Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections are a good measure of what to expect from players in the upcoming baseball season. We'll take a look at the Rangers' projections on a position-by-position basis. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.
Today we'll look at the projections for the Rangers in the seventh-inning relief role, which the Rangers hope will be locked down by righties Roman Mendez and/or Shawn Tolleson.
Mendez: 51 innings, 38 strikeouts, 23 walks, 6 home runs allowed, 4.59 ERA, 6.71 K/9 innings
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Tolleson: 57 innings, 56 strikeouts, 22 walks, 8 home runs allowed, 3.95 ERA, 8.84 K/9 innings
Tolleson was a pleasant surprise last year, as the Allen native came in and became a really reliable option out of the bullpen for the Rangers. These projections actually might suggest Tolleson could be an option for the setup role over Tanner Scheppers' projections, but with Scheppers' history in that role, he'll likely get the first crack at the gig.
Mendez is a wild card, who had a nice showing with the big club in a brief stint last year. The concern with him and many others like him is how hitters will adjust after getting a book on him and being able to study him a little more. Despite looking the part, he's not a big strikeout guy, and that could mean bad news.