Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers Fantasy Baseball Daily Bullpen Updates and Closer Depth Chart

Closer 1st in line 2nd in line 2016 Closer Updated
TEX Shawn Tolleson Sam Dyson Keone Kela Shawn Tolleson 10/3/15

Previous updates:

October 3, 2015
Texas Rangers – Sam Dyson has been one of the best relievers in baseball since joining the Texas bullpen, and on Friday, he pitched his third straight game ahead of closer Shawn Tolleson. He’ll be the 8th inning man for the Rangers in the playoffs.

Updated hierarchy: Tolleson | Dyson | Kela.

September 9, 2015
Texas Rangers – Keone Kela made his first appearance since feeling discomfort in his elbow last week, and he struck out two in a perfect eighth inning to keep Texas ahead by two. Manager Jeff Banister said after the game that they will see how Kela is on Wednesday, but if he continues to pitch like that, it will be hard to keep him out very much as the Rangers battle for a playoff spot.

Updated hierarchy: Tolleson | Kela | Dyson.

September 7, 2015
Texas Rangers – The Rangers shut down Keone Kela this past weekend after he felt some discomfort in his elbow. He may return soon, but in the mean time, Texas will continue to look to their deadline acquisitions — Sam Dyson and Jake Diekman — to bridge the gap to Shawn Tolleson.

Updated hierarchy: Tolleson | Dyson | Diekman.

August 22, 2015
Texas Rangers — The Rangers are pleased with the performance of their bullpen lately, and Keone Kela has been a big part of that, returning from his rest in the minors with six straight scoreless outings (four holds). Friday night saw Kela pitch a scoreless eighth in a tight 2-0 game. Sam Dyson and Jake Diekman are still vital late-inning cogs, but because Diekman is a lefty, he’s more likely to get used in the middle innings if an important matchup arises.

Updated hierarchy: Tolleson | Kela | Dyson.

August 14, 2015
Texas Rangers — Jake Diekman has been getting high-leverage work since coming over from Philadelphia in the Cole Hamels trade. That trend continued yesterday, with Diekman (not Sam Dyson) pitching the eighth ahead of Shawn Tolleson. Diekman has three holds and has allowed only two runs in 7.2 IP since he joined the contending Rangers.

Updated hierarchy: Tolleson | Diekman | Dyson.

August 6, 2015
Texas Rangers — As predicted in the Vulture Save Watch, Sam Dyson was brought in to close out a one-run game. He worked around a leadoff single and a hit batsman to pick up his 2nd save of the year. With Texas having an off day today, look for Shawn Tolleson to resume closing this weekend.

Hierarchy remains: Tolleson | Dyson | Diekman.

August 3, 2015
Texas Rangers – Bullpen help came at just the right time for the Rangers, who placed Tanner Scheppers on the DL just a day after sending Keone Kela to the minors for some extended rest. With Shawn Tolleson unavailable after pitching four straight, newcomers Jake Diekman and Sam Dyson were summoned to close out the 9th inning. Diekman walked the only batter he faced on four pitches, but his mere usage suggests he’ll get more high leverage chances going forward; Dyson, meanwhile, was able to do the job, nabbing his first save as a Ranger.

Updated hierarchy: Tolleson | Dyson | Diekman.

August 2, 2015
Texas Rangers – The Rangers sent Keone Kela down to Double-A yesterday.  Kela has been one of the best relievers out of the Rangers bullpen so far this season but they want the rookie reliever to get some extended rest.  Newly acquired Sam Dyson could see some time in the later innings with Kela gone.

Updated hierarchy: Tolleson | Scheppers | Dyson.

July 30, 2015
Texas Rangers – Jake Diekman was included as a part of deal that brought Cole Hamels to Texas. Diekman may have had some sleeper value while still with the Phillies because they could sell off anybody at this point, but that is pretty much gone in Texas, where he’d have to jump several better arms to get into the late-inning mix.

Hierarchy remains: Tolleson | Kela | Scheppers.

July 23, 2015
Texas Rangers – Tanner Scheppers really worked for the win yesterday, giving up four runs in the 8th and ballooning his ERA to 5.63. He was bailed out when John Axford gave up a pair of runs to take the loss, but Scheppers has had a miserable run lately. Manager Jeff Banister gave him a vote of confidence, saying he has electric stuff and that he will still get the 8th, and sometimes the 7th, inning. Meanwhile, Keone Kela has gone three straight appearances without giving up a hit, and has only given up a single run in his last 10 outings. If Scheppers’ bad run continues, look for Spencer Patton to find his way into the late-inning mix as well.

