The Texas Rangers starting rotation will be Yu Darvish, Martin Perez, Cole Hamels and A.J. Griffin to open the season, Jeff Banister announced today.
Due to off days, the Rangers won’t need a fifth starter until April 15, at Seattle. It sounds like the plan is to look to activate Andrew Cashner from the disabled list at that point, or recall Nick Martinez or Dillon Gee from AAA to be the fifth starter if Cashner isn’t ready yet.
I said early on I thought it was quite unlikely the Rangers would go with a four man rotation to start the season, given how adamant pitching coach Doug Brocail, in particular, was about wanting guys to get that rest early in the year. With Cashner and Tyson Ross unavailable, however, the four man rotation became more palatable, it appears.
A.J. Griffin beat out Gee, Martinez, Mike Hauschild, and Allen Webster, among others, for the rotation spot. Once Cashner and Ross are both healthy (or if they ever are both healthy), however, Griffin could be relegated to a long man role, or possibly optioned.
While Perez is starting Game 2 of the season, with Hamels in the #3 spot, that appears to be Banister separating his two top guys early in the season so that, if Perez or Griffin has a short outing, one of the reliable guys will be out there the next day and more likely avoid taxing the bullpen even more.