Gaping Hole Left By Gallardo Could Cost Texas Big Time

Losing Yovani Gallardo to free agency creates a very large, very ugly hole on the Texas Rangers roster. Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Losing Yovani Gallardo to free agency creates a very large, very ugly hole on the Texas Rangers roster.
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

While 29 year old right hander Yovani Gallardo has yet to sign with a new team, the Texas Rangers have shown zero interest in re-signing him. In my mind, it's a huge mistake for Texas to not bring him back. The Rangers have too many question marks, and too many injury prone guys in their rotation to not bring back a guy who has made 30 or more starts for seven consecutive seasons, and thrown at least 180 innings in each of those six. 

With the loss of Gallardo, Texas now has Cole Hamels, Derek Holland, Martin Perez, Colby Lewis, Nick Martinez, and Chi Chi Gonzalez vying for Opening Day rotation spots. The Rangers also have Yu Darvish, who is expected to return in May. Martinez and Gonzalez are young arms who have never been in the rotation for a full season, so you don't really know what to expect. Gonzalez is a highly regarded young arm with a sky high ceiling, but you never know what you'll get from a player like that. The biggest question now for this team becomes the health of Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis, Martin Perez, and Derek Holland. Everybody knows who Yu Darvish is, he is one of the nastiest, and leagues best pitchers. However, he was held to only 22 starts in 2014, and missed all of 2015 due to Tommy John surgery. Darvish has dealt with several minor injuries previous to the Tommy John, but Texas has to have him for a full season in 2016. Colby Lewis had his first full season since 2011 last year, going 17-9 with a 4.66 E.R.A., and while those may not be ideal numbers, they are very adequate for a bottom of the rotation guy. When healthy, Lewis provides one of the biggest things a starter can provide, and that is 200 innings pitched a season. Martin Perez has quietly been a very solid pitcher for Texas, but injuries have held him to just 22 starts over the past two seasons. Finally, 29 year old Derek Holland, who has been held to only sixteen games and fifteen starts over the past two seasons. The impact that "The Dutch oven" could have on the Texas roster for a full season would be absolutely huge, and he has also been a fairly good pitcher in postseason play. As if it wasn't already clear enough, Texas needs to keep their rotation on the field for the full season.

 Texas has one of the best offensive teams in the game, nothing has changed there, but all the offense in the world won't do any good unless you can keep a healthy pitching staff behind it. Texas won the AL West last year with a record of 88-74, but 88 wins simply will not win the West in 2016. I view the West as the weakest AL division, but 88 wins still won't cut it, and if they can't keep their pitchers consistently healthy then they might not even get those 88. One of the two Wild Card spots is also out of the question, because I don't believe either of those will come out of the West considering the East and Central are so good. This is why Texas should bring back Gallardo. Gallardo is from Texas, loves the Rangers, did very well for them, is consistently healthy, and would provide a huge ammount of insurance if one of their pitchers should go down. While I admit, Texas does seem to have some nice depth at starting pitching on the surface, there are just two many of them who could go down at any time. If Texas does nothing more to add to the rotation it could cost them the playoffs, or a key piece due to needing to trade one for a pitcher later on.