When both Jose Leclerc and Jonathan Hernandez went down with major elbow injuries the Rangers had to search for a new closer.
Insert one of the most underrated players in baseball, Joe Barlow.
No one really talks about just how good Barlow has been.
This season Barlow is currently 11-12 in save opportunities and features a 2.21 ERA
Barlow’s only blown save came on June 3rd against the Seattle Mariners. Barlow came on to protect a one-run Rangers lead. Barlow recorded one out before walking J.P Crawford and giving up a homer to Eugenio Suarez.
The very next day Barlow came in and got the save in yet another one-run game. Manager Chris Woodward said “it was one of the easiest decisions ever” to give Barlow the opportunity to close the game the very next day after blowing his first save.
Amongst closers that have 10 or more saves Barlow ranks 4th in the MLB in ERA. He only trails Emmanuel Clase, Josh Hader, and David Bednar (In no order)
Barlow is also one of only five closers to have 10 or more saves while only blowing one or less.
Barlow also currently has a WHIP of 0.934, showing that he has been both effective and efficient when getting guys out late in games.
As far as long-term goes, even when Leclerc and Hernandez both come back it is all more than likely that Joe Barlow will remain the closer.
There is no doubt that it is hard to find a good long-term closer in the MLB. However, the Rangers just may have struck gold with Joe Barlow.