ARLINGTON, Texas -- During the Texas Rangers' development camp Wednesday, pitching coach Mike Maddux made a revelation regarding the starting rotation: There might be one spot available.
Maddux said not so fast.
“I would have to say there’s definitely a spot open and the more guys you have competing for that, I think that improves the depth in the organization,” he said. “But who’s to say that one of those guys might not make the ball club in a different role. Then, as the season rolls on, you're gonna need a spot start here and there, that’s inevitable. Sometimes those guys get an opportunity like that, ‘Hey we got to see that again.’ Next thing you know, you got six pretty good starters on your hands and you don’t have enough room for them, but that’s a good problem to have.”
Detwiler is moving to the rotation after spending last season in the bullpen for the Washington Nationals. Detwiler has spent a majority of his seven-year career (69 starts) as a starter. Washington moved him to the bullpen last year due to the surplus in the rotation. Now, Detwiler hopes to return to the rotation.
Maddux said there are no guarantees regarding Detwiler making the move back. The Rangers moved bullpen pitchers to the starting rotation before and saw mixed results.
“He will let us know,” Maddux said of Detwiler. “We’ve been successful with it and unsuccessful with it. I think it all comes down to the person and what their motivation is and what their drive is. If they’re blessed with that good health to go out there and log the innings or if they're a better fit to throw less innings and more games.”
Maddux also added the possibility of Nick Martinez pitching from the bullpen. Last season, Martinez became a starter for the injury-depleted staff and went 5-12 while making 24 starts.
The Rangers also have Nick Tepesch, who has looked good during offseason workouts, to compete for a starting spot. There are young pitchers, such as Alex Gonzalez and Luke Jackson, who could start the season in Triple-A, battling for a spot in the rotation with the big club.
“You got to have that drive and that hunger to try and fight for that spot,” Jackson said. “Who knows what the opportunity is to get it. But I’m going to get out there and make spring training into a World Series and compete out there and try and get it.”