The Rangers sent Jose Leclerc down to Triple-A on Friday, but he should be getting his shot with the big league club.
Jose Leclerc has bounced back and forth between the big league club and Triple-A Round Rock. Tony Barnette was activated off the Disabled List by Texas on Friday meaning Leclerc was getting sent back to the minors. Although Leclerc is the easiest pitcher to move down, he should still be up in the majors.
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Leclerc, through five appearances, has yet to allow a run. Through 6.2 innings he has allowed 3 walks, just a single hit and 6 strikeouts. This is arguably the best bullpen work the Rangers have gotten this season. Although a small sample size, only two Texas relief pitchers have yet to allow an earned run the other being Tony Barnette.
The Rangers have already shown their willingness to move struggling pitchers down, sending Matt Bush to Triple-A after his rough start to the season.
Beyond just stats, Leclerc also has the potential to be a top bullpen arm for the Rangers. At only 24-years old, the potential Leclerc seems to increase with time. In his first season to crack the Majors, Leclerc appeared in 12 games for Texas and posted an impressive 1.80 ERA in his 15 innings of work. His main struggles came with his walk total which reached 13 compared to his 15 strikeouts. Last year, Leclerc got his biggest chunk of Major League service time, making 47 appearances out of the bullpen. He posted a 3.94 ERA but was able to accumulate 60 strikeouts in just 45.2 innings.
Much of the decision to move Leclerc stems from the fact that he still has minor league options meaning he can moved without having to go through waivers. However, looking towards to the long-term, Texas should find a way to keep Leclerc up with the big league club, even if it means losing one of their veteran pitchers.
Let us know if you think Leclerc should be up with the big league club in the comments below.