Tony Barnette's debut as a big-leaguer didn't go exactly how he'd planned.
In the second game of the season, the former standout in Japan entered the game in a fairly tight spot and proceeded to allow two runs on three hits while getting just two outs.
His ERA after his major-league debut? A hefty 27.00.
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Throw that game out the window, and Barnette has quietly been one of the Rangers' more solid relievers. Though he might not be considered in the power-arm late-game trio of Jake Diekman, Sam Dyson and Matt Bush, Barnette has been very solid, especially when it comes to getting out of bad situations he's inherited.
Since that first game, Barnette is 3-1 with five holds and a 1.45 ERA in 18 2/3 innings.
On Wednesday, when Colby Lewis was pulled with no outs in the sixth and the bases full, he gave way to Alex Claudio who gave up a hit before giving way to Barnette, who allowed just one run to score while getting out of the inning. He went on to work two scoreless, hitless, walkless innings while allowing only one of those inherited runners to score.
Barnette has now inherited 18 base runners this year and he's stranded 15 of them. That's a pretty solid ratio for a middle-innings guy.
While we might have been wondering what the Rangers were thinking in signing Barnette after that first outing, he's quickly made himself a winning piece to the Rangers' pen.