Training wheels.

The Rangers start camp with a rotation significantly weaker than last season. Kluber, Minor, and Lynn were cause for real hope.

You can’t call the 2021 projected rotations one of the worst rotations in Rangers history because, well, it’s the Rangers. Bad pitching is this franchise’s brand.

But the challenge with this year’s rotation is that the three of its top five candidates won’t be allowed to pitch. 

Dane Dunning and Kyle Cody will be on a strict pitch count and innings limits because of coddling. Kohei Arihara, coming from Japan, is used to pitching once a week, in a six-man rotation.

Chris Woodward has already said they won’t be pitching more than 200 innings. That makes sense, considering the long term for each pitcher. Why push them in a year when it doesn’t matter?

Add to that Mike Foltynewicz who throw only three innings last year, and you have four starters who are going to be covered in bubble wrap.

So, get to know the Rangers bullpen. Because, chances are, the starters won’t be going more than five innings. 

And that’s okay. The Rangers have only 1,458 innings to cover this year. Plenty to go around for everyone.