So, Cole Ragans’s first major league season is over. He allowed one earned run over five innings of work against the Los Angeles Angels Without Mike Trout In The Lineup but was unable to get his first major league win.
The twenty-four-year-old left-hander started nine games, throwing a total of forty innings, averaging 4.4 innings per start, which in this era of baseball is a workhorse for a starter. To put it another way, he is nearly pitching half of every fifth game.
He ended his first season 0-3 with a 4.95 ERA and a too-high WHIP of 1.475. He walked too many and gave up too many hits. But compared to other Rangers starters, he had a solid rookie year.
Dane Dunning in 2022 posted a 4.46 ERA, a 1.435 WHIP, and 5.3 innings per start. Glen Otto, a 4.72 ERA and 1.350 WHIP, and 4.9 innings per start. Taylor Hearn and Spencer Howard also started a significant amount of games but didn’t pitch well enough to stick.
Hopefully there won’t be room in the Rangers rotation for Ragans, Otto, and Dunning next year. If the Rangers harbor any serious hopes of competing, those three will fight it out for the fifth spot in the rotation and the other two come out of the bullpen, ready to make a spot start in case of an injury or something.
Ragans showed signs of promise and should have the upper hand for that last rotation spot coming into spring. Dunning had two years to step up and all he did was step in it. Otto hasn’t exactly taken the ball and excelled either. Let them compete for one spot in the rotation. They don’t all deserve one of their own.