A Plague on the Pitchers

So.........remember a month ago when the big pitching dilemmas were having too many starting pitchers and a struggling bullpen?

When a six or even seven man rotation was a thought that was volleyed around?

When the no lead felt safe after being handed over to the bullpen?

Man, baseball sure is a fickle game.  

Suddenly, the Rangers are facing a shortage of starting pitching arms and the bullpen has been adjusted into an unhittable force.  To this point, Rangers' starters lead the American League with a 3.39 ERA, which far surpasses any expectations anyone could have put on this staff before the season. 

But suddenly, the injury bug has attacked.  

Today it was announced that both Colby Lewis and Derek Holland will be joining Yu Darvish and AJ Griffin on the disabled list.  Lewis, who has been the Rangers most consistent starter this year with a 3.21 ERA, has been diagnosed with a strained lat and will miss at least two months.  Colby has gone from throwing a near perfect game and entering the conversation as a potential All Star to being on the shelf and unable to even begin throwing again for four weeks. 

Derek Holland, as noted by our own Brandon Land, has looked uncomfortable in his last few starts and has altered his release point, which has reduced movement on his fastball, making it much easier to hit.   Holland hit the 15-day DL today with inflammation in his throwing shoulder.  

In additional starting pitcher injury news, Rangers prospect Mike Matuella, who was rehabbing from Tommy John, suffered a set back and it was announced today that he will not pitch again this year.  

It was also announced that Yu Darvish will throw a bullpen on Saturday, but is still 7-10 days from beginning a rehab assignment.  Saturday will also mark the return of AJ Griffin from the disabled list, when he will be rewarded by getting to face the offense of the Boston Red Sox. 

In bullpen news, Tom Wilhelmsen, who was released by Texas last week after putting up a 10.55 ERA through 21 games, signed a deal to return to Seattle, the team which traded him to Texas for Leonys Martin.  Two of the three players that came over in that deal have now returned to the Mariners.  

Major League Baseball is a long, grueling season.  Fortunately, the Rangers are in a position where they have plenty of depth within the organization to reload in situations like this through a combination of in house talent and trades.  At the moment, Nick Martinez, Cesar Ramos, Kyle Lohse, and Chi Chi Gonzalez are all in line to jump in and help out the rotation as needed, but don't be too surprised if a move is made in the coming weeks. 

In JD we trust.