Bruce Bochy's maneuver has saved Jose Leclerc, Kirby Yates in Rangers' bullpen

It's the little things.
Texas Rangers manager Bruce Bochy
Texas Rangers manager Bruce Bochy / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

In today's era of baseball, one that is so reliant on analytics, it's refreshing to see an experienced manager like Bruce Bochy steering the ship for the Texas Rangers. Nobody bats 1.000, but Bochy seems to have a way of pushing all the right buttons.

Sometimes the minor adjustments that a manager makes throughout the course of season won't be felt until days, if not weeks later. Such an occurrence happened for the Rangers almost a month ago when Bochy decided to remove Jose Leclerc from the closer's role and insert Kirby Yates.

A lot of managers would not have made that move, no matter how obvious it may have seemed to even casual Rangers fans. But Bochy made the switch, and the results speak for themselves.

Bruce Bochy's maneuver has saved Jose Leclerc, Kirby Yates in Rangers' bullpen

During his first five outings of 2024, Leclerc was 0-2 with a blown save and six walks to just four strikeouts. The right-hander allowed eight runs on just six hits while also throwing two wild pitches. It was painfully obvious that Leclerc was not the answer at the back end of the Rangers' bullpen and Bochy made the switch to Yates.

Yates came right in and looked like the All-Star version of himself during his time with the San Diego Padres. Since taking over the closer's role on April 12, Yates is 2-0 in nine appearances out of the Rangers bullpen. The right-hander has allowed just two hits and five walks while striking out 12. Yates has six saves under his belt during that time.

But Leclerc has flourished in his new role as well. During that same timeframe, he has yet to allow a single runner to dent the plate. The 30-year-old is 3-0 and has allowed only four hits in nine innings of work. Leclerc has still been haunted by walks, allowing six free runners during that time, but he hasn't allowed any of those small mistakes to turn into something bigger.

What may seem like a simple, yet necessary adjustment was brilliantly executed by Bochy. The Rangers' skipper has the respect of his players, and moves like this can only be made when everybody in that clubhouse has the same goal. Bochy has done a masterful job so far guiding the first-place Rangers amidst a flurry of early-season injuries.

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