The 2017 campaign didn’t go exactly as planned for reliever Tony Barnette. He’s back with the Texas Rangers in 2018, but can he improve after a horrendous 2017 season?
In November, the Texas Rangers decided to decline Tony Barnette’s team option and he became a free agent. A couple of months later Barnette is back with the Rangers on a one-year deal worth $1.5 million for the 2018 season.
Last season, Barnette went 2-1 with a 5.49 ERA in 50 games with two saves. He finished with a 2.09 ERA in 53 appearances during the 2016 season. It was quite a drop-off in performance, but Barnette feels he’s regained his touch.
Obviously, the Rangers felt Barnette has found his touch since they re-signed him. Barnette wanted to return to Arlington, but did have offers from other organizations. Rejoining the Rangers was a “no-brainer” for Barnette.
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According to Anthony Andro, Barnette carried a 7.23 ERA into mid-June last season. He went on the disabled list with a sore finger and returned in July. He posted a 2.51 ERA in 25 games following his return from the DL.
Barnette was unable to indicate the reasoning for his massive turnaround, but maybe he just needed some time off. He struggled for months and that takes a toll on a person mentally. He looks more comfortable on the mound, and hopefully can carry that into the 2018 season.
The Rangers bullpen needs to improve after posting a 4.76 ERA, the second-highest in the American League. They recorded just 29 saves, which is the lowest in the MLB last season. A rebound from Barnette will certainly help the Rangers in 2018.