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Looking Back: 2019 Rangers Starting Pitching

Taking a look at the Rangers’ starting pitching for 2019

Boston Red Sox v Texas Rangers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Back in Spring Training, I did a five part series breaking down the Texas Rangers roster to see who would most likely be on the team. With the season now complete, I decided to look back on that and compare it to how the season actually turned out. I also did a post of all the moves the Rangers did in the off-season, so this series is kind of a mashup of those two postings, looking both at what the Rangers did and what the players did with the 2019 season.


Mike Minor

Started 32 games, one of the three Texas Rangers All Stars, came in 8th in AL Cy Young voting

ZiPS Projected 2019 ERA: 4.49
ZiPS Projected 2019 FIP: 4.41
ZiPS Projected 2019 k/9: 7.35

2019 ERA: 3.59
2019 FIP: 4.25
2019 k/9: 8.6
2019 Innings pitched: 208.1

Minor was everything the Rangers wanted and needed, and then some. Making 32 starts, tied for the most he’s made in his career, having last done so in 2013 in Atlanta, which was immediately followed by his injury years, which included him missing all of ‘15 and ‘16. 2019 also included his first complete game as well as the most strikeouts and innings pitched he’s had in a season. His name came up in Cy Young conversations throughout the year, and he was definitely a worth contender until his...messy... August derailed that hype train. He got to 200 strikeouts for the first time in his career, which, it should be noted, provided another highlight of his season: “Ask me if I care Pete.” 2020 will be the final year of his contract with the Rangers.

Lance Lynn

Started 33 games, came in 5th in AL Cy Young voting

ZiPS Projected 2019 ERA: 4.50
ZiPS Projected 2019 FIP: 4.57
ZiPS Projected 2019 k/9: 7.77.

2019 ERA: 3.67
2019 FIP: 3.13
2019 k/9: 10.6
2019 Innings pitched: 208.1

Lynn became one of the most valuable pitchers for the Rangers, perhaps even more than Minor, particularly because he seemed to always go 6 innings. He was basically Colby Lewis 2.0. 2020 will be the second year of his three-year/$30 million contract.

Lynn also gets top three 2019 Pettiest Rangers for telling the ump “we have a plane to catch” and getting t-shirts made.

Drew Smyly

Pitched in 13 games for the Rangers with an 8.42 ERA, 8.05 FIP, released June 25

Shelby Miller

Pitched in 19 games with with 8.59 ERA, 6.40 FIP, released July 4

Edinson Volquez

Pitched in 11 games, made four starts, put on IL April 13 for elbow sprained, activated September 1. Was expected to retire, but now may be signing a minor league contract witht he Rangers.


Ariel Jurado

After Minor and Lynn, Jurado made the most starts for the team, with 18, along with 14 relief appearances.

2019 ERA 5.81
2019 FIP 5.10
2019 k/9: 6.0
2019 Innings pitched: 122.1

I believe Jurado was better than his stats suggest — he started the season very strong as a valuable, reliable bullpen piece, and had some flashes as a starter. Ultimately, he ran out of gas near the end of the season as he transitioned primarily to the rotation. Which, considering his inexperience and the massive jump in innings (54.2 to 122.1), is completely understandable

Adrian Sampson

Made 15 starts in 35 games, was on IL from August 19th to September 1st for back spasms

2019 ERA 5.89
2019 FIP 5.69
2019 k/9: 7.3
2019 Innings pitched: 125.1

Sampson is reportedly being released by the Rangers in order to play in South Korea.

Jesse Chavez

Made 9 starts in 48 games, a few of those were as an opener. Was on the IL from August 13 to the end of the season for a right posterior elbow impingement.

ZiPS Projected 2019 ERA: 3.99
ZiPS Projected 2019 FIP: 3.98
ZiPS Projected 2019 k/9: 8.33

2019 ERA 4.85
2019 FIP 4.41
2019 k/9: 8.3
2019 Innings pitched: 78

Chavez was a relief pitcher, opener, starter, and closer. 2020 will be his final year of the 2-year contract. He is in the top three 2019 Pettiest Ranger after asking an ump if he needed his glasses.

Kolby Allard

Made nine starts for the Rangers after being acquired from the Braves on July 30th for Chris Martin. Called up from Nashville on August 9th.

2019 ERA 4.96
2019 FIP 4.01
2019 k/9: 6.6
2019 Innings pitched: 45.1

Depending on what the Rangers do this off-season with their rotation, I think Allard has made a case for being in the back end of the rotation next season or at the very least a pitcher we see beginning the year in Nashville but ready to brought up as needed.

Brock Burke

Burke also made his MLB debut on August 20th in the first game of the double header against the Angels. He made six starts, going six innings in each of his first three starts.

2019 ERA 7.43
2019 FIP 6.55
2019 k/9: 4.73
2019 Innings pitched: 26.2

Joe Palumbo

Palumbo made his major league debut on June 8th in the first game of a double header against the Oakland Athletics. He made four starts in seven games this season.

2019 ERA 9.18
2019 FIP 7.95
2019 k/9: 11.34
2019 Innings pitched: 16.2

Pedro Payano

Made his major league debut on July 6th against the Minnesota Twins. Payano pitches in six games, made four starts, and has elected free agency.

2019 ERA 5.73
2019 FIP 5.62
2019 k/9: 7.0
2019 Innings pitched: 22.0