The Texas Rangers have had trouble finding consistency in the starting rotation for years, but that could change for this upcoming season. Texas inked a number of big names to revamp its rotation, which could be one of the game’s best in 2023. But, there is some risk for the Rangers rotation moving forward.
A Look at the Rangers Rotation Options
- Jacob deGrom (5-4, 3.08 ERA, 12.75 K/9 in 2022)
- Nathan Eovaldi (6-3, 3.87 ERA, 8.5 K/9)
- Martín Pérez (12-8, 2.89 ERA, 7.7 K/9)
- Andrew Heaney (4-4, 3.10 ERA, 13.6 K/9)
- Jon Gray (7-7, 3.96 ERA, 9.5 K/9)
We’ll start off with Jacob deGrom, the prize of the Rangers‘ free agency splurge. deGrom has spent most of the last two seasons on the IL thanks to a number of injuries, but one can’t deny what he can do on the mound when healthy. The two-time NL Cy Young award can blow hitters with one of the best fastballs in the game, or a plus-plus slider that consistently sits in the low-90s. Texas has longed for an ace like deGrom, and now he’s set to call Globe Life Field home.
In addition to deGrom, former Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi heads down south to Texas for the 2023 season. Eovaldi has been one of the game’s best control pitchers in recent years, quite the deviation from the start of this career. The power righty recorded the third-lowest BB/9 (1.70) among all pitchers have thrown at least 250 innings over the last two seasons. Only Max Scherzer (1.66) and Aaron Nola (1.59) own better walk rates over that time — not bad company to be associated with.
Eovaldi has been able to blow away hitters with a hard fastball and a devastating splitter, and the Rangers hope to see plenty of that come this upcoming season.
Then, there’s Martín Pérez, who had a career year back in Texas. Pérez posted career-highs in ERA (2.89) and strikeouts (169), en route to his first All-Star nomination this past summer. The 31-year-old could have left in hopes for a big payday this winter, but Pérez will stick around for another season after accepting the Rangers’ qualifying offer. Should Pérez continue to induce ground balls in bunches, the lefty should slot in nicely in the middle of the rotation.
Next up is Andrew Heaney, another one of the newcomers to the Rangers pitching staff. Heaney has dealt with injury problems throughout his career, but the lefty did perform well with the Dodgers last season. Heaney struck out 110 batters over 72.2 innings in Los Angeles last season, thanks to a very good fastball/slider combo.
Jon Gray, meanwhile, will return for his second year in Texas. The ex-Rockie failed to hit at least 150 innings in a full 162-game season for the first time since 2017, but did seem to benefit from the change of scenery. Gray recorded a 9.5 K/9 in 2022 — the same as 2021 — and saw his ERA dip over half a full point, down to 3.96.
The Rangers have built quite the rotation heading into 2023, but there are questions whether all of these pitchers mentioned above can stay healthy. deGrom, Eovaldi, Gray, and Heaney all spent at least some time on the IL in 2022. Should any of these starters go down, Texas still retains the likes of Dane Dunning and Glenn Otto that can slot in if needed. Not to mention, prospects Owen White, Jack Leiter, and Kumar Rocker are all waiting in the wings at some point in the future.