The Texas Rangers’ road struggles continued this week. Here’s a recap of what went right — and what went wrong.
The Texas Rangers struggling on the road is starting to look like a trend. We’re still early in the season, but I think it’s clear there’s a difference in performance when this team leaves Arlington. Why? Who knows. It could just be bad luck.
It’s important to keep things in perspective. Even with the Rangers’ surprising start, no one is expecting them to compete for a playoff spot, let alone a World Series. No matter the record, this is still a year for developing young players for future seasons of contention.
Let’s hit a few topics from the week:
Bullpens, Closers, and Struggles
Jose Leclerc is struggling. In 59 games last season, he only allowed ten earned runs. In eleven appearances this year, he’s already allowed seven. He can’t locate his fastball, and his WHIP is up to 1.962. That’s, uh, not good, at all.
More from Texas Rangers News
- Early 2023 MLB mock draft has Texas Rangers selecting an Ohtani-lite
- 3 Texas Rangers outfield trade targets not named Bryan Reynolds
- Did Jacob deGrom really mean what he said at his Texas Rangers press conference?
- Martin Perez accepting the qualifying offer looking like solid deal for the Rangers
- 4 outfielders the Texas Rangers can still pursue this winter
A bullpen is tricky to manage. In an ideal world, your starter goes at least six innings, and in a close game, you have a couple of lock-down relievers for the seventh and eighth innings. Then your closer comes in for the ninth, throws smoke, and wraps the game up.
Well, baseball doesn’t care about your ideal world. It doesn’t care that for the eleventyeth year in a row the Rangers have more questions than answers in the ninth. It’s not fair that we were ready to wrap our arms around Leclerc and embrace him as the closer in Texas for the next half decade after one great season.
Maybe Leclerc will figure it out. After all, the only thing the Rangers have to lose this season is the young closer’s confidence. But it’s possible he doesn’t, and he’s another closer that didn’t work out. You kind of have to embrace chaos when it comes to bullpens, and enjoy stability when you can.
Taylor Hearn Struggles in Debut, But Not Discouraged
Hearn debuted in Seattle on Thursday, but it did not go well. He was only able to record one out in the Texas Rangers’ 14-2 defeat. He ended up allowing four runs, three hits, and four walks. That could be disastrous for a young player, but I think Hearn bounces back soon.
“I think Nelson Mandela said it best, it’s one of his quotes I love,” Hearn told reporters after the game. “‘You either win or you learn, you never lose.’ That’s one thing I’m taking away from this outing. Short-term memory and be ready for the next one.”
That kind of attitude is what made the Rangers think Hearn was ready for this opportunity. Even if he gets sent back down to Nashville, you’ll see him again. It’s important to remember that young players’ development isn’t always linear. There are successes and struggles, just like in your own life.
Rougned Odor has returned and Ronald Guzman should be back soon, which is welcoming news. The Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays visit Arlington, so hopefully the Rangers can get back on a roll in the friendly confines of Globe Life Park.