Tolleson Takes Demotion Like a Champ

Shawn Tolleson is no longer the Rangers' closer.

The same guy who saved 35 games in 37 tries last year, a year after being an elite setup man, has suddenly lost his effectiveness, like relievers do from time to time.

And while he might not be the Rangers' closer anymore, giving way to Sam Dyson and maybe eventually rookie redemption story Matt Bush, he said he holds no ill will and just wants his team to win games.

"It wasn't anything that surprised me," Tolleson told The Dallas Morning News. "More than anything else, I want this team to win games. I want to go out there in the ninth, but when you're not getting the job done ..."

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The main catalyst for Tolleson's struggles this year (four blown saves, including three recently) has been the lack of an effective change-up, a pitch he relied upon heavily last season.

He knows he has to get to work on trying to figure out what happened to that pitch, and until then, he won't have much in the way of high leverage outings.

"I'm mature enough to realize a lot of good can come out of a situation like this," Tolleson said. "You have to put a positive spin on anything in this game."

Tolleson's struggles are just the latest of a group of major setbacks to what was supposed to be one of the best bullpens in the game entering this season. Keone Kela is on the shelf after surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow, and Tom Wilhelmsen is in Triple-A after a horrible start to the season.

Now, the Rangers will count on the trio of Dyson, Bush and lefty Jake Diekman.

"I still believe in this bullpen," manager Jeff Banister said. "I still believe in all the players in our bullpen."

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