Kolby Allard last night. Joe Palumbo today. Brock Burke tonight. It is, for all intents, time to turn the lights out on 2019 and flip the switch to the Rangers future.
Allard is a twenty-two-year-old lefty. Palumbo is a twenty-four-year-old lefty. And Brock Burke is a twenty-three-year-old lefty making his first-ever major league start.
Evaluating them is what the rest of 2019 will be about.
One of the three might eventually be a star in the Rangers rotation. Maybe all three. You never know with pitching prospects. And you really never know with Rangers pitching prospects. Those have a way of losing their helium once they arrive in Arlington.
So many ghosts of rotations past—Chi Chi Gonzalez, Martin Perez, Nick Martinez, Tanner Scheppers, Anthony Ranaudo, Thomas Diamond—lurk in the shadows to get hopes up too high. The Rangers have been better at generating hyperboly than superboly.
But this game is all about the refreshing itself with new talent. And the Rangers are badly in need of the next wave of that.
Allard come from the stacked Braves system in the Chris Martin deal. Palumbo was drafted in Round 30 in 2013 by the Rangers. And Burke came over from Oakland as part of the Jurickson Profar three-team trade. He has the most upside, according to most baseball experts. Burke has already rocketed through four levels this year, starting in the Rangers Rookie League for one start, moving to Hickory in Single-A, also for one start, then nine starts at Double-A Frisco and two starts at Triple-A Nashville. All combined, he had a 3.90 ERA and a 1.203 WHIP, with 64 Ks and just 18 BBs.
So, welcome, Burke. Welcome back, Palumbo. And welcome to the rotation, Allard. All three arrive on a Rangers club desperate for young arms, ready to audition for spots in next year’s rotation.
Luckily, they get to wade into the big leagues by facing the dreadful Angels. It’s like a drive around the neighborhood before getting put behind the wheel at the Indianapolis 500.
Good luck on your auditions.
Andrew Heaney (2-3, 4.76) vs. Joe Palumbo (0-1, 11.00)
Game time: 1:05
Jaime Barria (4-6, 6.62) vs. Brock Burke (—, -.–)
Game time: 7:05