No win, nor respect, for ABD. 50 comments

This is not Austin Bibens-Dirkx, but the Rangers GM doesn’t know that, unable to recognize one of the best starters in his system.


Don’t look now but the Rangers starter with the best ERA is Austin Bibens-Dirkx. After five brilliant innings last night, giving up no runs and just two hits to the San Diego Padres, Bibens-Dirkx’s ERA dropped to 3.57, a tick better than Cole Hamels’s 3.61.

He left the game early, after just ninety pitches, with a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately, the bullpen blew it later.

You have to wonder what Bibens-Dirkx has to do to get any sort of respect from his own team.

Last year, in desperation, after being passed over a number of times in favor of much lesser starters, he finally got a chance. He went 5-2 with a 467 ERA. His ERA wasn’t that far off from Hamels’s 4.20, in the same neighborhood as Darvish’s 4.01, and better than Martin Perez’s 4.82.

Yet, they contemplated throwing millions at Darvish. They handed Perez a starting rotation slot. They gave $1.7 million to Bartolo Colon and his 4.72 ERA. They gave $8 millon to Mike Minor and his 5.06 ERA. They tossed $3.5 million at Doug Fister, whose 4.50 ERA was only slightly better than ABD’s. And they threw away $10 million on Matt Moore and his dreadful 7.63 ERA.

Meanwhile, to a team that is trying to curtail payroll, Austin Bibens-Dirkx represents a better, much cheaper alternative. He’s making the major league minimum $525,000.

Sure, Bibens-Dirkx is never going to win you a Cy Young. But the total number of Cy Young awards won by everyone else whom the Rangers threw stupid money at is exactly equal to his total.

Yet, here it is, the second season Dirkx is being given a chance solely because of desperation. Reluctantly.

When, in reality, he has earned a permanent role in this motley crew of a rotation.

Sadly, when it comes down to it, it has to be the ego of the general ganager that’s in play here. He didn’t draft Bibens-Dirkx, Seattle did. So, he can’t be that good, right? Otherwise, Daniels would have spotted him from the beginning.

And he certainly cannot be better than the brilliantly handpicked pitchers Daniels unearthed in the off-season, right? This general manager is infallible, right? How could he be wrong?

Austin Bibens-Dirkx always gets the sense he is lucky to be given this one more start. Don’t unpack the suitcase. Don’t call the utility companies. Don’t have your mail forwarded.

And it’s a shame. He pitches with guts, grit and fight every time. The results aren’t always perfect. But they were last night.

Why he was yanked after just five innings is the topic for a whole different rant.


Clayton Richard (7-6, 4.23) vs. Mike Minor (5-4, 5.06)
Game time: 7:05

How the Padres hit against Minor.
How Rangers hit against Richard.