Projecting the Texas Rangers’ 26-man roster halfway through spring training

Seth Carlson
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 28: Members of the Texas Rangers stand during the National Anthem before a MLB baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Globe Life Field on August 28, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 28: Members of the Texas Rangers stand during the National Anthem before a MLB baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Globe Life Field on August 28, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Wes Benjamin Texas Rangers
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Texas Rangers roster projection 2.0: Bullpen (7)

Closer: RHP Hunter Wood

Set-up man: RHP Jose Leclerc

Swing men: RHP Jordan Lyles, LHP Wes Benjamin, LHP Kolby Allard, RHP Brett de Geus, LHP Taylor Hearn

Out of all the positional groups in this projection, none shows more disparity between the first and second iterations than the bullpen.

You can thank the electric Jonathan Hernandez’ UCL strain for complicating matters in the bullpen.

His loss is a brutal blow to this bullpen, as his raw stuff and right arm make him the best reliever on the team.

The show must go on, though, and fortunately for the Texas Rangers, they have quality depth in the bullpen.

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At closer, righty Hunter Wood has greaty impressed at spring training, racking up strikeouts and saves with relative ease (and tremendous flow!).

Considering Wood came into camp as a non-roster invitee, his meteoric rise to closer in this projection is nothing short of incredible.

Behind Wood will be set-up man Jose Leclerc, who must once again earn his closer’s spot.

As for the swing-men, tough decisions were made. Southpaws Wes Benjamin and Kolby Allard have surpassed any expectations set for them coming into camp, and both are now deserving of opportunities in the big leagues once again.

Jordan Lyles, thought to be a rotation candidate, was recently told by Chris Woodward that he’ll be utilized in a swing-man type of role in 2021, so for the purposes of this projection, he slots into the bullpen.

RHP Brett de Geus was a Rule 5 pick by the Rangers from the Dodgers during the off-season. Rule 5 picks must remain on the active roster all year or risk being returned to the original team.

Rounding things out is LHP Taylor Hearn, who is too talented not to make this team. He could very well find himself starting at times this year, but for now, he’ll reside in the reliefs corps.

Next. 2 intriguing Rangers prospects survive the first roster cutdown. dark

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