Texas Rangers Injury Report – Jose Leclerc

Rangers Injury Report

The once jumbled race to be the next Texas Rangers closer just became a little less crowded. On Monday, the team announced that right-hander Jose Leclerc has experienced right elbow discomfort in the latest Rangers injury report. With only 10 days until Opening Day, the timing isn’t great for the Rangers. They have already lost righty Jonathan Hernandez, another key piece to their 2020 bullpen to similar elbow issues.

 

Weighing their Options

Manager Chris Woodward now has two remaining candidates for the closer job in right-handers Ian Kennedy and Matt Bush. Both of them are in camp on minor league contracts. Kennedy has more recent experience than Bush and has logged more innings at the Major League level, so it is a safe bet that he is the front runner for the spot for now. Bush, however, also has closer experience. In 2016, he logged 61 and two-thirds innings, posting an earned run average of 2.63. It is unclear if anyone else will emerge in the competition at this time.

Taking Precautions

Meanwhile, Leclerc has returned to Texas to get a proper diagnosis for his injury and start treatment for it. He will have further tests done under the supervision of Dr. Keith Meister in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Leclerc missed most of the 2020 season with more elbow issues, so this definitely comes as a disappointment. Until Monday, he was atop the competition to be the everyday closer.

Hoping to Bounce Back

One of Leclerc’s best years as closer came in 2018 when he pitched 57 and two-thirds innings. In doing so, he posted a very respectable earned run average of 1.56. Hopefully with time, rest, and rehab, he will come back healthy sooner rather than later in the upcoming 2021 season. The Rangers have made it abundantly clear that they need his arm in some capacity down the stretch.

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