Texas Rangers

Rangers believe Dyson can cure club’s bullpen woes

Pitcher Sam Dyson dissects his troubles after Rangers' loss Tuesday

Texas Rangers closer Sam Dyson was roughed up again Tuesday in a 6-5 loss to the Angels. (video by Jeff Wilson).
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Texas Rangers closer Sam Dyson was roughed up again Tuesday in a 6-5 loss to the Angels. (video by Jeff Wilson).

Sam Dyson wasn’t available out of the Texas Rangers’ bullpen Wednesday night, 24 hours after his second blown save of the season and his third ineffective, loss-inducing outing.

He spent much of the day at Angel Stadium working to fix the mechanical woes that have put his immediate future as the Rangers’ closer in jeopardy only a season after he notched 38 saves for the American League West champions.

At least he’s healthy. Matt Bush, the heir apparent to Dyson in many minds, was in Arlington for a cortisone injection in the AC joint in his right shoulder. Though the Rangers don’t see Bush missing any significant time, the soonest he will pitch will be this weekend at Seattle.

Jake Diekman was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., having a new colon made out of his small intestine. Yeah.

He does have premium stuff. For our bullpen to be the quality of the bullpen that it can be, Sam needs to be a viable part of that bullpen.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister

Jeremy Jeffress and Tony Barnette were left to hold down the back of the Rangers’ bullpen in the second of three games against the Los Angeles Angels. Despite their background as closers at various times in their careers, the Rangers aren’t looking to them as the long-term solution in the ninth inning.

The Rangers are looking at Dyson.

They continue to believe that the right-hander can be an effective reliever for them. While manager Jeff Banister didn’t commit to Dyson at closer in the short-term, he believes that the Rangers’ bullpen will be right again as soon as Dyson is right again.

“We need Sam to be a quality pitcher,” Banister said. “We need Sam to go get outs. We need Sam to get back to being who he is. I don’t think he’s too far off.

Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister talks about his concern in the back of the bullpen after Sam Dyson struggles again. (video by Jeff Wilson).

“The reality is he’s had three outings that have not been like the Sam Dyson we know he is. He does have premium stuff. For our bullpen to be the quality of the bullpen that it can be, Sam needs to be a viable part of that bullpen.”

Dyson was entrusted with a 5-2 lead late Tuesday and couldn’t hold it. The Angels scored three ninth-inning runs, the final two coming with two outs, and won it in the 10th against Jeffress on a suicide squeeze.

It’s tough. I’ve gotten my ass handed to me pretty much every time I’ve gone out there. I think it’s just attacking hitters and making better pitches and doing whatever you can to block it out.

Rangers closer Sam Dyson

Dyson said that the problem was the same as on Opening Day and April 5 — he wasn’t getting on top of the ball consistently, and his sinker slid across the strike zone rather than sinking through it.

He said that while he can’t feel when his mechanics go wonky, he can see it on video and it’s easy to correct. That’s what he and pitching coach Doug Brocail were attempting to fix before the game, not in it.

But Dyson was under no false illusions Tuesday night.

“It’s tough,” said. Dyson, who has allowed 11 runs in three innings this season. “I’ve gotten my ass handed to me pretty much every time I’ve gone out there. I think it’s just attacking hitters and making better pitches and doing whatever you can to block it out.”

Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre talks about a new area of concern in his right calf. (video by Jeff Wilson).

Bush’s shoulder soreness and Dyson’s recent workload and ineffectiveness forced the Rangers to recall right-hander Nick Martinez from Triple A Round Rock and temporarily shuffle the bullpen.

Barnette and Jeffress were entrusted with late-inning duties, while Jose Leclerc was moved into higher-leverage situations. Martinez was given the long role so that Mike Hauschild could move into middle relief, and left-handers Alex Claudio and Dario Alvarez remained available.

38 Saves last season for Sam Dyson, 36 of which came after being named closer May 20

Bush will return to the late innings once he feels he’s ready. He dealt with similar soreness a few times last season and during spring training, and the Rangers wanted to address it now instead of letting it linger.

