Since Demotion, Wilhelmsen Has Looked Great | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Since Demotion, Wilhelmsen Has Looked Great

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    Closing pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen #54 of the Seattle Mariners is congratulated by catcher Jesus Sucre #2 after defeating the Oakland Athletics 3-2 at Safeco Field on October 4, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

    When Tom Wilhelmsen was acquired this winter, the Rangers were theoretically shoring up a bullpen that was supposed to be the unquestioned strength of their squad.

    In the process, they sent away an outfielder who seemed to have worn out his welcome with the club in Leonys Martin.

    Now, Martin is mashing the ball for first-place Seattle, the team Texas is chasing in the AL West, and Wilhelmsen is in Triple-A Round Rock after a horrid start to his season.

    Awful trade, right?

    Well, so far it is, yeah. But Martin can't be expected to continue this frantic pace (he hit a walk-off bomb on Tuesday to set a new career high for home runs on May 24), and Wilhelmsen is starting to show signs of figuring things out in Round Rock.

    Wilhelmsen was sent down with a 2-2 record and a 9.98 ERA. He was bad on the road, and he was a straight-up tire fire in Arlington before the Rangers had seen enough.

    You have to remember, this is a guy who has two seasons of more than 20 saves under his belt with the Mariners and who took over the closer's role last year to finish with 13. He's pitched in a variety of bullpen roles, and mostly been very good in all of them.

    In Round Rock, Wilhelmsen has worked two straight scoreless outings of two innings since being demoted back on May 16. If he is indeed figuring things out in Triple-A, it'd be a huge boost to a bullpen that has been rock solid since the shuffling that sent Shawn Tolleson out of the closer's role and Sam Dyson into it.