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The Rangers Roster Breakdown: Starting Rotation

Perusing the (expected) starting rotation for the 2019 Texas Rangers

MLB: Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Over the next couple of weeks of spring training, I’ll be doing a breakdown of the Rangers 2019 (potential) team. They have a lot of new guys, well new to them but a lot of them are old (relatively speaking to the baby rangers,) so I decided to do a (hopefully) comprehensive breakdown of every player with their 2018 (or previous major league season) stats and their projections for the 2019 season.

I’m also including the injury report over the last five years, info is a combination of numbers from MLB, beat-writer reports, Baseball Reference, and Ron Shandler’s 2019 Baseball Forecaster. Projections from FanGraphs ZiPS.

The series will be broken up by starting pitchers, bullpen, infield, and outfield.

We’ll begin with the starting rotation.


The Rangers starting rotation is pretty much the only seemingly officially decided aspect of the roster so far... as long as everything goes well in spring training.

Just for comparison, the starting rotation for 2018 opening day was:

Cole Hamels-LHP, Doug Fister-RHP, Matt Moore-LHP, Mike Minor-LHP, and Bartolo Colon-RHP.

The Rangers will have three pitchers in their rotation coming off Tommy John surgery

Mike Minor- LHP- Opening Day Starter, probably

Minor is the only returning starter from the 2018 season and will arguably be the Rangers best starting pitcher. Therefore, he’ll most likely be the Opening Day starting pitcher. Manager Chris Woodward, hasn’t made the decision official but if spring training goes as expected, Minor will be number one for the Rangers.

After missing 2015 and 2016 because of injures, he was a relief pitcher for Kansas in 2017 before being used as a starter by Texas last season. He made 28 starts for the Rangers last season and went 12-8 with a 4.18 ERA and 1.12 WHIP.

2018 ERA: 4.18
2018 FIP: 4.43
2018 K/9: 7.57

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

Injury Report:
2014: Missed 37 days for left shoulder tendinitis
2015: Missed 185 days for left rotator cuff inflammation
2016: Missed 183 days recovering from surgery on left shoulder

Lance Lynn- RHP

Lance Lynn will be the number two starter for the Rangers. The 31-year-old pitched for the Twins and Yankees in 2018, combined for 29 starts, 31 games total. He’ll be with the Rangers for three years (assuming he’s never traded) after signing a three-year, $30 million contract in December.

In 2018, he went 10-10 with a 1.53 WHIP. In his 20 games with the Twins, he went 7-8 with a 5.10 ERA and 1.63 WHIP.

Traded at the deadline to the New York Yankees, he pitched in 11 games (9 starts) going 3-2 with a 4.14 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. He was originally in the Yankees bullpen before replacing Sonny Gray in the rotation.

2018 ERA: 4.77
2018 FIP: 3.84
2018 K/9: 9.25

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

Injury Report:
2015: Missed 13 days for strained right forearm
2016: Missed entire season recovering from Tommy John

Drew Smyly- LHP

The 29-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 with Tampa Bay. Traded to the Mariners in January 2017, he started the season on the injured list before having Tommy John in June.

In December 2017 he signed a 2 year/ $10 million deal with the Cubs, he pitched one game in the minors last season for the Cubs single A.

In 2016, he went 7-14 with a 4.88 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 30 starts

2016 ERA: 4.88
2016 FIP: 4.49
2016 K/9: 8.57

ZiPS Projected 2019 ERA: 4.73
ZiPS Projected 2019 FIP: 4.72
ZiPS Projected 2019 k/9: 8.82

Injury Report:
Tommy john recovery
2015: Missed a total of 118 days due to left shoulder soreness twice
2017: Missed 182 days for strained flexor in left arm
2018: Missed 187 days recovering from left elbow surgery

Shelby Miller- RHP

Miller missed a majority of the 2018 season after having Tommy John surgery in April 2017. He was then activated by Arizona at the end of June but after four starts, placed on 10-day for right elbow inflammation, and ended up missing the rest of the season.

In his four starts (five games) with Arizona in 2018, the 28-year-old Houston native went 0-4 with a 2.00 WHIP

2018 ERA: 10.69
2018 FIP: 6.35
2018 K/9: 10.69

ZiPS Projected 2019 ERA: 5.12
ZiPS Projected 2019 FIP: 4.69
ZiPS Projected 2019 k/9: 7.56

Injury Report:
2016: Missed 24 days for sprained right index finger
2017: Missed 160 days right elbow inflammation
2018: Missed 169 days recovery from tommy john

Edinson Volquez- RHP

Volquez last pitched in the majors in 2017 for the Miami Marlins, he went 4-8 with a 1.42 WHIP in 17 starts.

After undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2017, he was released by Miami that December.

The Rangers signed him to a two-year minor league deal in February of last year but missed the entire season to recover from surgery. He was added to the 40-man roster in November.

2017 ERA: 4.19
2017 FIP: 4.35
2017 K/9: 7.90

ZiPS Projected 2019 ERA: 5.14
ZiPS Projected 2019 FIP: 5.02
ZiPS Projected 2019 k/9: 6.29

2017: Missed total of 96 days for blister on right thumb; left knee tendinitis;
2018: Missed season because of Tommy john surgery