The Rangers were red-hot, and now have gone ice-cold, and the biggest factor has been the lack of success from the bullpen. The lack of consistency continues to haunt the Rangers, but how can they fix it?
It’s not as easy as flipping a switch and the problem is solved. The Texas Rangers have a serious problem in their bullpen, and it could cost them a shot at the postseason.
The Sam Dyson Show is over, but it had a horrible last season. Dyson has been designated for assignment after going 1-6 with a 10.80 ERA in 17 games, allowing 20 earned runs. Much like The Office, the last season was hard to watch.
In 2015 and ’16 Dyson pitched well, but failed to find any consistency this season. His departure alone will benefit the Rangers. Rookie Jose Leclerc will step into his spot in the bullpen, and he literally can’t do worse.
The main problem has been the lack of success and consistency from any late inning reliever. Both Jeremy Jeffress and Tony Barnette have struggled heavily. The Rangers should consider cutting their losses, and moving on from both of them.
Overhauling a bullpen in the middle of the season seems like an insane move, but it could work in this situation. We’ve seen enough from Jeffress and Barnette to see that they have not been beneficial to the organization.
Packaging both together in a deal could actually score the Rangers a useful relief pitcher. Both pitchers struggled this season, but had strong 2016 campaigns, and there is at least one organization willing to take a chance on them.
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At this point, the Rangers just need a seventh inning relief pitcher. Hard-throwing Matt Bush has locked down the closer role. The combination of Keone Kela and Alex Claudio can get the team through the eighth inning.
There is a chance that Jose Leclerc can claim that seventh inning role, but as a rookie that’s quite a lot to ask. The best move would be to trade Dyson, Jeffress, and Barnette, and acquire a quality veteran relief pitcher.
The Rangers don’t need an All-Star relief core to win games. If they can get a pitcher that can pitch to a 3.00 ERA and keep batters at a .250 average, then consider it a win. The biggest problem has been letting the struggling relievers “work through it”, and watch them continue to blow games.
At some point enough is enough, and it’s time to shake it up. These problems aren’t going to magically go away, and acquiring or promoting talent is the only solution to the bullpen crisis in Arlington.