ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 5: Neal Cotts #56 of the Texas Rangers pitches during the eighth inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on April 5, 2014 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
The Texas Rangers dropped two of three games in Seattle over the weekend, but they easily could've made it to two straight three-game road sweeps and a 6-0 road trip.
Instead, the Rangers blew two eighth-inning leads on Friday and Sunday, thanks to shaky outings from two formerly trusted bullepn hands in Neal Cotts and Alexi Ogando, respectively. And for some reason, Jason Frasor wasn't seen in either situation.
Tanner Scheppers was a big part of the bullpen last season, as was Robbie Ross. Now, Scheppers is hurt after a failed starting experiment and Ross is in the rotation holding down a No. 4 or No. 5 spot in the rotation and doing a respectable job.
With closer Joakim Soria entrenched as the team's closer, the eighth inning is basically left to three guys — Cotts, Ogando and Frasor. Only one of those has been stellar this year in Frasor, the other two have struggled to varying degrees, and Cotts has been just flat-out bad to this point.
Take a look at the guys that have already come and gone in the Rangers' bullpen less than a month into the season: Seth Rosin, Hector Noesi, Daniel McCutchen and Pedro Figueroa, who was starting to carve out a nice role before needing Tommy John surgery.
Now, Nick Martinez is in the bullpen out of necessity instead of starting every fifth day in Frisco or Round Rock.
Don't know about you, but I'd expect July to roll around and see a re-2011 trade deadline when the Rangers went out and fortified a questionable bullpen and made it great when they acquired Mike Adams and Koji Uehara. Ever since 2010, the Rangers' bullpen has been one of the best in baseball, and so far this season with four eighth-inning blown saves, it's hampered the team. It's going to have to change one way or another.