When the Texas Rangers' season began a few weeks back, one of the biggest questions on the roster was the bullpen, especially after fixtures Robbie Ross Jr. and Tanner Scheppers were moved to the starting rotation and all-star closer Joe Nathan left for Detroit.
One of the many names that is still trying to be a household name is Pedro Figueroa, a lefty reliever who was thrown to the lions on Opening Day and tagged with four earned runs in 1 2/3 innings. Since then, Figueroa has appeared in seven games and has given up exactly zero earned runs. His last two appearances were in games the Rangers won and both outings were at least an inning without allowing a baserunner.
Both games were also wins for Figueroa, as he got his first win on Wednesday after the Rangers walked off with a win and picked up another Thursday after entering the game with the Rangers trailing and leaving with the lead that was never relinquished.
He's starting to gain more and more trust from Washington with every outing, and that's a far cry from where he stood after that initial outing of the season. GM Jon Daniels has always gone with the thinking that bullpens just "happen" and you don't need high-profile, high-dollar guys, and that's starting to play out with guys like Figueroa and Shawn Tolleson adding to experienced veterans like Neal Cotts, Jason Frasor and Alexi Ogando.