It’s 2017 and it is clear some things never change - the Rangers are still continuing on with their seemingly never ending quest to turn a reliever into a starter.
According to Evan Grant, should the Rangers not make any more changes as far as pitching goes, Matt Bush will be in the starting rotation.
Off the top of my head they’ve tried it five times in the recent years and it hasn’t worked once.
No, CJ Wilson doesn’t count. He started out as a starting pitcher and then moved to relief and then back to a starter. Also - he’s broken and retired, literally yesterday's news
The Rangers may be lacking in the pitching department, but they sure make up for it in… determination? Yeah that’s one word for it.
Alexi Ogando. So he started out as a reliever in 2010, 44 games with a 1.30 ERA. Then 2011 he was kind of a starter and it was kind of ok. 29 starts in 31 games with a 3.51 ERA. Then 2012 he was in 58 games, made one start, and had a 3.27 ERA. Then in 2013, he was kind of a starter again, this time with just 23 games, 18 of those being starts and a 3.11 ERA. Then he never made a MLB start again.
Robbie Ross, the relief pitcher that had such a good rookie season, 2.22 ERA, and a decent sophomore season, 3.03 ERA, that he had to become a starter. There was literally just no other option. And any guesses on what year it was he made 12 starts and ended with a 6.20 ERA? Shocker, it was 2014. 2014 was full of bad omens and signs of terribleness.
Neftali Feliz. He made seven starts in 2012 and that was that.
Shall I introduce you to Tanner Scheppers, you might remember him as the 2013 All-Star Game final vote candidate #TakeTanner. When he was a reliever with a 1.98 ERA. Or maybe you remember him as the 2014 opening day starter?
And now Matt Bush. Yeah sure, let’s have the pitcher struggling with a shoulder issue all last season, who had to have shoulder surgery in October, let’s make him start. Because there’s no way pitching more innings at a time could be worse that pitching a couple innings here and there.
Just like their cycle of breaking closers, they seem to have a cycle of breaking good relievers too.
Obviously the moral of these stories, leave relievers alone. Don’t make them closers, don’t make them starters...the 7th and 8th innings are important too!
In all honesty, I’m more surprised of all the pitchers in the bullpen they could’ve transformed into starters, that they didn’t pick Alex Claudio since he actually made a start this year. (That wasn’t an invitation to try JD, leave Claudio and the bullpen alone!)
How about instead of taking pitchers from the bullpen and trying to make them starts, we get some real starters and a legit closer? I don’t know, just some thoughts.