Updated hierarchy: Tolleson | Kela | Scheppers.

July 10, 2015
Texas Rangers – Neftali Feliz cleared waivers on Thursday and now can accept his assignment to the Rangers minor league system or can become a free agent. Feliz (4.58 ERA, 1.68 WHIP) is still only 27 and if he elects free agency, he could help out a team that needs help in the late innings. He would also give up the remainder of his $4.3 million salary, so he’s got some thinking to do.

Hierarchy remains: Tolleson | Scheppers | Kela.

July 4, 2015
Texas Rangers — Well, never mind that business yesterday about Neftali Feliz. After his first outing (two scoreless innings, two hits, 1 K, high of 95 MPH) on Friday, the Rangers immediately designated him for assignment. Feliz will be released if he doesn’t attract trade interest or agree to a demotion to AAA.

Hierarchy remains: Tolleson | Scheppers | Kela.

July 3, 2015
Texas Rangers — Former Rangers closer Neftali Feliz was activated from the disabled list Thursday and could factor into the team’s late-inning plans, despite a rough time of it during his rehab outings (7.36 ERA over 11 innings). We’ll see how manager Jeff Bannister chooses to use Feliz in the early going, but have no fear — Shawn Tolleson is still the closer moving forward. If Feliz continues to struggle, Texas might have a difficult decision to make, because (as a veteran with five years of service time) Feliz can decline any minor league option.

Hierarchy remains: Tolleson | Scheppers | Kela.

July 1, 2015
Texas Rangers – Tanner Scheppers pitched the 8th inning on Tuesday, facing the 2-3-4 hitters in the potent Orioles lineup and retiring the side in order. Keone Kela got the 7th ahead of Scheppers, which was the order of appearance the previous evening. Expect Scheppers to get more of the high-leverage work immediately ahead of Shawn Tolleson in the future.

Updated hierarchy: Tolleson | Scheppers | Kela.

June 18, 2015
Texas Rangers – As predicted in yesterday’s Vulture Save Watch, it was Keone Kela who converted the save chance for the Rangers last night as Shawn Tolleson needed a night off.

Hierarchy remains: Tolleson | Kela | Scheppers.

June 17, 2015
Texas Rangers – While we officially named Shawn Tolleson the Texas closer on May 25, manager Jeff Banister waited until June 16 to finally call the right-hander just that. How did Tolleson respond? By preserving a 2-2 tie and picking up the win after the Rangers scored in the bottom half of the 9th. Banister did reiterate that the innings leading up to Tolleson in the 9th will be “all hands on deck.”

Hierarchy remains: Tolleson | Kela | Scheppers.

June 8, 2015
Texas Rangers – Ross Ohlendorf was placed on the disabled list on Sunday with a strained groin. Tanner Scheppers has been receiving some high leverage opportunities since his return from the minors and will likely continue to get holds in Texas.

Updated hierarchy: Tolleson | Kela | Scheppers.

June 6, 2015
Texas Rangers — Shawn Tolleson’s success in the closer role will allow the Rangers to bring Neftali Feliz back slowly, with several minor league rehab outings planned.

Hierarchy remains: Tolleson | Kela | Ohlendorf.

May 26, 2015
Texas Rangers – Neftali Feliz had only gotten into one game since the blown save that cost him his job, and on Monday we were given the reason — an abscess on his right side that has now resulted in a trip to the disabled list. Shawn Tolleson just picked up his fourth save in six games, and Feliz would have to do a lot upon returning to even get himself into the 1st in line spot. So if you don’t have a DL spot open, he’s probably droppable in most leagues at this point.

Hierarchy remains: Tolleson | Kela | Ohlendorf.

May 25, 2015
Texas Rangers – Shawn Tolleson, meanwhile, is losing his asterisk. In striking out the side on 13 pitches last night, he earned his third save in five days and has given Texas no reason to look to anyone else for 9th inning opportunities. The “no roles” bullpen has quickly morphed into “no roles for anyone except Tolleson,” and given his ratios at this point (29 Ks and 4 BBs in 20.1 innings), the hard-throwing righty could be a very solid option for saves going forward.

Hierarchy remains: Tolleson | Kela | Ohlendorf.

May 23, 2015
Texas Rangers — We expected that Shawn Tolleson and Keone Kela would get Friday off after some heavy usage. What we didn’t figure was that Jeff Bannister would call on Ross Ohlendorf and his Jazz Age delivery to pick up the save. Ohlendorf, who was in the minors all last year and got called up just last week, also pitched in a key set-up role on Wednesday, so we’ll reluctantly move him into the hierarchy, for now. But don’t run out to grab the Dorf just yet; this has a lot more to do with Bannister’s evidently lower opinion of Neftali Feliz and Tanner Scheppers. If either can get back in the good graces of the manager, Ross can go back to wooing flappers over glasses of giggle juice.

