Last year, Shawn Tolleson earned some benefit of the doubt.
After Neftali Feliz let loose of the closer's role early in the 2015 campaign, as the Rangers were floundering, Tolleson quickly took over, and he proceeded to go on and save 35 games in 37 chances. They were rarely dominant efforts, but he usually got the job done.
Now, Tolleson is trying his best to pull a Feliz, and he's quickly losing his loosening grip of the job in the ninth inning of what has always, technically, been a "no-roles" pen that leans more on a matchups than what inning it is under skipper Jeff Banister.
Does Tolleson lead the league in saves? Yep, sure does. He also has three blown saves and most importantly is sporting a 7.07 ERA after his latest "effort" on Saturday in which he allowed three runs while getting just two outs.
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As The Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant pointed out, the Rangers feel like Tolleson's problems are all rooted to the fact his changeup has become far less effective than last year.
"Everything we do is a daily evaluation," Banister said. "Has he had a stretch where it's been a challenge for him? Yes. They didn't hit his changeup last year. They are this year."
Sam Dyson has earned two saves in the last week, including one on Sunday when Tolleson was unavailable. After struggling early in the year, Dyson has started to get his act together. He hasn't allowed a run in his last five outings or a hit in his last four.
He's clearly the Rangers' best reliever, and he has been since joining the club last July. With rookie fireballer Matt Bush's promotion from Frisco on Friday, the Rangers have another power arm to deal with and could move back to that "no-roles pen" until someone like Dyson, or less likely Bush, takes the role just like Tolleson did a year ago.
You just hope Tolleson can be effective after losing the job, which is something Feliz couldn't do in Texas.