Keone Kela still leading a shaky Texas bullpen

May 8, 2018

Texas Rangers – After blowing a four-run lead last Tuesday and then giving up a go-ahead run on Thursday, Keone Kela had a nice bounce-back appearance last night, striking out two hitters in a scoreless 9th to pick up his 7th save. His ERA sits at 6.00, but he’s probably safer than that number would suggest, in part because most of the damage came across two particularly bad appearances, and also because his would-be competition hasn’t been much better. Jake Diekman got the 8th inning last night, but he’s walked 12 hitters in 12.1 IP this year, contributing to a 1.70 WHIP, and Alex Claudio has been knocked around all season, having allowed 29 hits and 11 earned runs in 16.1 innings of work. Jose LeClerc and Tony Barnette have been decent, though, and are both sporting ERAs under 3 — it seems likely that both of these righties will start getting higher-leverage work. And if Kela falters or gets hurt, one of them could be in position to benefit.

Updated hierarchy: Kela | Diekman | LeClerc. 

1. Jordan Hicks/Greg Holland – Bud Norris is probably out for another couple days.

1. Jake Diekman – If Keone Kela goes today, it’ll be back to back and three of four.
2. Jared Hughes – If Raisel Iglesias goes today, it’ll be back to back games. (He pitched in 3 straight only once all of last year.)