Updated hierarchy: *Tolleson | Kela | Ohlendorf.
* = closer-by-committee

May 22, 2015
Texas Rangers — Shawn Tolleson converted his second save since taking over as head of the Rangers’ closer committee. Manager Jeff Bannister said after the game that the committee remains in place, but called Tolleson “a viable guy there.” Neftali Feliz was seen warming up in the later innings, but he never made it into the game. Instead, Bannister turned to Keone Kela in perhaps the most important spot in the game; Kela (2.25 ERA, 1.40 WHIP) pitched well, tossing 1.1 innings of scoreless relief and retiring the side in order in the eighth inning.

Updated hierarchy: *Tolleson | Kela | Feliz.
* = closer-by-committee

May 21, 2015
Texas Rangers – Shawn Tolleson converted his first save opportunity as the head of the Texas committee. It wasn’t as smooth as he would have liked, as he gave up a double and an intentional walk, but he got the job done. It was a true committee leading up to the ninth, as utility pitcher Ross Ohlendorf was used in the eighth, combining with Alex Claudio and Tanner Scheppers to hold the Red Sox scoreless. Manager Jeff Banister was happy with his bullpen’s performance, and guys like Scheppers and Tolleson seem to be buying in to the committee. Still of interest is where Neftali Feliz, who had thrown 23 pitches on Tuesday, fits in all of this, and we may find out on Thursday if the Rangers have a late lead. For now, it appears that a cavalcade of pitchers will be used ahead of Tolleson on any given night.

Hierarchy remains: *Tolleson | Feliz | Scheppers.
* = closer-by-committee

May 17, 2015
Texas Rangers – After a pre game news conference where Jeff Banister said that the Rangers “can’t stay status quo” in regards to the late innings, Shawn Tolleson was given the keys to the ninth inning. It wasn’t a save situation because the Rangers scored a run in the bottom of the 8th, but Tolleson had been warming beforehand. In post game interviews, Banister spoke as if this situation will be a committee going forward, something that was echoed by Tolleson. But with Tolleson getting the first crack at the 9th inning and pitching well, we think he’s the favorite to see more opportunities in the near future.

Updated hierarchy: *Tolleson | Feliz | Scheppers.
* = closer-by-committee

May 11, 2015
Texas Rangers – After a rough outing on May 1, Shawn Tolleson has righted the ship. Over his last three outings, he’s allowed only one run while picking up two holds, the most recent of which came Sunday, when he got the 8th ahead of Neftali Feliz. Tolleson’s sturdy WHIP (1.08) and great ratios (18 Ks and 2 BBs in 13 innings) suggest that his inflated ERA (4.85) is more the result of bad luck than bad pitching.

Updated hierarchy: Feliz | Tolleson | Kela.

May 2, 2015
Texas Rangers – Summoned in the 8th inning to bail out the rest of the Rangers terrible bullpen, Neftali Feliz couldn’t hold the lead, allowing two inherited runners to score along with one of his own. The only prominent Rangers reliever who came away from this game looking good was Keone Kela, who pitched a clean 9th inning after the Feliz got knocked out. Feliz’s seat gets warmer, and Kela might be the guy who replaces him.

Updated hierarchy: Feliz | Kela | Tolleson.

April 27, 2015
Texas Rangers — While Tanner Scheppers sorts things out in the earlier innings, Keone Kela will be counted on in higher-leverage spots. He pitched a scoreless ninth in a tie game on Sunday. Kela’s performance has been a source of inspiration at a difficult time for the scout who signed him.

Updated hierarchy: Feliz | Tolleson | Kela.

April 24, 2015
Texas Rangers — Rangers manager Jeff Bannister will use Tanner Scheppers in lower-leverage situations for the time being after some rough outings. Bannister likes the righty’s stuff, so don’t be surprised to see Scheppers return to the eighth-inning role soon.

Updated hierarchy: Feliz | Tolleson | Scheppers.

April 20, 2015
Texas Rangers — It wasn’t exactly a banner night for the Texas bullpen, which saw its top three relievers get knocked around in a late game collapse against the Mariners. Shawn Tolleson pitched the 7th and fared the best, only allowing one run on two hits. Tanner Scheppers got the 8th and only recorded one out while surrendering three runs. Then, summoned for a five-out save, Neftali Feliz allowed two inherited runners to score in the 8th, then two more of his own in the 9th. Since everyone looked bad in this one, Feliz shouldn’t have too much to worry about yet. But with his peripherals looking shady, another blown save could land him on the Hot Seat.

