Texas Rangers: Health is Biggest Concern for Bullpen in 2018
By Andrew Webb
One of the keys to success in 2018 is having a reliable bullpen. Last season, the Texas Rangers bullpen let them down, but can a new year bring different results?
The Texas Rangers have built one of the sneakiest bullpens in all of baseball. Many overlook the talent, but if everything clicks this bullpen could potentially be one of the best. What is the main factor to success for this unit in 2018?
There were glimpses of greatness from the Rangers bullpen last season, but it was overshadowed by injuries. Lefty Jake Diekman pitched in just 11 games during the 2017 campaign. Keone Kela, who is arguably the best reliever on the roster, pitched in just 39 games.
It’s difficult to have success when two of your best relievers are sitting on the disabled list. Those injuries did open up opportunities for relievers like Jose Leclerc. Although, having Diekman and Kela healthy is going to be a must in 2018.
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The Rangers have added depth in the bullpen with the addition of Chris Martin. They’ve re-signed righty Tony Barnette who pitched well in 2016. Possibly even Mike Minor who is projected to be a starter, sees time in the bullpen in 2018.
The bullpen is much deeper than it was a year ago. That won’t mean much though, if guys like Diekman and Kela aren’t able to stay on the field. General manager Jon Daniels has done a solid job of adding depth this off-season.
Hopefully, the Rangers continue to add before camp begins. Texas needs more experienced relievers in their pen. At the end of the day, the biggest factor is going to be whether or not these pitchers can stay healthy for an entire season.