Yoshinori Tateyama #22 of the Texas Rangers pitches during a spring training game against the Kansas City Royals at Surprise Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Surprise, Arizona.
Everything seems to be coming together pretty nicely for the Texas Rangers this spring, but there's one glaring weak spot in the chain so far in the form of the team's middle relief.
At the back end, the Rangers have Alexi Ogando, Mike Adams and a seemingly resurgent Joe Nathan, but before that things are a little bit hairy right now.
So far this spring, Yoshi Tateyama had been one of the bright spots, but on Tuesday he joined the ranks of the disappointing alongside guys like Mark Lowe and Koji Uehara when Tateyama gave up three home runs to the San Diego Padres.
Last season, Tateyama followed the same model of ups and downs as he ended the regular season with a 4.50 ERA after some stretches of good, and others of bad.
This season, Tateyama might be shouldering more of the burden of the middle innings if guys like Lowe and Uehara can't get stuff together. At this rate, it's feasible that only one of them could make the big-league roster with Robbie Ross making a serious push to start the season in Arlington after his stellar spring.
Giving up three home runs in an outing isn't a good way to instill confidence.