Dennis Eckersley. Eric Gagne. Mariano Rivera. Most of the best closers of all time are converted starting pitchers. A so-so starter with one or two good pitches can become a 95 mph-throwing, ninth-inning terror when limited to 15 or 20 pitches a game.
But rarely does the transition go the other way. Only a handful of active starters have made the shift from long stints in the bullpen to the rotation, but there appears to be a trend toward trying relievers in rotations, and the Texas Rangers are blazing the trail. The question is: What kind of relievers are best-suited to switch to starting?