Okay, everybody: Raise your hand if, before July 31 of this year, you had ever heard of Sam Dyson.
Now, raise your hand if, on July 31 when you heard the Rangers traded for Sam Dyson, you thought this was a minor move that meant very little.
That’s okay, you’re not alone. Nobody knew who he was.
July 31 is the day the Rangers traded Tomas Telis and Cody Ege to the Miami Marlins for reliever Sam Dyson. And the day the final important piece was put into place in the rebuilding of the Rangers bullpen for the unlikely charge to the West Division title.
This was Dyson’s third team in four years.
He came up with Toronto in 2012 and posted a Tanneresque 40.50 ERA, allowing three earned runs in 0.2 inning pitched over two games. Surprisingly, the Blue Jays left a guy with an ERA even a mother would not love off their forty-man roster and the Marlins picked him up.
His 2013 ERA was 9.00 in five games.
Then something funny happened. The Marlins started using him. In 2014 he appeared in thirty-five games. He struck out thirty-three hitters in forty-two innings, with an ERA of 2.63.
He appeared in forty-four games for the Marlins in 2015 before the Rangers acquired him, striking out forty-one batters in forty-four innings, with a 3.68 ERA.
But everything clicked when the got to the Rangers. In thirty-one games, he had a remarkable WHIP of 0.894, striking out thirty batters in thirty-one innings. And walking just four. He even picked up two saves when Shawn Tolleson’s arm was being sewn back on due to overuse. And, he could very well be the Rangers closer in 2016 if Tolleson is traded to plug a hole elsewhere.
The point to all of this? Really, two points.
One, the trade for Sam Dyson was the fifth biggest Rangers acquisition of 2015.
Two, once again, raise your hand if you ever heard of Tony Barnette before December 10. Could Barnette perhaps be a little Sam Dyson-like under the radarness? Let’s hope.