Jake Latz got the chance of a lifetime. Because Dane Dunning landed on the COVID I.L., the twenty-five-year-old left-handed Latz got the opportunity to start in his place, and pitch in the major leagues.
Sure, he came away with a loss in his first major league start. But he walked off that mound knowing he threw a good game.
He gave up just five hits in 4.2 innings. Unfortunately, three of those this wound up on the other side of the wall.
Latz was a fifth-round pick in 2017. He was 14-5 with a 3.65 in four minor league seasons. The question is, will he get another start?
He wasn’t exactly burning up the minor leagues this year, though. He had a 7.00 ERA in two Triple-A starts and a 4.69 ERA in fifteen Double-A appearances.
But if a pitcher’s arm’s attached, he is a candidate for the Rangers rotation, and Latz got his chance tonight.
Will he get another one? That depends on how quickly Dunning, and now Mike Foltynewicz, return from the COVID list. Or how quickly Kohei Arihara is ready to return from his extended I.L.
But the Rangers need to start seeing what they have for the future. Guys like Latz offer hope. And hope is the oxygen Rangers fans get to breathe for the next few years.