Dyson assumes Rangers' closer role

Tolleson hopes to 'work my way back' to late-inning situations

Dyson assumes Rangers' closer role

OAKLAND -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister is taking Shawn Tolleson out of the closer's role. He will be replaced by Sam Dyson.

"We will make that change in the interim," Banister said Wednesday before the Rangers' game with Oakland. "I continue to look at the body of work. Tolleson, going back to last year, was effective, efficient in that spot. Even now he is on top [tied with two others] of the American League in saves.

"It's a tough stretch for him. This is not unlike a position player who is struggling. … Unplug him, give him an opportunity to exhale."

Tolleson gave up a two-out grand slam to Khris Davis in the bottom of the ninth inning in an 8-5 loss to the A's on Tuesday. It was his fourth blown save this season after having only two last season.

"Anytime you go out there and don't get the job done, it stinks," Tolleson said. "It hurts. No matter how many times you have success, if you have a few bad outings, it hurts a little more. Like last night, our guys battled and took a lead in the ninth inning. To go out and give it back up, that stinks.

"It's not uncommon for guys to go through rough patches. It's part of the game. I'm mature enough to know this will happen. I also know that through tough times, you learn perseverance and character, and you have hope. I'm mature enough to realize a lot of good can come out of this."

Tolleson said he had a good talk with Banister on Wednesday morning and said he wasn't surprised that he is being taken out of the closer's role.

"More than anything, I want this team to win," said Tolleson. "I care about this team more than any other I have been on. I want to be the guy in the ninth inning, but I truly believe this team can go a long way. For me, I'll get thrown out there in different situations and work my way back into a prominent role in the bullpen."

Dyson was the logical choice to take over and has recorded two saves already on days when Tolleson wasn't available. Tony Barnette was a closer in Japan, but Texas likes him as a multi-inning setup guy.

"Dyson is most effective when he is one inning and done," Banister said. "That in itself puts you in a late role. Barnette has the ability to go one-plus inning. If you take all factors, it points to Dyson getting the opportunity."

Ramos gets another start
The Rangers have decided to give Cesar Ramos another start. Ramos, who is filling in while A.J. Griffin is on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder, will start on Saturday against the Astros.

Texas is undecided on Sunday. Derek Holland is currently ahead of Cole Hamels in the rotation, and it would be his turn to pitch. But with the off-day on Thursday, the Rangers may have Hamels pitch Sunday on his regular four days of rest and push Holland back.

Texas is not considering Yu Darvish, who threw 68 pitches over five innings in a rehab start on Tuesday. He will make at least one more start on rehab assignment, likely for Double-A Frisco on Sunday. He's down for six innings and 90 pitches.

Rangers beat
• Shortstop Elvis Andrus was back in the lineup on Tuesday, one day after serving a one-game suspension for his role in Sunday's altercation with the Blue Jays. Andrus was a little surprised he was suspended but said, "It's one game, and it's over with. I'm ready for this game."

• Andrus said he wasn't even sure he threw a punch as alleged, saying, "Everything was too fast. I don't remember what I did yesterday. It happened, and I served it."

• Rookie outfielder Nomar Mazara has been taking fly balls in left field. All 32 of his starts have been in right field, but the Rangers will move him to left when Shin-Soo Choo is activated off the disabled list. That could be as early as Friday against the Astros.

Zinkie on Dyson becoming closer
Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
Tolleson appeared to put a rough start to the season behind him when he allowed one run across nine innings from April 9-May 2, but he justifiably lost his closer's role when he surrendered nine runs across 4 2/3 innings in his past six appearances. With a 1.89 ERA this year, ground-ball specialist Dyson has the skills to close out games. The right-hander lacks the swing-and-miss stuff (career 7.5 K/9 rate) to be a top-tier fantasy option, but he should post a high number of saves and solid ratios as the stopper on a talented Texas squad. Dyson should be added in all leagues, and Tolleson can be released in mixed formats.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.