Right-hander Joe Barlow remains the most-rostered Texas Rangers relief pitcher in ESPN standard leagues, but he's not closing games. Move on, fantasy managers. Even when Barlow returns from the IL, he seems unlikely to close games. Right-hander Jonathan Hernandez (Tommy John surgery) has been off the IL for only four weeks, but he boasts four of the team's five saves in that span. What's odd about this situation is that Hernandez was not the closer pre-surgery. In fact, he entered 2022 with no saves to his record, in either the major or minor leagues.
Former manager Chris Woodward tired of Barlow's inconsistency and lack of strikeout prowess and removed him from the closing role in early July, and lefty Brett Martin earned save chances for a few weeks. Things went well until, predictably, they didn't. Then came Hernandez, who tossed 31 effective big-league setup innings in 2020 before needing elbow surgery. He debuted this season on July 16. On July 31, he saved his first game. Things move quickly in a losing team's bullpen.