As the regular season approaches, teams are starting to finalize their Opening Day rosters for the upcoming season. The Texas Rangers revealed last Friday that their starter for the opening day matchup against the defending National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies will be four-time all-star and two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom.
deGrom is entering his tenth season in the major leagues and first with the Rangers. deGrom was drafted by the New York Mets in the ninth round of the 2010 MLB draft but didn’t make his debut until 2014 in a game against the cross-state rival New York Yankees in which he threw seven innings, giving up four hits, two walks, one run, and striking out six. deGrom would finish his rookie season with a 9-6 record, 2.69 ERA, a WHIP of 1.140, and 144 strikeouts that earned him the Rookie of the Year honors.
deGrom would only continue to improve, making his first of four all-star game appearances in 2015, and winning back-to-back Cy Young awards in 2018, and 2019, the same years he also finished in the top ten in National League MVP voting. His best season thus far was undoubtedly in 2018, when he put up his career-best ERA (1.70) while boasting a WHIP of .912 and a career-high 269 strikeouts.
Injuries have derailed deGrom in the past few seasons causing him to miss a majority of 2021, but none of that mattered to the Texas Rangers when they signed deGrom to a five-year $185 million deal this past offseason. The Rangers, who have struggled with pitching in the past few seasons, were big buyers in the pitching market this offseason when they signed Nathan Eovaldi and traded for Jake Odorizzi to help build what they hope to be a top-five rotation in baseball.
The Rangers have the potential to make significant noise in a division that hosts the defending World Series champion Houston Astros, as well as the up-and-coming Seattle Mariners. Texas has a good lineup with young stars like Adolis Garcia to accompany veterans like Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. If Texas’ pitching can stay healthy, the Rangers might sneak into the postseason.
The Texas Rangers will open the 2023 season at home on March 30th against the Philadelphia Phillies at 3:05 pm Eastern.
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