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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: JOSE LeCLERC OUT AS RANGERS CLOSER JUST ONE MONTH INTO SEASON

Somewhere Derrick Turnbow is nodding in understanding.  After all, the former Milwaukee Brewer closer was one of the all-time one-year wonders who burst onto the scene to completely dominate finishing games for the team and the next year was so unhittable that he not only lost the gig but soon was out of baseball after never-ending struggles.  While we won't say this is where the Texas Rangers' Jose LeClerc is headed, he certainly is drawing firm comparisons to Turnbow as he was removed from the team's closer role on Wednesday after yet another brutal outing the night before when he gave up 3 earned runs in 1 IP to raise his ERA to 8.44 and WHIP to 2.16.  Those are truly horrendous numbers and LeClerc has been terrible almost from the start of 2019 which almost completely has taken the shine off a sparkling 2018 when he came out to register a 1.56 ERA and 13.27 K/9.  It seemed LeClerc was set to be a new age star closer but now that notion looks laughable.  While the plan is for LeClerc to work in less intense situations in order to regain his confidence (and also begin to start earning some of the money he received after signing an extension in spring training) but now attention turns to the potential replacement.  On that front, the best bet is likely going to be veteran Shawn Kelley who has been a part-time closer in the past and who has the high K rate and good 2019 stats (1.50 ERA) and who is capable of staunching the bleeding at the back of the team's bullpen.  There also have been some mention that Chris Martin (3.97 ERA) but Kelley would be the add if you only have one spot to use.  As for LeClerc, try and stash him as his arm remains potent but just too wild to save games.  Given what the Rangers have invested here, count on him getting another chance. 


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