Lets face it, The Texas Rangers have quite a history of falling flat on their faces over the past 8 to 10 seasons. There is no denying that. And there is also no denying that it has been pitching a defense that has been the main problem. The Rangers can hit the ball and score runs. They have never had trouble with that aspect of baseball. With the season only 12 days away, I would like to take this oportunity to introduce you to the 5 starters that will be leading this team out of the gates once the regular season gets started. The sucess or failure of the Texas Rangers will count on these 5 guys. The fact is, The Rangers starters were terrible last season, even they will tell you that. I believe that things will be different this season, but maybe I am a dreamer.
I would like to begin my series on the pitchers by looking at the man who should anchor the rotation this season, Kevin Millwood. Last season, as admited by Kevin, was a faliure. It was his worst season as a Ranger and maybe his worst season as a pro. He went 9 – 10 with a 5.07 ERA in just 29 starts and only pitched in 168.2 innings. He averaged just over 193 innings the previous 3 seasons. He struck out 125 while walking 49. He went on the DL several times, and got rocked early in way too many games for the No. 1 guy. He was a dissapointment in ’08, but I think that will change in ’09.
Kevin is quoted as saying that he is in the best shape of his life comming into the ’09 season, and so far he has looked pretty good during spring training over all. I know he had a bad outing and all, but I am one of those people who don’t take wins and losses to seriously in spring training. I believe what the player says and Millwood says he is ready. It is also a big year for him as far as contract goes so I think the motivation is there for him to do well this season. The big if however is if Kevin can stay healthy. If he can, I think we will see somewhere in the ballpark of 13 to 15 wins from Millwood. I also think that his strikeout numbers will be up this year. If he can do that, the Rangers have a good chance of finishing above the .500 mark this season, but i think that it comes down to Milwood pitching well.
Now remember, I am just a fan who is hopefull, I am just giving my opinion on what I think (and hope) will happen this season. If you have any comments or want to add anything to my blog, feel free to do so. I welcome anyone’s feedback.