4 Texas Rangers minor leaguers who should be eligible for the postseason

Texas is in a strong position currently to make the postseason and so we need to look at who needs to be added to the 40-man to be postseason eligible.

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Thunder from down under Chase Lee

The 2021 sixth round pick was initially thought to be someone that would move quickly through the system. He was a good reliever for the University of Alabama and had pitched in the SEC. He made his professional debut not long after being drafted in 2021, he then was moved quickly to Frisco that same season and then was promoted over a year ago to Round Rock. He has become stuck there. Lee continues to put up solid numbers for the Express, but just has not been given an opportunity in the major yet.

The side arming right-handed Lee for the year has a 3.04 ERA for the season, has pitched in 40 games, and has four saves. He has been good enough to stay at Round Rock, but not good enough to warrant a major-league promotion. When it comes to the playoffs though a team is looking for someone that is somewhat of a specialist and can play a role in a bullpen. Lee's specialty is getting out right-handed batters. He excels at that to the tune of .212 batting average against, and 59 strikeouts to just 11 walks allowed.

Lee does not throw hard, but the arm angle he pitches from is really difficult on right-handed batters. He absolutely could be used situationally in a tight playoff game and a tough right-handed batter in the box. Bochy could call upon Lee to get an important out and get out of the inning.

Currently the bullpen options on the 40-man roster that are not already in the majors are Cody Bradford, Glenn Otto, Zak Kent, Owen White, Jonathan Hernandez, Alex Speas, Yerry Rodriguez, and Cole Winn. I would like to see Lee replace Rodriguez on the 40-man. I think in a playoff series it would be more valuable to have someone who throws from a different angle and velocity than someone who throws hard but with inconsistent control.

Windy city lefty Antoine Kelly

This one may be a stretch, since he has not pitched above the Double-A level in his career and to go from Frisco to being an option for the major-league roster would be a big jump. Kelly is left-handed, throws hard, and has exhibited much better command in the second half of the season. He also has just stopped allowing runs to be scored. Kelly on the season has a 2.27 ERA, with nine saves in 38 games pitched. The one issue with Kelly that forced him to be moved to the bullpen full-time was control. He had major issues with issuing walks.

Kelly was moved to the bullpen early on in the season and walks still were plauging him. He had 16 walks in the first two months of the season. He has completely cut that out since June 1st. He has four walks in the last two-plus months. He also has stopped allowing runs to score. He allowed four runs to score in an appearance on June 9th. Since that game he has allowed just one earned run in 22 2/3 innings pitched. The fact that he has not received a promotion even after the trade deadline is puzzling.

The Rangers bullpen does have left-handed pitchers in the bullpen both in the majors and minors with Martin Perez, Brock Burke, Aroldis Chapman, and Will Smith. On the 40-man roster, Bradford is currently the only left-handed pitcher not already in the majors. They could replace Jonathan Hernandez on the 40-man with Kelly. If they did that they could also promote Kelly to Triple-A Round Rock and allow him to spend the last few weeks of the season pitching against advanced competition in case he is called upon for a potential playoff series in October.

The goal with the 40-man roster should be to have a roster full of players that a team would feel comfortable calling upon if the unexpected happened. For the most part the Rangers rosters is there. If they added these four players the team would be in a much stronger position heading to October and would give Bruce Bochy more players to choose from when assembling his roster.