A tale of two pitching staffs.

The Rangers rotation of 2019: Lance Lynn and Mike Minor and nothing else.

Texas had two of the best starting pitchers in the American League in 2019.

Texas had one of the worst starting staffs in the American League in 2019.

They had two totally different rotations.

The Rangers ERA for their starters was 5.37. Combined, Mike Minor and Lance Lynn had an ERA of 3.63. Rangers starters not named Minor or Lynn combined for an ERA of 7.22.

So you either got Shinola. Or Crapola.

The Rangers went into the season with three starters—Edinson Volquez, Shelby Miller, and Drew Smyly—who had combined for a total of sixteen innings in 2018. They ended up performing as advertised. Vólquez started two games, posted a 7.04 ERA, then was injured. The Rangers weren’t so lucky with Miller and Smyly. They were able to make their starts. In Miller’s eight starts his ERA was 9.51. Smily was somehow allowed to start nine games. His ERA was 8.40.

And that was three-fifths of the rotation the Rangers went into the seasons with. And looked into the camera, straight faced, claiming they were serious about winning.

They also got starts from Ariel Jurado, Adrian Sampson, Kolby Allard, Brock Burke, Pedro Payano, Joe Palumbo, and Taylor Hearn.

As bad as the Ranger pithing was, it proved the axiom, “the grass is always browner on the other side.” Because the Angels were even worse. 

The Rangers go into 2020 needed a lot of pitching. Maybe some of the arms they brought up like Allard or Brock or Palumbo can materialize. They certainly can’t be worse than Volquez, Miller, or Symly. 

But if the Rangers hope to compete in the decade of the 20s, they are going to eventually have to figure out how to develop pitching. Or, just buy it. 

Here are the available free agent starters:

Garrit Cole 
Stephen Strasburg 
Hyun-Jin Ryu 
Zack Wheeler 
Jake Odorizzi
Madison Bumgarner


Tomorrow, relievers.