Texas Rangers: Can Jose Leclerc Continue His Dominance?
Jose Leclerc has been amazing out of the gate this year. He has taken hold of the closer role and he is not looking back. Can he keep it up?
Since the days of John Wetteland, the closer position has been a point of pride for the Texas Rangers. Although, after a few of one and done years of closers, and plenty of turnover at the position, have the Texas Rangers finally found their longstanding premier closer in Jose Leclerc?
History of the Position
Many talented pitchers have come through Texas in this role, players like Fransisco Cordero, Eric Gagne, Neftali Feliz, Joe Nathan, and Keone Kela. Some lasting longer than others, and none of the above lasted as long as Wetteland in the role. Others have had success in the role as well, but for very short terms, like when Shawn Tolleson or Sam Dyson performed very well for one year, then got lit up the next. With the weary history of the 9th inning in recent memory, how can we know for sure that Leclerc can be the one to take us into years of contention in the future?
All Bets are on Leclerc
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The Rangers have tons of hope in Leclerc, and so far he is proving them right. He has an ERA of zero through 2 games pitched with being 2 of 2 in save opportunities. Including a 6 pitch save against the Astros in last nights win. He also currently has a 24.1 scoreless innings streak and has been successful in 14 straight save chances. They already showed their faith in him with a contract extension before the season started. He had a great stretch in 2018 as well after being put into the closer role after Keone Kela was traded. He went for an ERA of 1.56, 12 saves, and 85 strikeouts in 57.2 innings of work.
Leclerc is putting up highlight reel numbers with his improving command and amazing movement. He has some NASTY stuff. If he maintains this type of progression we have seen so far, then the only question is a matter of health. The talent is definitely there, and he seems to have a closer mentality with ice in his veins.
Leclerc has been phenomenal since halfway through 2018. If he can continue to put up these type of numbers then there is no question of him being the mainstay at the position the Rangers are craving for.