The Texas Rangers starting pitchers for their first four Cactus League games have been announced, per the beat guys on Twitter.
Saturday’s Cactus League opener will be started by Ariel Jurado, while fellow likely Nashville rotation mate Yohander Mendez will start Sunday. Then, the two veteran rotation members who were healthy last year, Mike Minor and Lance Lynn, will pitch Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
Jurado and Mendez, each on their final option, are almost certainly headed to AAA Nashville, and likely will be in a swingman role for the team in the early part of the year, as the prized upper-level pitching prospects — Joe Palumbo, Jonathan Hernandez, Taylor Hearn and Brock Burke — will likely be given a few months in the minors before they are seriously considered for a shot at the majors.
Meanwhile, Minor and Lynn are expected to head up the team’s 2019 major league rotation, followed by Drew Smyly, Shelby Miller and Edinson Volquez, all of whom missed most or all of 2018. All three of those pitchers are healthy and expected to be on a normal schedule this spring.