Hierarchy remains: Feliz | Scheppers | Tolleson.

April 18, 2015
Texas Rangers — Tanner Scheppers, recovered from his sprained ankle, immediately returned to high-leverage work for the Rangers, holding on through a rocky eighth inning in relief of Shawn Tolleson. One place Scheppers won’t be used anytime soon is the Double-A Texas League, which fined and suspended him after he was ejected from a rehab appearance for throwing behind a batter in defense of a teammate.

Updated hierarchy: Feliz | Scheppers | Tolleson.

April 6, 2015
Texas Rangers – Tanner Scheppers will start the season on the DL, elevating Shawn Tolleson into the set-up role. Roman Mendez slides up to take the 7th inning. Scheppers should be back in a week or two.

Updated hierarchy: Feliz | Tolleson | Mendez.

March 6, 2015
Texas Rangers — The Texas hierarchy has seen its fair share of adversity. Neftali Feliz, low strikeout rate and all, is finally starting a season as the closer after his 2013 Tommy John surgery. Tanner Scheppers, a great reliever in 2013, hurt his elbow last year after starting on Opening Day for the Rangers. Although he still wants to start, the team will keep him in the eighth this year. And Shawn Tolleson overcame back surgery in 2013 to be Texas’s most consistent reliever last season. Meanwhile, young Alex Claudio looks like the top lefty option for new manager Jeff Banister. Kyuji Fujikawa, another veteran of Tommy John surgery, also has an outside shot at high-leverage innings.

Starting 2015 hierarchy: Feliz | Scheppers | Tolleson.
Holds candidates: Scheppers, Tolleson.

September 24, 2014
Texas Rangers — We told you Neal Cotts was likely to get Tuesday’s save. And then he went ahead and did it. You’re welcome, Internet.

Hierarchy remains: Feliz | Cotts | Mendez.

September 23, 2014
Texas Rangers — Rookie Roman Mendez has been getting several high-leverage outs lately for Texas; he was used in the eighth inning up a run on Monday night. Meanwhile, Alexi Ogando is so injured that they put him on the winter league disabled list.

Updated hierarchy: Feliz | Cotts | Mendez.

September 14, 2014
Texas Rangers – The Rangers gave Neftali Feliz the night off after pitching two days in a row and Neal Cotts picked up his first save of the season.  Despite his recent struggles (and his 9 losses on the season), it looks like Cotts will get the first shot at saves when Feliz is unavailable.

Updated hierarchy: Feliz | Cotts | Tolleson.

September 8, 2014
Texas Rangers – Neal Cotts has struggled as of late (7 ERs in his last 4 IPs), so Shawn Tolleson was given the 8th inning ahead of Neftali Feliz. Tolleson has only allowed runs in 2 of his past 13 outings.

Updated hierarchy: Feliz | Tolleson | Cotts.

August 21, 2014
Texas Rangers — After giving up two solo home runs and putting the tying run on base with a walk, Neftali Feliz made two unlikely escapes. First he convinced Ron Washington to let him stay in the game, then he struck out Donovan Solano on five mid-90s fastballs. The Rangers were encouraged by Feliz’s increased velocity, but they could do without the added drama.

Hierarchy remains: Feliz | Cotts | Tolleson.

August 4, 2014
Texas Rangers – Neftali Feliz blew a save on Sunday, his first blown save in four tries since inheriting the closer job. Normally, that would be good enough to establish a little bit of a leash, but Feliz’s peripherals have been pretty brutal in those four outings — he’s only struck out 1 hitter in 4 innings (compared with 2 BBs), and he’s yielded 9 fly balls (and 1 HR) against just 3 ground balls, which isn’t a healthy ratio for a closer (or most anyone). On Sunday, virtually all of the Rangers’ beat writers were wondering about his fastball velocity, as was Ron Washington. If Feliz does need some backup, Neal Cotts has been getting the 8th inning as of late, while righties Shawn Tolleson and Roman Mendez could also potentially be in the mix.

Updated hierarchy: Feliz | Cotts | Tolleson.
Neftali Feliz to Hot Seat.

July 26, 2014
Texas Rangers — With their first save opportunity since trading closer Joakim Soria, the Rangers stayed true to their word and went to Neftali Feliz.  Feliz gave up a hit and a walk, and had to throw 26 pitches to get through the inning, but he pitched a scoreless frame for his first save of the season.

