is just one of those ugly games where nothing goes right.

    • RR3

      When your starters can’t make it into the fourth inning, expect a lot of ugly games.

      • CrazyEd

        I just hope the live in Chinese chef/maid/massseuse brings me something good to eat. That and a beer should improve my mood which right now could use some improving.

  • CrazyEd

    Profar is hitting .106 and made 2 errors. That helps my mood somewhat.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Astros down 8-6 in the 8th just came back to win 9 -8…..swept As

  • WhoKnowscs

    Wonder if which ever team loses this game will blame it on the bees?

  • elkaba

    Just walked in the door… good timing. Let’s do this, Choo!

  • elkaba

    Come on Rougie. Don’t try to do too much.

  • RR3

    Odor swung at ball four.

    • elkaba

      Yep 🙁

      • RR3

        And CJ says, “That pitch might have been inside.” Really? That was six inches inside. No might about it. Quit coddling these guys.

        • elkaba

          Very few brain cells running what comes out of either of those mouths.

        • possumrld

          Nadel said it was high and inside.

    • possumrld

      Nadel pointed that out in a very poignant manner.

  • RR3

    Come on.

  • RR3

    Bases loaded, no outs.

    • elkaba

      Teaching moment #_______________.

  • elkaba

    Wonder what Kyle Bird’s Twitter handle is?

  • JacobMcCandles

    Not our best inning

  • CrazyEd
  • possumrld

    Anyone care to explain why Odor is still hitting in the # 2 spot?

  • CrazyEd
  • elkaba

    What a waste.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Top 3 MLB HR Hitters all in AL West

  • WhoKnowscs

    @#$@#$@# @#$@#$@#$ STOP PITCHING TO TROUT! @#!@#!@!

  • JacobMcCandles

    Great rendition of God bless America

  • elkaba

    Looks like we’re pitching batting practice.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Should’ve walked him

  • CrazyEd

    Nashville is in a raid delay. They are losing 5 to 3. Calhoun is hitting .125 so isn’t helping much. I wonder, despite all the right things he said, is he moping again? Last year all over again? I hope not, Hope it’s just a rough stretch.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Shame you couldn’t walk last AB Choo. But then we pitched to Trout so it’s not like we are learning much.

    • JacobMcCandles

      Not who you pitch too. But how you pitch to them…..Trout is the best though

      • WhoKnowscs

        Just walk Trout. As long as the guy behind him is batting sub .080 don’t bother with him. First base doesn’t have to be open and their doesn’t have to be someone on base.

  • JacobMcCandles

    If anyone is interested. Our best minor. leaguers are profiled in DMN…..Upside there are about a dozen…down side, no definates

  • CrazyEd
  • RR3

    What a mess.

  • JacobMcCandles

    You could argue Choo should get a run there

    • RR3

      Yes. He should.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Wonderful world of IR

  • WhoKnowscs

    Please give me anything but outs Gallo.

    • JacobMcCandles

      They should walk him…..lol

    • RR3

      This is his moment.

  • RR3

    Can you believe he has never hit a sac fly in his career?

    • JacobMcCandles

      More Hrs than singles as well

    • GoRangers23

      I read that the other day. Crazy.

  • RR3

    Wow.

  • JacobMcCandles

    That’s enough for me……good grief

    • RR3

      Don’t blame you.

  • GoRangers23

    OY

  • WhoKnowscs

    Next year JD will go shopping at Dollar Tree for Starters.

    • RR3

      Why change now?

      • WhoKnowscs

        Well he tried Five Below this year. And after 2 starts they look like they belonged at Dollar Tree so JD just decided to got to the source.

    • CrazyEd

      Starters won’t do you much good when you only score one or two runs. The whole team reeks right now. It’ll get better, I hope.

  • WhoKnowscs

    8-2 coming up

  • RR3

    Let’s see if they have a miracle in them today.

    • WhoKnowscs

      Thought we already had that . . . it’s why we aren’t 1-9.

  • RR3

    Yuck.

  • WhoKnowscs

    4 runs in the last 3 games.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Can someone tell the Ranger Broadcasters we don’t care to hear them gush about Trout?

  • CrazyEd
    • isittime

      Pitchers and some clutch/ situational hitting would be nice.

    • calntom

      Not even though the rotation yet. A good group to keep an eye on.

  • calntom

    What’s up fans? You all know the Rangers are in the 2nd year of a major rebuild, right? It ain’t going to be smooth sailing. You all sound like a bunch of Sad Sacks. Enjoy it for what it is. Rangers just got crushed by the big Halo hiting machine. End of story.
    Tuesday is coming.

    • JacobMcCandles

      Post of the Day

  • isittime

    Trout had over 1.900 ops. In the series. Lol. And Woodward made mention the other day about pitchers learning how handle trout. Hopefully he just saves them from themselves, steps out and points to 1st next time around.

  • calntom

    Looks like Wisdom is the man with Forsythe taking over at 1st?

  • calntom

    Seise and Terry, 2 more hits apiece today, crushing it for the mudbugs