The Texas Rangers starting rotation could feature Edinson Volquez as the #2 starter, behind Opening Day starter Mike Minor, according to Rangers manager Chris Woodward (via the beat guys on Twitter).
Going just based off of expected 2019 performance, once would expect the Rangers to go with Lance Lynn after Minor, followed by Drew Smyly, and then Volquez and Shelby Miller in some order. However, with Smyly, Volquez and Miller all coming back from Tommy John surgery, there’s an inclination to split that group up, so that the bullpen isn’t overworked with three straight days of pitchers under potential inning limits.
Putting Smyly begins Minor would mean putting the two left handed starters in the rotation back to back, which is generally something teams prefer to avoid, which means Volquez makes more sense. Thus, at this point, it would appear that the rotation will line up as Minor/Volquez/Lynn/Smyly/Miller, with Adrian Sampson appearing to have positioned himself as the leading candidate to step in in the early part of the season if a rotation member goes down.
The Rangers have Opening Day on March 28, an off day on March 29, then eight games in a row followed by two off days in a four day stretch. That should gives the Rangers the ability to shuffle the rotation or skip someone after the first time or two through if need be.