Hierarchy remains: Feliz | Tolleson | Cotts.

July 24, 2014
Texas Rangers — 26-year-old Neftali Feliz, an All-Star closer in 2010, will get the first shot at the ninth with Joakim Soria headed to Detroit. “We’ll give him a shot,” Ron Washington said. “He is the only one with experience.” Shawn Tolleson and Neal Cotts will back him up.

Updated hierarchy: Feliz | Tolleson | Cotts.

July 23, 2014
Texas Rangers – Joakim Soria has been traded to the Tigers. Neftali Feliz’s past closer experience makes him the best bet for saves in Texas, but Shawn Tolleson and Neal Cotts could also be in the mix. We will monitor this situation as it develops.

Updated hierarchy: Feliz | Tolleson | Cotts.

July 17, 2014
Texas Rangers — As we predicted, Jason Frasor was indeed traded — to Kansas City, for AAA all-star closer Spencer Patton. Neal Cotts moves back up to second in line for now, but he could also be next out the door.

Updated hierarchy: Soria | Feliz | Cotts.

July 15, 2014
Texas Rangers – Closer Joakim Soria has been part of trade rumors, notably to the Tigers and recently to the Angels and Blue Jays, but we think Jason Frasor is the most likely Ranger reliever to be dealt at the deadline. Neftali Feliz has been solid since his return and should be a favorite to return to the ninth inning if Soria is dealt. TRADE DEADLINE BUY: Neftali Feliz

July 7, 2014
Texas Rangers – After throwing two scoreless innings in his return to the bigs on Friday, Neftali Feliz was solid again on Sunday, pitching the 8th inning of a losing effort. Due to his past experience in the role, he’ll likely be on the short list for save chances if Joakim Soria gets hurt or traded.

Updated hierarchy: Soria | Frasor | Feliz.

June 30, 2014
Texas Rangers – Something odd is afoot with Joakim Soria. He didn’t pitch for 10 days from June 14 to June 24, and then, when Ron Washington finally decided to get him some work, Soria entered in the 9th inning of a blowout, threw 8 pitches, got 2 outs, and then was yanked for Scott Baker, who faced the final batter. Three days later, Soria had his worst outing of the year, blowing the save against the Twins. And then, two days after that — yesterday — he took the loss after allowing the tie breaking run in the 9th. He’s earned way too much trust to be placed on the Hot Seat just yet, but it’s certainly been a strange week for Soria, who has a troubled injury history. We’ll keep an eye on him in the coming days.

Hierarchy remains: Soria | Frasor | Cotts.

June 12, 2014
Texas Rangers — Tanner Scheppers came off the disabled list, made four appearances in six days, and promptly returned to the DL Wednesday — this time for a “prolonged shutdown period.” This is Texas’s 20th disabled list move of the season, which means that their next procedure with Dr. James Andrews is free.

Updated hierarchy: Soria | Frasor | Cotts.

June 6, 2014
Texas Rangers – Tanner Scheppers, one of the best set-up men in baseball last year, has officially returned to the bullpen after a failed experiment in the starting rotation. His first assignment was an 8th inning hold opportunity, and though he gave up a solo home run to Adam Jones, we expect that the righty will soon regain the form that nearly made him an All Star last year. Once he proves his effectiveness — as well as his ability to pitch in back-to-back games — he could get a save chance or two when Joakim Soria is unavailable.

Updated hierarchy: Soria | Frasor | Scheppers.

June 5, 2014
Texas Rangers — After giving up three runs in one-third of an inning on Tuesday, Alexi Ogando complained of elbow soreness, and now finds himself on the DL for the third straight June. Although Tanner Scheppers has given up three home runs in 3.2 AAA innings during his minor league rehab assignment, he worked out with the big league club on Wednesday, and could soon be called on for high-leverage work. In the meantime, Neal Cotts moves into Ogando’s spot, especially since Aaron Poreda’s recall gives the Rangers another lefty arm in the bullpen.

Updated hierarchy: Soria | Frasor | Cotts.

May 22, 2014
Texas Rangers — When Tanner Scheppers returns from the disabled list after this weekend’s rehab assignment, he will do so as a set-up reliever, the role that he filled so ably for the team in 2013.

Hierarchy remains: Soria | Frasor | Ogando.

May 9, 2014
Texas Rangers – Alexi Ogando’s ugly 2014 continued earlier this week, as he was given a low-leverage 6th inning to sort himself out and responded by giving up 4 ERs. Last night, it was Jason Frasor who got the 8th inning ahead of Joakim Soria, and Frasor pitched a perfect inning to lower his ERA to 1.50. On nights when Soria is unavailable, it seems much more likely that Frasor would get a save opp than Ogando at this point. Ogando, who currently has an ERA over 8, needs to improve quickly or he could fall off the Texas hierarchy entirely.

