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Rangers World Series Notes: Rotation, Bullpen Unsettled

The Texas Rangers have not publicly decided on their second, third or fourth rotation spots or the last two bullpen spots for the World Series. They do know one thing: Cliff Lee will start Game One. After that, either Colby Lewis or C.J. Wilson could start the second game.

The team is expected to start Tommy Hunter once again, since they now know what to expect out of a Hunter start and a Derek Holland relief appearance, while a role reversal is more unpredictable. Hunter lasted 4.0 and 3.1 innings in his two Game Four starts, allowing five combined runs. Holland, meanwhile, relieved in both of those games and lasted 4.0 and 3.2 innings, allowing two total runs. He also made 0.2 and 2.0 inning relief appearances, yielding one more run. His overall line is 10.1 IP, 9 H, 1 HR, 3 BB, 8 K, with a 2.61 ERA.

Evan Grant says that Texas is considering four relievers for the last two spots.

In addition, the Rangers are likely to go with three lefties in the bullpen, though the team is uncertain whether the third will be Clay Rapada (a one-batter specialist) or Michael Kirkman. San Francisco doesn’t feature as many tough left-handed hitters and switch-hitters as the Yankees did, so the club is more likely to either activate right-hander Mark Lowe or reactivate right-hander Dustin Nippert.

While Lowe has some electric stuff, he has not pitched in any real significant big league situations since June due to injuries. Nippert has been a part of the Rangers bullpen all year, but is also prone to the walk.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.