Dyson should be available to pitch Thursday. It might not be as closer, though.

“We always continue to evaluate it,” Banister said. “We evaluate how our guys have pitched, the psychology of the club, wins, losses, how we win, how we lose. We have guys out there we feel comfortable with that can go get outs for us.”

That includes Dyson, Banister said, and the Rangers’ best long-term option for the bullpen is for Dyson to fix what is ailing him.

The son of the former Rangers pitcher says he likes hitting better than pitching. Video by Matthew Martinez.

Jeff Wilson: 817-390-7760, @JeffWilson_FWST

Tuesday’s late box score

Texas

104

000

000

0

5

10

2

Los Angeles

000

000

113

1

6

12

1

Texas AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Gomez cf

5

0

0

0

0

4

.111

Andrus ss

5

2

2

1

0

0

.308

Mazara rf

5

1

2

0

0

1

.414

Napoli 1b

5

0

2

1

0

0

.148

Odor 2b

4

1

0

0

0

0

.269

Lucroy c

5

1

3

3

0

0

.250

DeShields pr

0

0

0

0

0

0

.000

Chirinos c

0

0

0

0

0

0

.333

Choo dh

3

0

1

0

1

0

.238

Rua lf

4

0

0

0

0

3

.154

Gallo 3b

3

0

0

0

1

1

.174

Totals 39

5

10

5

2

9

Los Angeles AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Escobar 3b

4

1

3

0

1

0

.455

Calhoun rf

5

0

0

0

0

2

.290

Trout cf

5

2

2

1

0

1

.300

Pujols dh

3

0

1

1

2

1

.219

Simmons ss

4

0

0

0

1

0

.345

Maybin lf

4

1

1

1

1

0

.261

Marte 1b

5

1

1

1

0

0

.333

Espinosa 2b

5

1

3

1

0

1

.214

Maldonado c

2

0

0

0

0

0

.238

Revere ph

1

0

0

0

0

1

.222

Perez c

1

0

1

1

0

0

.167

Totals 39

6

12

6

5

6

One out when winning run scored.

E—Gomez (1), Andrus (2), Simmons (1). LOB—Texas 7, Los Angeles 11. 2B—Andrus (3), Escobar (3), Trout 2 (4), Maybin (1). HR—Andrus (2), off Skaggs; Lucroy (1), off Skaggs; Marte (1), off Hamels; Espinosa (2), off Dyson. RBIs—Andrus (2), Napoli (3), Lucroy 3 (3), Trout (8), Pujols (7), Maybin (2), Marte (3), Espinosa (8), Perez (1). CS—DeShields (1), Escobar (1). Runners left in scoring position—Texas 3 (Gomez, Lucroy 2); Los Angeles 4 (Escobar, Simmons, Marte, Espinosa). RISP—Texas 2 for 10; Los Angeles 4 for 11. Runners moved up—Mazara, Napoli. GIDP—Andrus, Simmons, Maybin. DP—Texas 2 (Andrus, Odor, Napoli), (Andrus, Odor, Napoli); Los Angeles 1 (Simmons, Espinosa, Marte).

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Hamels

7

4

1

1

4

5

100

2.77

Barnette

1

2

1

1

0

0

13

2.25

Dyson BS, 2-2

1

4

3

3

0

1

24

33.00

Jeffress L, 0-1

 1/3

2

1

1

1

0

15

10.12

Los Angeles

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Skaggs

5

8

5

5

2

5

79

8.71

Norris

3

1

0

0

0

3

41

3.18

Petit

1

0

0

0

0

1

18

0.00

Bedrosian W, 1-0

1

1

0

0

0

0

17

0.00

Skaggs pitched to 1 batter in the 6th. Inherited runners-scored—Norris 1-0. HBP—Hamels (Maldonado), Skaggs (Odor). Umpires—Home, Scott Barry; First, Stu Scheurwater; Second, Paul Emmel; Third, Brian O’Nora. T—3:33. A—34,044 (43,250).

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