Let's face it, the Texas Rangers' bullpen is reaching Red Alert status due to being both overworked and just downright ineffective.
It all started last week when the Oakland A's came to town and the two most reliable starters in the Rangers' makeshift starting rotation, Yu Darvish and Martin Perez, both failed to get five innings under their belts before being chased, taxing an already shaky bullpen.
Ever since then, it's been much more of the same with the exception of Darvish's 6 2/3-inning outing on Sunday in the Rangers' blowout win over the Angels.
Now, it's trending toward disaster following this two-game set in Colorado which saw Perez and Robbie Ross Jr. struggle and the overworked relievers do more of the same. On Tuesday, Ron Washington turned to Mitch Moreland to pitch the last inning of the game and he put up the only clean inning of the night for Rangers pitching.
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Over the last week, Aaron Poreda, Joakim Soria and Nick Martinez have 0.00 ERAs. Other than that, it's not good. Neal Cotts, who has pitched four times in the last week, has a 3.00 ERA. Jason Frasor's 3.86 is the next best. And after that, it gets really ugly. Shawn Tolleson is sporting a 10.38 ERA over the last week in four appearances, and Alexi Ogando, who was expected to be a key piece to the winning bullpen has continued to be ineffective — sporting a 16.20 ERA in his last four appearances, with his season ERA breaching 8.00 after Tuesday's bad night.
The bullpen needs a break in a big way, and this team doesn't have a scheduled off-day until next Thursday, so it's going to have to come from a couple of rock-solid starts in a row. On top of needing a break, it's starting to look like this bullpen just isn't very good, with guys like Ogando and Cotts struggling after being expected to carry key roles in the late-game situations.