Considering all of the injuries, it's easy to be discouraged. Shoot, even I had to talk myself off of a cliff. Because, as bad as things are, they really aren't that bad.
With most of the clubhouse resembling a MASH unit, the Rangers have named there pitching rotation to start the 2014 season. Last year's setup man, 27-year-old righty Tanner Scheppers will be the Rangers' Opening Day starter against the Philadelphia Phillies, followed by the only pitcher expected to be in this year's rotation, 22-year-old left-hander Martin Perez.
Rounding out the rotation are 24-year-old southpaw and bullpen beast Robbie Ross, recently acquired 32-year-old lefty Joe Saunders and the biggest surprise of the rotation, rookie Nick Martinez.
Give Ron Washington and Mike Maddux credit. All things considered, it appears they have truly put together the five best starting pitchers available to them. The hope is that Darvish and Harrison will be able to join the lineup within the next few weeks, which should be just long enough for the temporary lineup to make a decent mark.
Although Scheppers was expected to remain in the bullpen at the beginning of spring training, he pitched well enough to impress the coaching staff and earn a spot at the top of the rotation. I personally have very few worries about how Scheppers will perform out of this spot. He has already proven himself as a reliable pitcher and has improved leaps and bounds over the course of his young career.
Then there's Ross who, like Scheppers, has been an invaluable bullpen piece for the Rangers, thus far. But he wanted the chance to start and, also like Scheppers, proved himself worthy of a shot this spring, going deeper into games and continuing to close out innings. It would be easy to see Scheppers and/or Ross remaining in the rotation for a while as placeholders until Holland, and hopefully Lewis, are healthy again.