I always like to write about the positives. It is more fun than writing about the negatives.

Sometimes, however, things need to be addressed. The Texas Rangers have a great offense, as I wrote about last week.

They have a great starting staff, even without Jacob deGrom currently in the rotation. The defense has also been improved.

The back end of the bullpen seems alright. Jonathan Hernandez, Brock Burke, and Will Smith are all doing well.

Cole Ragans has been amazing at times, and Dane Dunning has also been incredible.

The problem has been when they’re bad, they are really bad.

Against the Diamondback on May 3rd, they mounted a comeback only to see it fade away.

After starter Andrew Heaney gave up 6 runs in 4.2 innings, the offense got him off the hook by taking a 7-6 lead in the 5th.

All the bullpen had to do was hold on to that lead. They gave up 6 runs on 8 hits in the last 4 innings of play.

Walks have been their nemesis as well. The team pitching staff walked 7 runners in that game.

The bullpen is posting a 4.50 ERA through the first six-plus weeks of the season, while the rotation is posting a 3.93 ERA.

Former trustworthy names like Jose LeClerc are giving up a lot of walks and a lot of runs, earned or not.

The Texas Rangers have three options at this point to try and fix the bullpen.

Option 1

Ride it out. Some of the underperforming pitchers have track records of doing well in the majors.

LeClerc and Ian Kennedy have been good relievers in their careers. We did see how patient the team was with Taylor Hearn.

They sent Hearn down pretty quickly. It may be time to do some shuffling now with LeClerc and Kennedy.

Option 2

Bring up someone from the farm system. Would you want to see Cody Bradford in the pen? Is Chase Lee ready for a chance at the majors?

Jake Latz has experience in the bigs. Joe Barlow could be ready to return.

Other options like Kyle Cody also have big-league experience. The Rangers have choices, but it would still be a risk.

It could turn out great, or whoever they bring up could potentially be worse. Their development could also be stunted.

While some good options exist in the minors, there is no quick fix.

No one would be guaranteed to improve the team if brought up.

Option 3

Trades. This option depends on who the team will give up to get a star reliever. Bruce Bochy and the Rangers are in win-now mode.

One of the reasons you stockpile prospects like the Texas Rangers have is so you can use them in trades.

Almost everyone is on the table. That is not to say the Rangers should trade away all of their top prospects.

They should be competent in who they deal with and for whom they deal.

If I had to pick an option, the Rangers would think trades are the most likely. You could see a Bubba Thompson or Josh Smith with some prospects dealt for pen help.

It all depends on how close CY and the Rangers think they are to winning now.

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One Comment

  1. danthemanwiththeplan

    May 16, 2023 at 9:57 pm

    What a difference a week makes. You just mentioned Hernandez as a bright spot, and he has been horrible all week. I ended up here from searching “what is wrong with Jonathan Hernandez.” I know he had surgery and missed 2021. Not sure if this is a pressure thing or what. He is just not making pitches right now. If he’s got options, may need to send him down to work some things out. If not, IL him and get him down there on a rehab assignment. It would suck to see this team brought down by the bullpen.

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