The Big Mac Blog

Rangers are fooling themselves with Detwiler

Rangers pitcher Ross Detwiler has been a disaster in the rotation with a 10.95 ERA in three starts.
Rangers pitcher Ross Detwiler has been a disaster in the rotation with a 10.95 ERA in three starts. Star-Telegram

Ross Detwiler was in a rush but he agreed to a couple of quick questions before he headed out to a pregame workout, but clearly he was not giddy at the prospect of talking about his start. Or starts.

“You just have to trust in yourself and go out there and execute,” he said. “I have not executed.”

This was on April 15, two days after he had allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings in a home loss against the Los Angeles Orange County California Anaheim Angels.

“I just need to get the ball down. It’s not that big of an adjustment. It’s just one that needs to be made,” he said. “It’s just leaving the ball up. Staying through the pitch and finishing it.”

I asked him him how he prevents getting into his own head and over-thinking about everything the next time he starts. This is a guy who is scheduled to become a free agent after the season.

“You just have to trust in yourself. That’s it. Trust yourself and go out and prove to everybody else that you can do it,” he said.

Go get ‘em, champ.

In his next start - at Seattle on April 21 - he allowed five runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. The Rangers led 10-5 through the top half of seven innings but blew it and lost 11-10.

Ross Detwiler is a pro, but he is not a starting pitcher. He should not be in this team’s rotation under any circumstances.

Of this teams many list of concerns, put Detwiler near the top, but the Rangers are fooling themselves and they know it. He is 0-2 with a 10.95 ERA in his three starts for the Rangers since coming over from the Washington Nationals in the offseason. In 12 1/3 innings, he has allowed a league-leading 25 hits. So he has that going for him, which is nice.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister told the Star-Telegram’s Jeff Wilson after Sunday’s loss: “We're going to continue to work with Ross. We'll continue to have him go out and start.”

This is what happens when your two best starting pitchers - Yu Darvish and Derek Holland - go down with serious injuries to start a season. Detwiler was 20-32 with a 3.82 ERA in his seven seasons with the Nationals, and he was a first round pick of the club out of Missouri State so there is ability. There may be talent, but what is lacking is the ability to start. There is a reason the Nationals dealt him back in December for a pair of minor leaguers.

Detwiler would rather start - for obviou$ reasons - but he is better suited for middle and long relief. This is what happens when your best two pitchers are out, and you don’t want to promote your minor league kids in April.

So the Rangers will trot Detwiler out there every fifth day for the time being because his arm has not fallen off, and there is nobody else.

Mac Engel, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @macengelprof

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