Texas Rangers: Should Keone Kela Get A Shot At Closer?

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Sep 12, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Texas Rangers relief pitcher Keone Kela (50) delivers a pitch during the tenth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 12, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Texas Rangers relief pitcher Keone Kela (50) delivers a pitch during the tenth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Rangers game of 9th inning musical chairs continues, but for how long? Pitcher Keone Kela has done well out of the bullpen, but can he lock down the 9th inning role in Arlington?

It’s clear that Sam Dyson has lost his role as the Texas Rangers closer after blowing three saves early in the season. He hit the disabled list, and left the team searching for a new closer in April.

No one wanted to see this or even thought it would happen after Dyson’s prior success with the Rangers. Last season Dyson posted a 2.43 ERA in 73 games with 38 saves and looked like the closer of the future in Arlington.

That has not been the case this season, and it’s time for the Rangers to search for another option. Right now 24-year-old Keone Kela is looking like the best option out of the bullpen this season. He’s made three appearances and has yet to allow a base hit.

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It’s hard to find a better option right now, and honestly the Rangers have nothing to lose. No one else in the bullpen has shown they can be an everyday closer, and the Rangers might as well go with the hottest arm.

The next best option would be Jose Leclerc, but his inexperience could be a problem. Both Kela and Leclerc have “closer” type stuff, but Leclerc has a tendency to get more swing and misses from hitters.

Right now the best move is for the Rangers to move Kela into the 9th inning role and see what happens. In 2015 Kela posted a 2.39 ERA in 68 games with 68 strikeouts. If he can find that same success the Rangers might have just found their new closer.

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