Whoever is in charge of Tampa Bay’s pitching development department, the Rangers need to hire right away.
The Rays seem to manufacture quality starters like they were coming off an assembly line, whereas the Rangers are like the mad scientist flailing away in the basement trying to develop a formula that turns dirt into gold. They just can’t do it.
Yesterday’s starter Brendon McKay was just the next in a long line of pitching excellence the Tampa Bay Rays have enjoyed.
It’s what allows them to let David Price go, and not miss a beat. What allows them to trade Chris Archer and not miss a beat. What allows them to absorb a bad season from last year’s Cy Young winner Blake Snell and not miss a beat.
Not a bad first major league start for the kid. He retired the first sixteen major league hitters he faced. And these were no Rougned Odors. These were quality hitters.
It wasn’t until Danny Santana singled in the sixth that the Rangers had their first baserunner. That’s all they could muster off McKay.
The Rangers are trying everything to develop pitching. From the nutty de-load program to the current Driveline craze. Maybe they will eventually develop a quality starter all their own. (Be patient with Jon Daniels. It’s been only thirteen years, you cannot expect these things overnight.)
But when you see a kid like Brendan McKay come up—he’s also going to be the Rays DH, by the way—you wonder how they can continue finding and developing these gems.
Maybe instead of chasing the latest fad, the Rangers should clone whatever Tampa Bay is doing, and do that.
Jesse Chavez (3-2, 2.79) vs. Blake Snell (4-7, 5.01)
Game time: 12:10