Tolleson Forcing His Way Into Closer Role

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Shawn Tolleson emerged last year as one of the few bright spots in a disastrous 2014 Rangers campaign, and he did it as a local boy from Allen who played his college ball at Baylor. It was a feel-good story and made him one of the guys in 2015, along with Rougned Odor, to really be excited about this year.

Of those two, Tolleson has obviously had the most success this year, and now he's on the brink of securing the Rangers' closer's gig in a new "no-role" bullpen assembled by Rangers' manager Jeff Banister.

The righty tallied his second save in as many days to help the Rangers secure a 3-1 win over Boston on Wednesday night to take the series, and once again he had to navigate his way through the meat of the Red Sox's lineup.

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This season, he's struck out 26 batters in just more than 19 innings of work — not bad for a guy who isn't considered a "high-strikeout" closer. In fact, in comparing Tolleson and the team's embattled, demoted closer Neftali Feliz, Jamey Newberg pointed out some interesting stats. Tolleson has fanned 32.9 percent of the batters he's faced this year. Feliz? Only 17.9 percent. Tolleson also gets more than double the amount of groundball outs than Feliz.

Now you just have to wonder how much longer Banister can roll with the "role-less bullpen" talk before he just names Tolleson his closer.

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