Rafael Montero has come on strong over the past week, playing a key part in 4 of the Ranger’s 5 victories in the past 2 series.
In all 4 games, he has pitched vs the Angels and Mariners, Montero has been perfect.
When I say perfect, I mean he hasn’t allowed a single hit or run during that span. He has faced 12 batters and retired each one.
He has a 9.00 K/9, a 0.00 ERA and a fastball that is nearing 100 MPH at times.
With the struggles of Jose Leclerc fresh on Ranger fans’ minds from recent seasons, one of the bigger questions is this: Is Rafael Montero the answer at closer?
The simple answer today is yes. In a short season, Chris Woodward is not in a position to allow anyone pitcher to use multiple games to get comfortable and gain confidence.
He is forced to ride the hot hand in a bullpen that has shown inconsistency over the start of the season. However, Joely Rodriguez, Jonathan Hernandez, and Montero have all shown up in big ways during this winning stretch.
After the Ranger’s victory over the Angels on Wednesday, Chris Woodward had this to say about his trio out of the bullpen:
“You see what we did on the bullpen there at the end. It was some pretty filthy stuff from the left side with Joely going 2 [innings], with Hernandez, then Montero was filthy again. Overall it was great. Honestly, we needed that.”
With the combination of Rodriguez, Hernandez, and Montero, the Rangers might have found their 3-man wrecking crew out of the bullpen.
All three flamethrowers boast some serious heat, and when used right, they can be effective.
Here are their numbers over the last week out of the bullpen:
- J. Rodriguez – 4.1 IP, 6 K, 3 BB, 1 ER
- J. Hernandez – 4.1 IP, 5 K, 1 H, 0 ER
- R. Montero – 4.0 IP, 4 K, 4 Saves, 0 ER
Now any one of these guys could fill the closer role with these types of numbers, but with Montero being the one with the hot hand, it’s no surprise to see him continue in that role.
As long as Montero continues to dominate, he’ll see the 9th inning as a likely home for now.
Featured Image: ---