Last year, the Rangers made it through the entire season using only seven starting pitchers: CJ Wilson, Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando and two starts each by Dave Bush and Scott Feldman.
This year looks like a Who’s Who. With today’s news that Colby Lewis is going on the 15-day DL with tendinitis, fully 60% of the starting five at season’s start are now on the shelf. Holland should be back right around the All-Star Break. No word on when Neftali Feliz is coming back yet. Feliz is on the 60-Day DL. His first replacement, Alexi Ogando, lasted three innings in his only start before going on the DL himself with a groin strain.
Texas lived the high life when it came to pitchers’ health last year. When you include the relief staff, the current Rangers pitching staff with Lewis gone is 42% comprised of players who weren’t with the Rangers at the start of the season: Roy Oswalt, Michael Kirkman, Tanner Scheppers, Justin Grimm and now rookie Martin Perez, one of the Rangers’ top prospects.
When you think about it, the Rangers’ 14-9 record in the month of June is pretty darn good, considering the state of flux in the pitching staff. Scott Feldman moves back in the starting rotation on Thursday in place of Lewis. After using Kirkman and Lowe for eight innings last night against the Tigers and Feldman no longer available for long relief, the pressure is on Yu Darvish tonight and Oswalt tomorrow to give Texas some quality innings.