Texas Rangers: 5 areas of improvement for the Rangers after the Astros series

The Rangers lost the series, but did learn important lessons that will help them succeed in the future.
Houston Astros v Texas Rangers
Houston Astros v Texas Rangers / Tim Heitman/GettyImages
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Glenn Otto and Cody Bradford had very good weekend

Before you say it, I know Otto allowed a three-run home run to Jose Abreu that increased the lead to 10-2 for the Astros on Monday. I will also say that he looked good in this bullpen role. The combination of him and Bradford really kept the Rangers in the game and gave them the opportunity to come back.

Otto was activated last Friday before the opener of this series. He made his season debut that night and pitched a scoreless ninth inning. He was called upon again on Monday in relief of Martin Perez. He finished the second and had a scoreless third. He did run into trouble in the fourth by allowing an RBI single to Alex Bregman and then a three-run home run to Jose Abreu. He finished that inning and then pitched a scoreless fifth as well. His final numbers were 3 1/3 innings, four hits, four runs, two strikeouts, and one walk. The score bottomed out at 10-2 while he was in, but by the time Bradford entered the game in the sixth the Rangers had cut the lead to 10-9.

Bradford was mostly unavailable after starting on Thursday against the Tigers. He did get into the game on Monday. He was spectacular in his 2 1/3 innings. He did not allow a hit or a run. He struck out four Astros and did not walk a single batter. His confidence continues to grow and with Ragans being traded away the left-handed long reliever role is his.

The Rangers with Otto and Bradford do have a similar sort of makeup to the bullpen as they did on Opening Day when Dunning and Ragans were the co-long relievers. The challenge for Bochy will be to find enough innings for both pitchers to warrant keeping them on the roster. For now they did very well in their roles this weekend and will be real weapons for the Rangers if used properly.

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