Hierarchy change: Soria | Frasor | Ogando.

April 14, 2014
Texas Rangers – Joakim Soria was unavailable after pitching in back to back games, so Alexi Ogando got the save in his place.  With Neftali Feliz still in the minors, Ogando would have little competition for the closer gig should something happen to Soria.  No hierarchy change.

April 9, 2014
Texas Rangers — Joakim Soria entered in the ninth inning of a 10-4 game and scattered four hits among three strikeouts, surrendering three runs. With Neftali Feliz impressing in the minors, another outing like that one could send Soria to the Hot SeatNo hierarchy change.

April 5, 2014
Texas Rangers — Neftali Feliz is starting to get his velocity back in the minors.  He was sent down over concerns that his velocity was down in spring training but could be a guy to keep an eye on if he can regain his stuff from a couple years ago when he had 32 saves.  No hierarchy change.

March 22, 2014
Texas Rangers — Ron Washington has chosen 29-year-old Joakim Soria to close for the Rangers, citing Soria’s consistency and experience. His #1 ranking on our middle reliever list probably didn’t hurt either. With Tanner Scheppers moving into the rotation, Alexi Ogando will return to his old set-up role. Neftali Feliz’s spot on the roster is far from guaranteed, and if he makes the team, he’ll apparently be battling Neal Cotts and Jason Frasor to be #3. Hierarchy change: Joakim Soria to Closer, Alexi Ogando to Set-Up, Neal Cotts to 2nd in line.

March 13, 2014
Texas Rangers — As Joakim Soria excels and Neftali Feliz struggles to return from Tommy John surgery, Ron Washington is speaking of a closer committee and longing for “a guy who can get three outs.” Ominous. Feliz is ranked #27 in our preseason closer rankings.

March 7, 2014
Texas Rangers – The Rangers have said this is an open competition.  But they’ve also suggested that they want Neftali Feliz to win the job, and yesterday, Feliz gave them reason to think that he will.  So for now, we like him to beat out Joakim Soria for the job.  Tanner Scheppers and Robbie Ross, both among the best middle relievers in baseball last year, both reportedly have their eye on the 5th starter job.  They’re probably both too valuable to demote if they can’t crack the rotation, so one of them could get shuttled back to the bullpen by the end of spring training.  Starting 2014 hierarchy: Closer – Neftali Feliz, Set-up – Joakim Soria, 2nd in line – Tanner Scheppers. 

September 25, 2013
Texas Rangers — Thanks to a reader for pointing this out: Joe Nathan triggered his free agent clause by closing his 55th game last week, allowing him to void his $9 million team option for 2014 and seek a longer deal.  Our gut feeling is that he stays in Arlington to close next year, but if he ends up somewhere else, we see Tanner Scheppers as the Rangers’ 2014 closer — if you’re playing the long game. No hierarchy change.

August 21, 2013
Texas Rangers — Although Joakim Soria is not being used in a conventional set-up role, we think he still has the best shot at saves if something happens to Joe Nathan. Meanwhile, Neftali Feliz is back to his Triple-A rehab assignmentNo hierarchy change.

August 10, 2013
Texas Rangers — Neal Cotts came on to get the last out of the 8th inning with the Rangers up 3.  The Rangers added two more runs in the top of the 9th so Cotts stayed on to finish the game and notched his first save of the season. No hierarchy change.

July 28, 2013
Texas Rangers – The Rangers are discussing trading Joe Nathan.  While it seems unlikely that the Rangers would deal Nathan, sources say that Joakim Soria could be an option to close.   There is no mention of Tanner Scheppers so it sounds like the Rangers would rather go with the experienced former closer.   Hierarchy change: Joakim Soria to Set-up, Tanner Scheppers to 2nd in line.

July 25, 2013
Texas Rangers – Neal Cotts picked up his second straight 8th-inning hold on Wednesday, and even helped the Rangers get through the 9th, retiring the first two hitters before Joe Nathan was summoned to get the final out.  Though Joakim Soria obviously has a huge edge when it comes to experience, the Rangers are still being cautious with the oft-injured righty, and he’s only thrown 4 innings since returning to the big leagues on July 7.  Cotts, meanwhile, now sports a 0.91 ERA, a 0.91 WHIP, and is striking out more than a batter per inning.  Hierarchy change: Neal Cotts to 2nd in line, replacing Joakim Soria.

