- The Texas Rangers Could Really Use Cole Ragans Right About Now
The Texas Rangers Could Really Use Cole Ragans Right About Now
The Texas Rangers recently lost Max Scherzer for the rest of the season to a torn teres major muscle, a major blow to their World Series hopes in the midst of a fierce battle that could land them either the AL West crown, a wild-card spot, or – just as easily – nothing at all.
And while the Rangers are holding their own heading into the last week of the season, they could certainly use a little more pitching depth with Scherzer out. If only they had a flamethrowing left-hander with a 2.34 ERA in 11 starts this season.
Oh yeah, they did: Cole Ragans.
Ragans, 25, was dealt to the Kansas City Royals at the trade deadline this year – along with Roni Cabrera – in exchange for 35-year-old reliever Aroldis Chapman in an attempt to further bolster the Rangers’ bullpen for the postseason. The move made sense, especially as bullpens have become ever-more important to the playoffs in recent years.
And honestly, the move might still pay off; despite three blown saves, Chapman does have three saves and five holds with Texas, sporting a 3.29 ERA 27 1/3 innings with 49 strikeouts. But beyond this year, the loss of Ragans might certainly end up stinging the Rangers, who currently have a rotation full of pitchers on the wrong side of 30.
As for Ragans, he was a 2016 first-round pick by the Rangers, debuting in 2022 following two Tommy John surgeries. Between last season and 2023, Ragans had a 5.32 ERA in 26 appearances (nine starts) with Texas, so the trade wasn’t exactly a tough decision for the team to make. But Ragans has seemingly put it all together immediately with the Royals, and Kansas City might have found themselves a gem, executing the perfect deal for their rental reliever – the goal of any rebuilding team.
Ragans has been fantastic in those 11 starts with the Royals, striking out 81 hitters in 65 1/3 innings and increasing his velocity across the board from 2022. He throws his four-seamer at 96.5 miles per hour on average but can touch 100. He introduced a slider to the mix this season to go along with his changeup, cutter, and curveball as secondary offerings. His 2.48 FIP, 3.22 xERA, and obscene 191 ERA+ tell the same story: Ragans has been incredible with the Royals, who really needed some luck in the pitching department. And here, a former first-round pick who completely reinvented himself has fallen into their lap.
And down the road, there’s a chance the Rangers might look back on this trade and regret the whole thing.
You may also be interested inread more
Steel Curtain Network: A Pittsburgh Steelers podcast
Steelers 2024 opponents almost finalized heading into Week 18