Rangers right-hander Shawn Tolleson was back on the mound in a game for the Rangers Monday night since he was removed as the closer. He threw 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief in the seventh and eighth innings. He allowed a hit and struck out two. It was his first appearance since allowing four runs in 2/3 of an inning May 17.
“It was good to get back out there and get through a 1 1/3 and keep our team in the game. It felt good to do that,” he said. Tolleson said his previous struggles are no mystery. It comes down to executing his pitches.
The fastball was a little bit more live for him [Monday] night. He actually got the swings on the high fastball that he had not been getting.
Jeff Banister on Shawn Tolleson
“I feel healthy, I feel good and my stuff is still good,” he said. “My execution has just been off.”
He’s tried not to over think the issue while blowing four saves in 15 chances.
“You can do all sorts of stuff. Sometimes you can do too much, I think. I still feel confident I can get it done, that I can still execute my pitches,” he said. “My bullpens feel great, I’m hitting every spot, my stuff is sharp. So for me, it’s being able to slow things down, carry that into a game, and really just building my confidence back up and know I’m going to throw the pitch where I need to. I feel like it happened some [Monday] night.”
Banister said a lively high fastball played well with Tolleson’s slider Monday in strikeouts against Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. Tolleson needs to include his changeup more to have the same success as last season, he said.
“I still trust Shawn. There are hitters that go through slumps, also. These guys need to know there’s a level of trust, a level of belief,” Banister said. “They know exactly when they’re not playing well. We’re going to need for him to have innings like he did last night. Yes, he was in need of a positive outing.”