Shawn Tolleson was a hell of a closer last year, even with his tendency to make things a little more interesting than they needed to be at times.
Regardless of his style, Tolleson put up results, saving 35 games in 37 tries a year after he emerged as one of the league's elite setup men and put up a 2.76 ERA in his first year as a Ranger.
But all of that is distant memory now.
Tolleson has allowed 18 earned runs in 16 innings after his three-run bomb he gave up on Wednesday without even getting an out. That forced the Rangers' hand in using some of their top relievers in what should've been a day off as the Rangers won 15-9.
That 18 earned runs is four shy of his 2014 total that came in 71 2/3 innings and six shy of his 2015 total that came in 72 1/3 frames.
Wednesday's outing came two days after he was put into the game in a relatively high leverage situation — 2-0 deficit in the late innings — and responded by striking out Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. On Wednesday, he took five huge steps back, and now it's time to option Tolleson to Triple-A to see if he can salvage his career as a Rangers reliever.
He has options remaining so there's no reason not to do it. If the Rangers keep throwing him out there in big-league games to "figure things out" it'll hurt two-fold — Tolleson's wavering confidence and the Rangers' win-loss record.
Sending him to Triple-A will only leave one of those, as win-loss record really doesn't matter. It might be the last-ditch effort to save a once effective reliever from a career demolition.