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Grading the Rangers pitchers, Part III

The 2016 season is over, so its time to issue final grades for the Rangers players

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

29 pitchers appeared in games for the Rangers in 2016. Well, 31 if you count Bryan Holaday and Jared Hoying, but I’m not.

I've opted to issue grades to these 29 pitchers. This is based on a combination of performance and expectations, and is ultimately subjective, and shouldn't be taken too seriously.

Today is Part II of the pitchers grades

You can see Part I of the grades for the pitchers here.

You can see Part II of the grades for the pitchers here.

You can see Part I of the grades for the position players here.

You can see Part II of the grades for the position players here.

Kyle Lohse — D

Do you remember that Kyle Lohse was a Ranger? Signed to a minor league deal in May when the Rangers were desperate for starting pitching depth, Lohse went to AAA, wasn’t good (6.09 ERA in 68 IP), then was called up to the majors to replace Nick Martinez, and had two bad starts (13 runs allowed in 9.1 IP), then was released. Another pitcher who allowed more home runs (4) and more walks (5) than he had strikeouts for the Rangers (3).

Nick Martinez -- C

Nick Martinez is what he is -- decent enough pitching depth that you can bounce between the majors and the minors. He wasn’t as good this year as he has been in the previous couple of years, putting up a 5.59 ERA and a 6.87 FIP, but he’s a useful depth piece.

Yohander Mendez — A-

This grade isn’t about what Mendez did in the majors — he had two appearances, and allowed 6 runs in 3 IP — as it is what Mendez did this year, and in the past two years. After being dogged by injuries much of his career, Mendez has had two solid seasons in a row, and has put himself on the map as a top 100 prospect due to his low-90s fastball, his plus changeup, and his “pitchability.” He’s not ready yet, but he’s someone who should be in the major league rotation mix before too long. It was great progress from a guy who spent all of 2015 in the Sally League, and who started 2016 in high-A ball, to make it to the majors.

Martin Perez -- C+

Another guy who is tough to grade. Perez stayed healthy, led the team in starts, pitched 198.2 IP, and had a decent 4.39 ERA and 4.50 FIP, good for a 1.8 WAR season, whether you use bWAR or fWAR — pretty much the definition of a LAIE. That’s pretty good for a guy who is 25 years old, coming off Tommy John surgery, and making very little. On the other hand, the Rangers really needed Perez to take a step forward and establish himself as a legit #3 starting pitcher, and he didn’t do that. Perez throws a hard two-seamer he reliably gets ground balls with, but needs his offspeed pitches — in particular, his changeup, the pitch that put him on the map as a 17 year old prospect -- to get swings and misses. At times the offspeed pitches were good, and Perez looked like a guy who could be as much as a #2. At other times, they weren’t, and he looked like a guy who barely deserved a rotation spot. “Feel” pitches supposedly take longer to get back when returning from TJS, and so there’s some hope that the consistency on the changeup will improve next year, but it may be that this is who Perez is. That’s not a bad thing, but its also not quite what we have hoped for.

Cesar Ramos — B-

A guy signed to a minor league deal who gave the Rangers some decent efforts and even started a few games when they were desperate. He wasn’t good (6.04 ERA in 47.2 IP), but he was there when the Rangers needed him, and that counts for something, I think.

Anthony Ranaudo — F

A former first round pick acquired prior to the 2015 season for Robbie Ross, Ranaudo was supposed to give the Rangers rotation depth. Instead, he appeared in two games in relief, allowed 7 runs in 3.2 IP, walked 8 of the 21 batters he faced, and was shipped out.

Michael Roth — ?

Roth, like Ranaudo, pitched 3.2 innings. Ranaudo allowed 10 baserunners -- 8 walks and 2 hits — to 21 batters. Roth allowed 11 baserunners -- 10 hits and 1 walk — to 22 batters. Roth got one spot start, was awful, and was dumped. I put a question mark on there because I’m not sure how you even curve his performance.

Tanner Scheppers — D

Had knee surgery, missed most of the season, came back, put up a 4.15 ERA in 8.2 IP and threw hard, but struggled to miss bats. The Rangers have an interesting decision to make on him this offseason, as he’s arbitration-eligible again, and 40 man roster spots are dear.

Shawn Tolleson -- F

I kind of want to give Tolleson a “D” rather than an “F,” because I think a lot of his problems this year were the result of him having been ridden hard in both 2014 and 2015, which impacted him physically. Still, he came into the season as the closer, was bad, got demoted, and then missed the end of the season with back problems. He’s arbitration eligible this offseason, and my inclination would be to bring him back rather than non-tender him, but that’s going to depend in large part of what his medicals reflect.

Tom Wilhelmsen — F

Trading Leonys Martin and Anthony Bass for Tom Wilhelmsen, Patrick Kivlehan and James Jones will not go down as one of Jon Daniels’ better moves. The less said about Wilhelmsen’s tenure with the Rangers, the better.