Next Year’s Rotation Predictions?

With the free agent pitching market not looking too great this winter and the Rangers stacked with young arms that are predicted to break through, what will the Rangers rotation look like out of the gate next April?

Unless Laird is packaged with someone (Padilla? Loe? Rheinecker? Tejeda?) in a trade for a significant upgrade in pitching, I believe the Rangers will (and should) let their current arms play and sort themselves out for 2009 and beyond.

Millwood, McCarthy and Gabbard are the only sure bets I see for the rotation. I guess Padilla falls in there too considering his contract and the hope that this season’s performance can be chalked up to injury and a just an off year.

I still think Loe is the new Benoit. And I think he’ll have a great career in the bullpen. That would leave Volquez, Rheinecker, Tejeda and maybe Hurley (seems like I’m forgetting someone) vying for the 5th spot in the rotation.

How do you think it plays out? 

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2 responses to “Next Year’s Rotation Predictions?

  1. I didn’t see this on the new site yet, so I’ll post my response here for now:

    I agree Millwood, Gabbard and McCarthy are the only sure bets. I wish Padilla would break his pitching hand, so he’d need surgery, and be out until 2009, which is his contract year (no doubt he’ll crank it up then) but he’ll be in there too, unless my wish does come true. Volquez is tearing it up in AAA, despite the fact his callup got axed due to the fact he missed a bullpen session, so I think he might be the leading candidate to fill out next year’s rotation.

    As for the reast of the field, first of all, I disagree with your assesment of Kam Loe. I don’t think he’s suited to the bullpen, his performance out of the ‘pen earlier this year stunk. I think he’s a starter, though I don’t think he’s ever going to be anything more than a passable 4-5 starter. He reminds me of a young Jamey Wright.

    If anyone is a new Benoit, it’s Robinson Tejeda. They’re both streaky, finicky, and can be prone to big innings.

    Rheinecker should take over the hole in the bullpen left by Ron Mahay. We only have 1 lefty releiver, and that’s CJ Wilson, who will likely have the closers job next year, depending upon what happens to Aki (that’s becoming a very apt nickname for him, isn’t it?) Otsuka.

    After looking at his AAA stats, I don’t think Hurley will start the year in the rotation (unless he has a monster spring), but I do think he will be there sometime next year, depending upon the rotation’s performance, injuries, ext.

    The guy you might be “forgetting” is Mike Wood, who’s been Oklahoma’s best starter this year in AAA, but I really don’t think he has the stuff to be a rotation starter in the majors, much like Rheinecker. He’s yet another long reliever for the ‘pen.

  2. I don’t see any moves being made through FA. There’s nothing out there worth a damn, so that’s not an option.

    Millwood, McCarthy, Gabbard and Padilla are locks. Padilla has been a disappointment, but he’ll get a pass because of his injury problems this year, and he’ll get a chance early next year ot get back on track.

    The fifth spot is tough to predict, though I think you’ve got it about right with the list of Tejeda, Rheinecker, Volquez and Hurley battling for the 5th spot. I’d like to see Kam Loe in the bullpen, as I just don’t think he’s good enough to keep taking a rotation spot from a younger, more talented prospect. Not sure he’d be a great BP guy, but he’s certainly not good enough as a starter to keep clogging up the rotation…The Volquez stuff is starting to get old. It’s not the first time he’s missed meetings/bullpen sessions, and he’s really starting to have questions raised about his reliability throughout the organization. I think he’s the early favorite for the 5th spot, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he costs himself the job with his own stupidity. Hurley needs to spend most of next year in AAA. He’s still got a few things to work on, and it’d be nice to see him really dominate that level before jumping up to the bigs.

    Overall, I figure we’re looking at:

    Millwood
    Padilla
    McCarthy
    Gabbard
    Volquez

    With Wood, Loe, Rheinecker and Tejeda all seeing time out of the bullpen and as spot starters…I think Robbie is the type guy that would be a really good short inning power arm out of the pen. He’s just got to get his head back on right.

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