The competition for the open spots at the back of the Texas Rangers’ rotation continued to gain steam Monday night, and no one seems to be enjoying it more than manager Jeff Banister.
He watched veteran right-hander Dillon Gee, a Cleburne native and Fort Worth resident, toss three scoreless innings on the heels of A.J. Griffin and Mike Hauschild each tossing four scoreless on two hits Saturday and Sunday.
“It’s fun to watch,” Banister said after a 7-1 victory over the San Francisco giants. “What Hauschild did yesterday, what Gee did today and what Griffin has done, they’re trying to put a foot down and win a spot for themselves. It’s given us real positive options.”
Gee impressed Banister in his first inning after Denard Span doubled and moved to third with one out. Hunter Pence was next in a battle of former Texas-Arlington products, and Gee induced a tapper back to the mound, fielded it and caught Span in a rundown.
The pitch sequence impressed Banister.
“We were just trying to crowd him inside with a man on third base,” said Gee, who has a March 29 out in his minor-league deal. “I threw a changeup to get him off the fastball once I got him sped up, and then I went right back to the four-seamer up and in and was able to get a groundball at me.”
Rotation candidate Chi Chi Gonzalez was the Rangers’ scheduled starter Tuesday, and Nick Martinez, also in the mix, is scheduled to pitch Monday.