Texas Rangers rumors: Jose Leclerc, Texas Rangers righthanded reliever and one of the few bright spots from early in the season, has pitched just once since April 24. The decision to use Tony Barnette rather than Leclerc last night against Astros, with runners on second and third and no outs (the type of situation where you generally want a strikeout pitcher like Leclerc), raised eyebrows and generated some criticism.
According to Evan Grant on Twitter, manager Jeff Banister did not respond when asked whether Leclerc was healthy. When an effective player isn’t being used, and the manager opts not to answer when asked if that player is healthy...well, probably a pretty good sign he’s not healthy.
If Leclerc isn’t right then it creates a significant hole in the bullpen...Leclerc has blossomed this year, showing improved control to go with his always first-rate stuff. He appeared to be establishing himself as a reliable 7th or 8th inning guy before being sidelined. We just have to hope that, whatever the issue it, it is nothing serious.