clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Thinking about the Rangers' last bullpen spot

Evan Grant writes, in his wrapup of today's 7-6 loss, that Willie Eyre (who was tagged with the loss, allowing his first runs all spring in the 9th inning) is likely destined for Oklahoma to start the season, unless Darren O'Day has to start the season on the disabled list.

Doug Mathis appears to have the inside track on what would be the last bullpen spot if O'Day is healthy (UPDATE -- Mathis apparently has been told he will make the team), but O'Day's elbow issues could result in him joining Ian Kinsler on the d.l. for the first five games of the season.  The consensus seems to be that, in that case, either Guillermo Moscoso or Eyre will make the 25 man roster, and then be sent to AAA when O'Day is ready to go.

However, I'm wondering if the Rangers might to something a little more unconventional.  Two years ago, the Rangers claimed Dustin Nippert and stuck him in the bullpen to start the season, then put him back on waivers and outrighted him later in April.

I'm thinking that it wouldn't be shocking if the Rangers grabbed some other team's version of Luis Mendoza, a guy out of options who is being run through waivers at the end of spring training, and stashed him in the bullpen for the first week with O'Day out to get a close-up look at him.  When O'Day comes back, they could then run the player through waivers and outright him to AAA as insurance.

Jeremy Sowers is a guy who comes to mind as a possibility...a two-time first round draft choice, once by the Reds out of high school in 2001, once by the Indians in 2004, Sowers has been a disappointment as a Cleveland starter the past few years, and the Indians have put him on waivers.  He's a lefty, though, and is someone who the Rangers could feel is worth grabbing and putting in the bullpen as a LOOGY for a week (despite underwhelming numbers against lefthanders), or even as a long reliever, given that he's been starting. 

Because I mentioned Sowers, I'm sure he isn't someone they'd grab, wouldn't surprise me at all if the guy who ends up with the last bullpen spot, assuming O'Day isn't ready to go, is someone who isn't in the organization right now, and who most of us (other than Brett P., Scott Lucas and shroomer) have never heard of.