Brock Burke’s success is noticed by Rangers fans and coaching staff. Burke has thrown seven scoreless outings (thirteen innings) so far this season. Burke allowed twelve baserunners in thirteen outings. In all three June outings, Burke allowed an extra (unearned) run with six base runners.
“He’s been good at executing if there’s a bit of stress on him,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. Burke was a starting pitcher in the Texas system in the minor leagues and started six games in 2019 for Texas. Last month, I asked Rangers manager Chris Woodward to possibly make Brock Burke a starting pitcher. Back in April, Woodward told me the coaching staff might reevaluate when Jose Leclerc and Jonathan Hernandez might return at the end of that month.
However, Burke’s success to start 2022 has Rangers considering the possibility of Burke as a starter. “It’s hard to ignore how well he played,” said Rangers manager Chris Woodward. It’s something we stir because it behaves so well. For Burke himself, the bullpen role he has now is what he embraces. “I thought it was going to be more difficult than the day-to-day aspect of not knowing when you’re going to come in, and this stuff was going to be difficult,” Brock told me. “I like being more committed to the game, preparing, never knowing when you’re going to come in. It keeps you on your toes.” He’s gotten used to the current role and while being a starter grooming a pitcher for a more planned schedule (fieldwork, relievers, etc.), it also makes the season longer, according to Brock.
— Bally Sports South West (@BallySportsSW) June 9, 2022
Burke also told me that the Rangers pitching coaches do a great job of giving him a schedule on when he will pitch. “[If] I throw multiple innings where I kind of know the days I’m going to be down,” Burke said. “If I throw two, I’m going to be down two. If I get up twice, I’m going to be down twice. Rangers manager Chris Woodward says in innings where there’s traffic, Burke It’s more eye-opening than when it’s a clean inning. Performing well when there’s base traffic is key to taking the next step with any position. “Our performance under pressure is going to define us as a champion. We can’t get away from that,” Woodward said.
The question remains as to why there is reluctance to move Brock Burke into the rotation. Well, there are two factors:
- Rangers will have to move Burke up to five innings instead of two.
- There’s a chance that Brock Burke’s throwing speed and movement will suffer because stamina has to develop as well. One fear is that if this speed slows down, it becomes more vulnerable and makes Burke less effective.
- It’s playing with a role that works.
Burke is effective out of the bullpen, and while the Rangers may look to Brock Burke as a starter long into the future, it’s also about keeping what works.
Brock Burke has had a 15-game scoreless streak since April 29 against Atlanta.
To continue like this with two players and none in the 8th was impressive. #StraightUpTX
— Alex Plinck🏳️🌈 (@aplinckTX) June 2, 2022
Rangers are certainly being handed a scenario where if someone in the rotation falls or is ineffective, the club can look to Brock Burke to fill that void. “It’s hard to ignore that. If there is a lack of performance or someone crashes, what is our next option? Woodward said. There is a situation where we may need to strengthen him and allow him to pitch more innings, but it’s a good option to have right now. The Rangers rotation is solid so I don’t foresee any significant moves, but stranger things have happened. As for Brock, the reliever role grew on him.