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Insulting Bulletin Board Material For Texas Rangers Rotation Came From Inside Their Building

Was a Texas Rangers executive or coach trying to annoy the club's current starting rotation? Or were they just being brutally honest?

As if there isn't enough pressure on them already, the current Texas Rangers starting rotation got a nice kick in the teeth earlier this week.

The most troubling part? It came from inside the Rangers offices.

During the Dylan Cease trade speculation over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday, an anonymous quote from a Rangers employee in a story written by The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal seemed oddly and unnecessarily pointed.

“Have you seen our rotation in the first half,” Rosenthal quoted the source, who he framed as a "Rangers person, speaking on the condition of anonymity."

It's a flashy quote and understandable why Rosenthal used it, but seems way too harsh for a group of pitchers who helped win the club's first World Series last fall.

But was it wise by the Rangers person? Was somebody in the Rangers front office or coaching staff trying to light a fire under the club's expected starting rotation on Opening Day? Do they need it? Did they deserve it?

Nate Eovaldi, Andrew Heaney, Dane Dunning, Jon Gray and Cody Bradford are the likely five-man rotation the Rangers start with when the season begins on March 28 at Globe Life Field.

They combined to go 47-29 with a 4.18 ERA in 2023. 

With Cease traded to the San Diego Padres and former Rangers left-hander Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell still unsigned free agents, the club appears ready to tough it out on the mound until the cavalry arrives in the summer in the form of Max Scherzer, Tyler Mahle and Jacob deGrom.

All three are recovering from surgery. Scherzer is recovering from December back surgery and Mahle and deGrom are returning from 2023 Tommy John surgery. Scherzer is expected back in June, Mahle in July and deGrom in August.

Until then, Texas will go without them.

Of course, there is no denying the experience and skins on the wall of three-time Cy Young winner Scherzer, two-time Cy Young winner deGrom and the up-and-comer Mahle. The trio were a combined 16-8 with a 3.20 ERA in a combined 38 starts in their injury-shortened 2023 seasons.

They will no doubt be vital to the Rangers defending their World Series title in the final few months of the season.

Even if adding another frontline starter is preferred, why would somebody in the organization offer such a flippant dismissive comment to one of the most well-known reporters in baseball? These five pitchers helped the franchise win its first World Series championship less than five months ago. How quickly we forget.

Bochy defended the rotation before Thursday's game while declining to say whether Bradford would start the season as the fifth starter or as a long man out of the bullpen.

"I think it's a strong rotation as long as guys go out there and do their thing and stay healthy," he said. "I like it. I think this is the rotation that will give us the chance to win on a consistent basis. That's all you can ask."

That, and that your front office show a little more class.

You can follow Stefan Stevenson on X @StefanVersusTex.

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