Sam Dyson blew his second save opportunity last night. His early seasons struggles continue an eerie trend for Rangers’ closers. The Texas Rangers need to do something and they need to do it quickly.
Baseball is a game marred in superstition. Nearly every prolonged stretch of disappointment whether it’s a team or a specific player, can be tied to some sort of curse. Seems to be happening to the Texas Rangers.
There’s the infamous Billy Goat curse, the curse of the great Bambino and the curse of the Black Socks. New York Met’s players who are featured on bobble-heads are believed to be placed under a curse were they begin to fizzle out the following season. Ridiculous, but true.
Well, it’s time to welcome a new curse to the baseball world. The curse of Texas Ranger’s closers. As painful as it is to say, it’s the truth, no doubt.
Since Joe Nathan’s two-year stint with the team ended prior to the 2014 season, the Rangers have struggled to find constancy in the back-end of the bullpen. It’s a very difficult process.
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Neftali Feliz handled the teams limited save opportunities in 2014. While the numbers point to him being incredibly lucky and inefficient, he only blew one save in 14 opportunities. In 2015, he blew three saves in his first ten opportunities resulting his release before the All-Star break.
Shawn Tolleson came in as the closer after Feliz was relieved of his duties. Despite not having the stuff you would expect from a closer, Tolleson was phenomenal in 2015. He only blew two saves in 37 opportunities striking out 76 batters in 72.1 innings. Tolleson had the fifth highest win probability added in all of baseball and even finished tenth in Cy-Young voting. Good start, no doubt.
Fast forward to 2016, Tolleson blew four saves in 11 opportunities. He spent most of July in Triple-A Round Rock and ended up being placed on the 60-day Disabled List, essentially ending his career as a Ranger. Another big name that didn’t work out, causing frustration among the fans and the organization.
Now it appears the curse has leached onto Sam Dyson. The closer blew his second save opportunity in as many chances last night and has already given up well over half of the earned runs he gave up a season ago. Rangers fans are now demanding for a change. Many want Keone Kela back in Arlington. It may be a matter of time before Kela returns to the main roster. Hopefully, his behavior is better. Remember, his attitude is the reason he didn’t make the Opening Day roster.
“We’ll evaluate all of our options,” said Jeff Banister when asked if a change was imminent. Which is essentially the nice way of saying “there will be a change.” However, a change has to take place. It’s still early, but waiting is not an option. Ranger fans are panicking and showing their dissatisfaction with the bullpen as of late.
With Evan Grant tweeting that Matt Bush will not rejoin the team until Friday after receiving an injection for AC joint pain, the closer role is wide open. Let’s hope that Bush truly does return. He’s showing a lot of promise and Rangers fans seem to admire his talent.
The Rangers continue their series against the Angles tonight. If a save opportunity does arise, Jeremy Jeffress may be the guy. In any case, the blown saves need to stop and whoever earns the opportunity, they need to seize it and give their all.