A continuing look at the Rangers 40-man roster.
Jose Leclerc was the closer. Until he wasn’t. Then the Rangers found another one.
That’s the life of most major league closers. Interchangeable drill bits. Vital but not long lasting. Every teams needs one. And every time one goes down, they find someone else off the bench to do the job.
It’s a revolving door of a position. Now that the Rangers traded Leclerc’s successor, Rafael Montero, it looks like Leclerc might get his old job back. But that depends on how well his surgically-repaired shoulder can hold out.
Leclerc took over as the Rangers closer after the 2018 trade deadline 2018 when Texas traded closer-de-jur Keona Kela. From that point on, Leclerc was nearly perfect as the closer. He didn’t allow a single earned run (or, for that matter, unearned run) in 18 appearances, and only three hits.
It looked like the Rangers struck gold.
He lasted one month in the closer’s role in 2019, finally removed after two blown saves and an 8.44 ERA in thirteen save opportunities.
He was lost for the season after two appearances in 2020, with one save.
So, which Leclerc do the Rangers get in 2021? That’s the big question.
One thing is for certain. If Jose Leclerc isn’t the Rangers closer in 2021, someone else will be.