A closer look at the 40-man roster

The Rangers employed a major league record 64 players and 40 pitchers in the 2014 season. Texas also used 23 rookies and had 17 make their big league debuts.

Injuries and poor play were some of the major reasons why the Rangers needed more players than normal. In a game Sept. 24, the Rangers had seven rookies in the lineup.

Monday, the Rangers set their 40-man roster, but it will continue to change this offseason when the Rangers protect players from the Rule 5 draft, such as pitcher Luke Jackson and catcher Jorge Alfaro, considered top prospects. The club will also have to make room when it signs free agents.

We look at the 40-man roster as it stands today. First up, the pitchers. We'll examine the position players later today.


RHP Lisalverto Bonilla: He was the first Rangers pitcher to win his first three starts of his career and while opponents hit just .186 against him, the club needs to decide if he's better served as a starter or reliever.

LHP Alex Claudio: Moved from Double-A to Triple-A and after his big league debut, he didn't allow a run in his first six appearances. Expect him to open 2015 in Triple-A unless he impresses in spring training.

RHP Yu Darvish: The ace missed the last seven weeks of the season with elbow inflammation. Finished with a 10-7 record and 182 strikeouts but needs to have an injury-free season. He opened the year on the DL and finished there.

RHP Jon Edwards: The Keller, Texas native, gave up three runs in his first nine appearances. He could be a good middle reliever but like Claudio, has to win a job in spring training.

RHP Neftali Feliz: Regained the closer's job after the team traded Joakim Soria and picked up 13 saves. Feliz's command was good, but his velocity was up and down. Not sure if new manager Jeff Banister wants Feliz as the closer or setup man.

RHP Corey Knebel: Acquired from Detroit in the Soria trade. Pitched in just nine games in Triple-A but was shut down after a sprained UCL in his right elbow. Has lots of potential, but his arm injury is worth monitoring.

LHP Matt Harrison: Had four starts before another back injury forced surgery. Was a durable pitcher whose future is in doubt. He won't start throwing until January.

LHP Derek Holland: Knee surgery delayed his start until August and when he returned, he posted a 1.46 ERA in six games and went 2-0 in five starts. Proved he's not only healthy but a solid No. 2 starter who is dependable.

LHP Michael Kirkman: At Round Rock, had a 4.47 ERA where opponents hit .240. He pitched in 12 games for the Rangers and didn't give up a run in his last 11 outings (five innings). Good chance to make the big league roster in 2015.

RHP Phil Klein: Right-handed hitters went 0-for-15 with seven strikeouts in his last seven outings. Was impressive but needs more seasoning like several young pitchers.

RHP Nick Martinez: Earned a spot in the starting rotation late in spring training. Had a difficult 10-start stretch where he went 0-7 but did rebound to pitch well in spots the last two months and finished 5-11.

RHP Roman Mendez: Opposing hitters were 0-17 in the first at-bat against him and left-handed hitters (.172) and right-handed hitters (.175) didn't fare well in 30 overall games. He should be with the big club next season.

RHP Miles Mikolas: In his first season as a starter, went 2-5 with a 6.44 ERA. Missed last month and half with shoulder fatigue but that might be attributed to an increased workload.

RHP Alexi Ogando: Pitched in 27 games before going to the DL with right elbow inflammation. If he returns, he can be a solid middle reliever with the experience the Rangers need.

RHP Spencer Patton: He was acquired in a trade with Detroit and the rookie retired 27 of 35 hitters he faced in the big leagues. It seems the moment wasn't too big for him and he could be a solid setup man.

LHP Martin Perez: He made eight starts before his arm gave up on him and he underwent Tommy John surgery. There's lots of potential with Perez, but no expectations for him until next summer.

LHP Aaron Poreda: Made his first appearance in the big leagues since 2009 but elbow problems forced him to the DL.

LHP Robbie Ross Jr.: The Rangers tried to give him a chance as a starter and it didn't work, so he's most likely a bullpen guy. At times, he's pitched well but his ERA of 6.20 doesn't help.

RHP Ben Rowen: Pitched in eight games before he was sent down to Triple-A on July 4. He'll get a long look in spring training to prove himself.

RHP Tanner Scheppers: The 2014 opening day starter only because of Darvish's neck issues. He made four starts and had two different DL stints. Will compete for a starting job.

RHP Nick Tepesch: Promoted from Triple-A in May and had a quality start in 11 of 22 outings. Needs to work on consistency like Mikolas and Martinez to earn a spot in 2015.

RHP Shawn Tolleson: Pitched in team-leading 71.2 innings and was second on the team in 64 appearances. He's a reliable bullpen man, who can only improve.

RHP Matt West: Had just three relief appearances before he was sent down.