Ross Detwiler's Failed Rotation Experiment

Like some of you, I was optimistic -- probably overly -- that Ross Detwiler could be a successful American League starting pitcher. Unlike last year, where the Rangers attempted to sneak RHP Tanner Scheppers and LHP Robbie Ross into the rotation to steal some innings, Detwiler had prior major league success in the starter role. The difference between the three pitchers actually illustrates the status of the organizations they were (or still are) a part of: the Nationals are so deep in pitching that they could afford to lose Detwiler without hesitation, while Texas has been without real starting pitching depth for the last few seasons. 

Almost like a lottery, Jon Daniels and the Rangers front office have been trying to convert relievers to starters since C.J. Wilson took the league by storm in 2010. What followed was Alexi Ogando, who was strong when healthy; Neftali Feliz, who lasted 42 innings as a starter before going under the knife, only to return to a relief role; then there were Ross and Scheppers, who didn't pan out. 

Detwiler came from a different team in a different league, but he isn't any different than the collection listed above. He wants to be a starting pitcher. He sees himself as a starting pitcher. 

But he is not a starting pitcher. 

On Sunday, staked to a 7-2 lead after the Rangers ran circles around James Paxson's existence, Detwiler allowed a walk and four consecutive hits -- one being Nelson Cruz's second HR of the game -- before Brian Bannister yanked the left-hander. 

His final line read: 2.1 IP, 7 hits, 5 runs, 0 K's, 1 BB

His 2015 line reads: 12.1 IP, 25 hits, 18 runs, 5 K's, 7 BB's. Ross Detwiler has recorded outs on 37 of the 69 batters he has faced this year. He has allowed 2.7 base runners per every inning he has pitched. 

Still, it's okay if Detwiler only ends up in the bullpen this season, because in a way that was part of the expectation from the beginning. His left-handedness in short bursts as a relief pitcher was the built-in insurance policy when JD acquired him from Washington. He gave up superfluous prospects -- 2B Chris Bostick and RHP Abel De Los Santos -- and got in return a superfluous arm from the pitching-rich Nationals. The Rangers don't have markedly better options than Ross in the rotation, but he would certainly improve the bullpen right now -- another area this club is sorely lacking in.

Ross Detwiler was not a bad acquisition, but he has been very bad as starter this year.