If the Rangers don't bring in a high-profile free agent starting pitcher, then they will have many in-house choices to replace Derek Holland, who is expected to miss half the season due to a knee injury. Among the candidates are Colby Lewis, Nick Tepesch, Michael Kirkman, Jose Contreras, Luke Jackson and Alex Gonzalez, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
However, the paper notes it "would seem slim" that Gonzalez, the team's 2013 first-round pick, and Jackson, the team's minor-league pitcher of the year, would make the opening day rotation.
"If you look at our guys that finished the year with us, it’s Yu Darvish and Martin Perez and that’s really about it," pitching coach Mike Maddux said Tuesday. "We’d like to have some of these guys step up. Some of these guys that were healthy need to continue to be healthy, and some of these guys who were not, we’d love for them to regain their health.
"But we’re really looking for these diamonds in the rough to step up and fill the voids that we have. There’s going to be some intra-staff competition for those spots, and it’s going to be the 12 best fits that we can set up."