Jack Leiter might need full season at Triple-A after latest Rangers' disaster

Maybe Jack Leiter isn't ready for The Show.
Texas Rangers pitcher Jack Leiter
Texas Rangers pitcher Jack Leiter / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

The Texas Rangers may have bitten off more than they can chew. Jack Leiter's promotion earlier this season came out of necessity. Texas was hit hard by the injuries with four of the team's presumed starters on the IL. But with three starts now under his belt, it's plain to see that Leiter needs more seasoning in the minor leagues.

The right-hander got a dose of reality on Tuesday night when he was lit up like Christmas tree to tune of six earned runs on just three hits. Leiter walked three batters and recorded just one strikeout before Rangers Bruce Bochy lifted him in the second inning.

It was the three-run blast off the bat of Josh Naylor that sent Leiter to the showers. The Cleveland Guardians scored just one more run after Leiter was removed, and the Rangers fell by a final score of 7-4.

Jack Leiter might need full season at Triple-A after latest Rangers' disaster

This is the second time in three starts that Leiter has failed to make it past the fourth inning, and the former first-round pick has averaged just over three innings per start. The writing's on the wall — it's time for Leiter to go back to Triple-A. Maybe this time he should stay there.

The stats are skewed, as Leiter has logged just over nine innings in the major leagues, but the numbers speak for themselves. Leiter's ERA ballooned to 16.39 after his latest outing and the Vanderbilt product owns a 2.571 WHIP having allowed six walks and three home runs in his three starts.

Though Leiter has had some success at Triple-A this season, the numbers Rangers fans are seeing the 24-year-old put up in the big leagues are not all unlike the stats he posted in the minors over the past two seasons.

The Rangers started Leiter's professional career at Double-A Frisco. In his 42 minor league starts prior to this season, Leiter was 5-16 with a 5.37 ERA. The strikeout numbers are mildly impressive, but the 13.2% walk rate is deeply disturbing. Furthermore, the difference between Leiter's ERA and FIP (5.19) are not all dissimilar — what you see is what you get.

Leiter was an emergency option for the Rangers earlier this season. With both Dane Dunning and Cody Bradford looking to return later this month, it would seem that Leiter can go back to Triple-A Round Rock to continue his development. After Tuesday's showing, Rangers fans would probably be quite content not to see Leiter in MLB again this season.

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