July 24, 2013
Texas Rangers — Yankees fans are happy; this time, Joe Nathan set up Mariano Rivera. Blown save or no, Nathan certainly seemed to have a valid case against the home plate umpire. No hierarchy change.

July 17, 2013
Texas Rangers — The Rangers are very happy with their deep bullpen; any trade they make will focus on their offense or starting rotation. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: None.

July 14, 2013
Texas Rangers – Joakim Soria pitched the 8th inning with the Rangers up 3 on Saturday.  Soria has made 3 appearances since being activated off the DL and has yet to allow a run while picking up a hold in each appearance.  Hierarchy change: Joakim Soria to 2nd in line, replacing Neal Cotts.

July 9, 2013
Texas Rangers — Joakim Soria returned on Sunday after almost two years of recovery from Tommy John surgery; in his first two games back, he has picked up holds in the sixth and eighth innings. We’re not ready to move Soria into Texas’s hierarchy just yet, but don’t count him out. No hierarchy change.

July 8, 2013
Texas Rangers – With Tanner Scheppers coming off a rough outing on Saturday, the Rangers went to lefty Neal Cotts for the 8th inning hold on Sunday.  Cotts, called up in May, has been nothing short of spectacular since joining the big league club.  He’s got a 1.09 ERA and a 31-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 24.2 innings, and with Robbie Ross’s recent struggles, Cotts has become the go-to lefty in the Texas bullpen.  Hierarchy change: Neal Cotts to 2nd in line, replacing Robbie Ross.

June 7, 2013
Texas Rangers — Ron Washington used Tanner Scheppers in a tied eighth inning, but since (as everyone knows) “you can’t use your closer on the road in the ninth inning of a tie ballgame,” out came Michael Kirkman and his 2.18 ERA WHIP for the ninth. Double, intentional walk, three-run homer, ballgame. Maybe Ron and Joe Nathan had dinner reservations. No hierarchy change.

April 27, 2013
Texas Rangers – Tanner Scheppers pitched the 8th inning last night, earning his 5th hold of the season.  The young righty has yet to allow a single run this season through 12.2 innings and has become the most likely candidate for saves on nights when Joe Nathan is unavailable.  Hierarchy change: Tanner Schepper to Set-up, Robbie Ross to 2nd in line.

April 22, 2013
Texas Rangers – Michael Kirkman picked up a 3-inning save in a blowout on Sunday.  He does not figure in to the normal late-inning hierarchy in Texas.  No hierarchy change.

April 9, 2013
Texas Rangers – Before the season, Ron Washington tabbed Robbie Ross and Michael Kirkman as his set-up men.  Ross has been solid, but thus far, Kirkman is sporting a 13.50 ERA and has mostly been used as a match-up guy.  Hard-throwing righty Tanner Scheppers has been the one throwing meaningful innings for the Rangers, and he hasn’t allowed a run through 4.2 innings thus far.  Hierarchy change: Tanner Scheppers to 2nd in line, replacing Michael Kirkman.

April 1, 2013
Texas Rangers – Late last week, Ron Washington signaled that Robbie Ross and Michael Kirkman would be the team’s primary set-up men, moves that were reinforced over the weekend.  Josh Lindblom, who many thought would serve as a late-inning man, was sent to the minors to be stretched out as a starter, while Jason Frasor was used in the 7th inning last night with the Rangers down four runs.  Hierarchy change: Robbie Ross to Set-up, Michael Kirkman to 2nd in line. 

February 24, 2013
Texas Rangers – Starting 2013 hierarchy: Closer- Joe Nathan, Set-up- Jason Frasor, 2nd in line- Josh Lindblom. 

September 17, 2012
Texas Rangers – Koji Uehara picked up his first save of the season on Sunday. Joe Nathan has had some arm fatigue and is being rested. Uehara has been pitching a lot lately, having not allowed a run in September. Hierarchy change: Koji Uehara to 2nd in line, replacing Mike Adams.

September 14, 2012
Texas Rangers – On his third straight night of work, Joe Nathan was horrid, giving up three runs on four hits and blowing the save before being replaced by Koji Uehara. No hierarchy change.

August 5, 2012
Texas Rangers – A little over a week ago, reports emerged that the Rangers were trying to stretch Alexi Ogando out, and they seemed validated when Ogando was used for 2.2 innings nine days ago. But since then, he’s gone back to pitching 1 inning at a time, including last night, when he picked up his second save in a row (Joe Nathan needed a second day off after two marathon outings on Thursday and Friday). While Mike Adams will stick as the 8th inning guy regardless, Ogando appears to be the man the Rangers will use when Nathan is unavailable. Hierarchy change: Alexi Ogando to Set-up, Mike Adams to 2nd in line.

