Growing pains.

Cole Ragans takes the L in his second major league start.

Welcome to the major leagues, Cole Ragans.

His first start was a fairy tale story of five innings, no runs. Then, he faced the best team in the American League. And things were a bit different.

In his second start, Ragans went 4.1 innings, allowing five runs. It could have been worse. He walked two batters in the first and got out of the inning with nobody scoring.

After giving up three runs in the third, then a two-run homer in the fifth, he was lifted.

These are the growing pains of a rookie. And this is why the Rangers are fooling themselves if they think that this fresh crop of pitchers they have coming up means they will be successful in the next two years.

That’s not to say this group won’t be good. They might be. This might finally, after seventeen years, be a Jon Daniels success story when it comes to developing pitchers.

But, it takes a few years, two or three or four, for a good pitcher to figure it out and start dominating. It doesn’t happen right away. So, if the Rangers have any real plans to be good next year, they cannot count on guys like Ragans. Even if he develops into a Hall of Famer, he won’t get there overnight. Neither will Leiter or Rocker. 

Ragans is a reminder that, if the Rangers have hopes of competing next year, they are going to need to buy a lot of arms. Because their arms aren’t ready yet.