The Rangers have struggled to keep their pitchers healthy this year. This is unusual for the team, though over the past couple seasons, this staff has been fragile. Whether it's losing key players like Neftali Feliz and Matt Harrison to surgery or Derek Holland to a fall in his house, it's forced Jon Daniels to keep the shuttle to Round Rock a bit too busy.
The latest Ranger pitcher likely to head to the DL is Martin Perez, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Perez has inflammation in his elbow, but the Rangers have not released any root cause. While fans exhaled after finding out that Perez wasn't the latest on the Tommy John express, there's something going on in the elbow and it could be a minor sprain.
The medical staff will work to get out any acute swelling and get Perez back as quickly as possible. While there's chatter about a minimum stay, how Perez responds to treatment will guide this. If he can come back quickly, he wouldn't need rehab starts.
For all the talk (h/t Dallas Morning News) that Nolan Ryan wanted to push his pitchers to go deeper into games (which was actually a plan created by Scott Servais, now the Angels assistant general manager), there's never really been any reality to it. Rangers pitchers don't actually go deeper or have higher pitch counts, aside from Yu Darvish who didn't come through any Rangers system.
For better or for worse, this is a team with a lot of pitching talent and all the fragility of the modern pitcher.
While the so-called Ryan plan was never more than all hat and no cattle, the Rangers do have the opportunity to make changes. With a solid medical staff and a smart front office, this could be the team that goes to a four-man rotation.
With Matt Harrison heading back to his back surgeon on Wednesday, the depth of the Rangers could be sorely tested.
While other teams debate six-man rotations, which would steal starts from the best pitcher and give it to the worst, the Rangers have the right kind of situation to make their team better while papering over one of their biggest issues.