In a franchise known for historically bad pitching, have there been many worse starters for the Texas Rangers ever than Spencer Howard?
He came to the Rangers at the trade deadline of 2021 for Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy. The Phillies were happy to get rid of him.
He made seven starts for Texas in 2021. Starts is really the best word to describe them. He started, gave up a ton of runs early, so someone else had to finish.
Basically, Howard is an unintentional opener. Before last night, his starts have lasted, in order, 2.1 innings, 3.0, 3.0. 2.0, 2.0, 1.1, 3.0, 4.0, and 3.2.
Yet, he was, for some really odd reason, part of the Rangers rotation to start the season. He made one start in April, slogging his way through 3.0 innings, allowing his customary six earned runs.
In his time as a Texas Ranger, including those eight starts and two brief relief appearances, Spencer Howard has a 10.29 ERA.
But a nice recent run in Triple-A earned him the right to replace Taylor Hearn in the Rangers rotation. Last night showed once again that, while he might be able to get out minor league hitters, he cannot do the same in the major leagues. Major league hitters are his kryptonite.
The twenty-five-year-old right-hander gave up four runs in four innings. His ERA had been so high that, even though he gave up one run per inning last night, it actually went down.
The Rangers bullpen, which was so good earlier in the season, is showing signs of wear and tear because the Rangers rotation is so incapable of going deep. Howard only makes matters worse.
Since he has been a Texas Ranger, Spencer Howard has never seen the fifth inning of a major league game from the field. This guy is the opposite of an innings eater. He’s an innings dieter.
“No more innings for me, please. I’ve had enough.”
So have we.