Do You Trust Me?
The bullpen this season has been a joy and a source of cringe-inducing pain for fans this season. Ron Washington is starting to indicate who he trusts and who he distrusts in the pen in certain situations. This became evident in Darvish’s last outing when he went 130 pitches over 8 innings, even with a 6 run lead. One reliever, though, has gained Wash’s trust and will figure to be a significant part of the Rangers moving forward.
Many have been quick to jump on Joe Nathan as of late, even though he’s 12 for 12 in saves so far this season. His velocity was a question at this same time last year and he came through for the club just fine. As it stands right now, he’s the closer. However, if something does go horribly wrong, enter Mr. Scheppers. Let me explain why.
I’m anxious to see Joakim “The Mexecutioner” Soria come back and contribute. He took to Twitter and said he’s ready to do whatever, whenever and is not tied to a spot in the ‘pen. That being said, he will not be the closer. He’s coming off of injury and surgery and it wouldn’t be outside of the realm of possibility to see him eased into things upon his return (read: letting Wash get a feel for how he is doing and where he will fit in overall, a.k.a establishing Wash’s trust). Scheppers, on the other hand, has pretty much arrived. He has passed the audition. It will almost assuredly be his bell to answer if there is a need for a new closer at any point this season.
In the future, I can see him being the official closer for the duration of his time with Texas, but that remains to be seen. For now, though, cheers to Mr. Scheppers for stepping up and being a linchpin in the pen.