As much as it pains me to say it, because I really wanted to see something different in their starting rotation this season, but Jon Daniels and the Rangers are right when they say their pursuit of free agent pitching is over.
With Ben Sheets set to undergo surgery and Jason Jennings signed to a minor league deal, there's nothing left out there worth going after. What this means is that if the Rangers' pitching is going to be significantly improved in 2009, it'll have to be because one of the kids bursts onto the scene and just won't be denied this spring.
Obviously we're talking about Derek Holland, Neftali Feliz or possibly Thomas Diamond. Those would seem to be the three best bets to make an impact sooner rather than later.
There may be some temptation to push up their schedules but I hope the Rangers can resist that. Heck, there'll be a temptation for me to urge to them to push up their schedules and rush them. Don't listen if I do. They need to stay the course, be patient, let them come when they're obviously ready.
All that said, the door is wide open now for somebody to impress us, for someone to come out of nowhere and grab a spot and what is an otherwise fairly moribund staff. It's going to be interesting to see who comes charging into the breech.
-- Jim Reeves