This two-part post will unveil the 25-man roster of recent ex-Rangers; which could form a team that would be heads and shoulders better than the current team (in a third post, I’ll put together the best Ranger roster possible from current and recent ex-Rangers to imagine what could be if things had been done perfectly – which I know is impossible, but is fun to imagine).
Bottom line, when you consider the quality of recent ex-Rangers vs. the current lot as a whole, it leads to a very straight-forward question: If Hicks, Cogen and Daniels/Hart were serious about building a championship team, then how in the world did they lose more talent than they collected?
In this Part I of a review of The Texas Rangers’ hemmoraging of talent, here’s a look at the starting rotation and bullpen that could be built from recent ex-Rangers (stats shown are from last season):
1. Kenny Rodgers (LHP, 3.84 era, 17 wins, .680 win%)
2. Chris Young (RHP, 3.46 era, 1.13 whip, 11 wins, .688 win%)
3. Estaban Loaiza (RHP, 11 wins, .550 win%)
4. Doug Davis (LHP , 11w-11l, 4.91 era, .500 win%)
5. Adam Eaton (RHP , 7w-4l, 5.12 era)
Closer: Francisco Cordero (RHP, 22 saves, 10w-6l, 4.43era)
SU Bryan Corey (RHP, 3.69 era, 32 games)
LR Chan Ho Park (RHP, 7w-7l, 4.81 era)
MR Fabio Castro (LHP, 0-1, 2.27 era)
MR Darren Oliver (LHP, 3.44 era , 45 games)
MR Brian Shouse (LHP, 3.97 era, 59 games)
MR Aaron Sele (RHP, 8w-6l, 28 games, 15 starts, 4.53 era)
MR Dan Kolb (RHP, 4.84 era, 53 games)
Key strengths of the rotation are that it features two lefties – which matters in The Ballpark; and that these guys know how to win. Their winning percentage would translate into a team record well over .500 which would at least gaurantee that this coulda-been Rangers team would be in the running (if not running away) for a post-season birth. And then, once in the play-offs, this is a rotation that would win more than 1 game, and could streak deep into the post-season, especially with a strong bullpen, uber-powerful offense and solid defense supporting them.
The bullpen is very well-balanced, enabling smart gamesmanship from the manager. It features veterans who can pitch under pressure and hold the team in games. Several could also be used as spot starters if the rotation falters or suffers injury. Cordero is still a bonified major league close, and Corey, Castro and Shouse would be particularly strong. I also think Park would make a great long-reliever if a starter has an off night. Otsuka-Gagne could prove to be a significantly dominating set-up : closer duo… but they haven’t done so yet. Even if they do (and I sincerely hope that happens), I can’t imagine an valid argument that the 13 arms above aren’t better than those currently playing for the Rangers.