Before the season started, I think that most Rangers fans would tell you that their main concern for the 2022 season would be the pitching staff. 75% of those people would tell you that the bullpen was the main cause of their worries. 

To this point in the season, the Texas bullpen has pitched pretty well but in ways that you would not expect. 

Lefties Brock Burke and Matt Moore have reinvented themselves to become dominant forces out of the Rangers pen. 

However, on the flip side guys like Joe Barlow and John King have struggled a little bit at times. 

On Tuesday night in a game against the Houston Astros, John King came in to pitch the 8th inning, and well…. Let’s just say it was a royal mess. 

The Rangers led 3-0 going into that inning before King gave up four runs, three of which were earned. Texas would go on to lose that game by a score of 4-3. 

When asked after the game if he was “still good with King as the 8th inning guy” Manager Chris Woodward said, “ I think it’s not fair to him to keep putting him in that situation”. 

Woody also mentioned the possibility of pitching King in some lower leverage situations earlier in ball games. 

So what does the Rangers bullpen actually look like and how good really is it? 

Let’s start in the back end. Joe Barlow is still going to be the Rangers’ closer. Even with Jose Leclerc and Jonathan Hernandez coming back, Texas is not bailing on Barlow yet.

Now that some late-inning roles may be opening up Dennis Santana and Brett Martin are going to get the first cracks at it. Also, don’t be surprised if either Jose Leclerc or Jonathan Hernandez breaks into one of those roles. 

Matt Moore and Brock Burke will still be in their same roles as flexible relievers that can go multiple innings. However, it will be interesting to see if maybe Matt Morre will get to pitch later in games. 

On Monday night against Houston Morre was able to record his first pro save. Moore recorded a 1-2-3 ninth inning to secure a 5-3 win for the Rangers. 

Now to the next question how good is this bullpen? 

Personally, I do actually think that this bullpen is pretty solid. Now did I say it was one of the best in baseball, no it’s not even that close but I also don’t think it’s close to being one of the worst. 

You have a solid closer in Joe Barlow, who has only blown two saves all year. 

Dennis Santana, Brock Burke, and Matt Moore all have ERAs below 3.

Texas will also be getting Jose Leclerc and Jonathan Hernandez back in the near future, both of which have been successful in the past.

At the end of the day, I think it really just comes down to finding the right combination of guys to win ball games. The Rangers have been trending upward and this bullpen should be just fine when it’s all said and done. 

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