Four Reasons Why The Rangers Will Compete For A Playoff Spot
By Cody Smith
Retooled and Balanced Bullpen
The Rangers bullpen is looking like it’s going to be solid this year with Jose Leclerc as the closer.
Leclerc was phenomenal last season, posting a 1.56 ERA across 59 games for the Rangers, including 12 saves. We all know about him, but there are some other pretty good pieces in the ‘pen, too.
Shawn Kelley was a big steal in the off-season for the Rangers, as they signed him on a relatively cheap deal (2 years, $5 mil, team option). He was terrific last season, posting a 2.94 ERA across 54 games and should be a great fit to the back of the bullpen in the 7th or 8th inning. As previously mentioned, Jesse Chavez could return back to the bullpen, and he could be the Rangers long-reliever guy that they can stretch to four or five innings if needed.
Chris Martin should return to the bullpen, and he was solid last season before injuries began to bother him, and had an effect on raising his ERA some. All in all, he posted a respectable 4.54 ERA across 41.2 innings.
Jeffrey Springs was pretty good out of the bullpen last year, posting a 3.38 ERA across 32 innings, and even opened a few. He could be in line as the Ranger’s lefty reliever. Other lefty options currently on the 40-Man Roster would include C.D. Pelham and Kyle Bird.
Zach McAllister could be due for a bounce-back season, as he struggled (especially in Detroit) on his way to posting the worst ERA of his career. If he can return to his previous form, the Rangers would have a guy who can come into the game in the 7th inning and shut it down. From 2015-2017, he posted a 2.99 ERA over 183.1 innings.