August 4, 2012
Texas Rangers – Joe Nathan was given a day off on Friday, but it was Alexi Ogando, not Mike Adams, who picked up the save in his stead– Adams pitched in his usual 8th inning role. However, the Rangers are reportedly looking to stretch Ogando out and return him to the rotation in the not-too-distant future, so Adams is still the guy most likely to see save chances on nights that Nathan is unavailable. No hierarchy change.

July 18, 2012
Texas Rangers – Alexi Ogando returned from the DL and was placed back in to the bullpen, where he will remain for the foreseeable future. He pitched 0.2 innings yesterday and will be used in a late-innings role, as he was before. Hierarchy change: Alexi Ogando to 2nd in line, replacing Tanner Scheppers.

July 13, 2012
Texas Rangers – With the second-best record in all of baseball, the Rangers will be buyers at the trade deadline. They might look to add a set-up man, as Mike Adams has been somewhat shaky this season, but no pick-up will supplant Joe Nathan at closer. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: None.

June 30, 2012
Texas Rangers – With both Joe Nathan and Mike Adams unavailable, the Rangers called on young Tanner Scheppers in the 9th inning yesterday. Scheppers was an unexpected choice, as he’d struggled so far this season since being called up in early June. But the righty is a former first round pick, and despite some early road bumps (his current ERA is 9.31), he’s been pitching in some high-leverage spots. Hierarchy change: Tanner Scheppers to 2nd in line, replacing Robbie Ross.

June 16, 2012
Texas Rangers – The Rangers placed Koji Uehara on the disabled list yesterday. Young lefty Robbie Ross is having an outstanding season and is the most likely candidate to inherit the 7th inning role. Hierarchy change: Robbie Ross to 2nd in line, Koji Uehara to DL.

June 8, 2012
Texas Rangers – With Derek Holland injured, Alexi Ogando is moving to the rotation. Koji Uehara (1.33 ERA, 0.54 WHIP), will assume Ogando’s role as the high-leverage 7th inning righty in the Rangers bullpen. Hierarchy change: Koji Uehara to 2nd in line, replacing Alexi Ogando.

April 14, 2012
Texas Rangers – Alexi Ogando got the save last night. Ron Washington declared after the game that Joe Nathan was still the closer but with Adams getting the save the night before, the Rangers have several other options if Nathan continues to struggle. Joe Nathan to Hot Seat.

April 13, 2012
Texas Rangers- Mike Adams, yesterday’s #1 candidate for a vulture save, filled in yesterday for Joe Nathan, who had the night off. No hierarchy change.

April 7, 2012
Texas Rangers- The Rangers, protecting a 1-run lead in the 7th inning last night, went to Alexi Ogando rather than Koji Uehara, who is coming off a rough spring training. Hierarchy change: Alexi Ogando to 2nd in line, replacing Koji Uehara.

March 24, 2012
Texas Rangers- Neftali Feliz has moved to the rotation and Joe Nathan will take over as closer. Mike Adams, acquired from San Diego at the trade deadline last year, will return as setup man. Koji Uehara remains the 7th-inning reliever. Starting 2012 hierarchy: Closer- Joe Nathan, Set-up- Mike Adams, 2nd in line- Koji Uehara.

Dec. 15, 2011
Texas Rangers- The Rangers have announced that Neftali Feliz will move to the rotation in 2012. Joe Nathan will assume the closer role. Hierarchy change: Joe Nathan to Closer, replacing Neftali Feliz.

Sept. 1, 2011
Texas Rangers- The Rangers acquired Mike Gonzalez from the Orioles last night. Gonzalez has a stellar ERA over the past month and a half and will likely assume the 7th inning role over Koji Uehara, who has struggled as of late. Hierarchy change: Gonzalez to 2nd in line, replacing Uehara.

Aug. 20, 2011
Texas Rangers- Despite blowing the game last night, Mike Adams returned to his 8th inning role even though Koji Uehara was also available in the bullpen. Adams responded well, logging two Ks in a spotless 8th inning. Hierarchy change: Adams to Set-Up, Uehara to 2nd in line.

Aug. 19, 2011
Texas Rangers- Neftali Feliz was given the night off after pitching four of the previous five games, and his temporary replacement, Mike Adams, faced only two batters in his save opportunity last night, yielding a single and a walk-off HR. Should Feliz need the day off again, Uehara will likely get the next save opp. Hierarchy change: Uehara to Set-Up, Adams to 2nd in line.

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