ARLINGTON -- Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan weighed in on the state of the team on Friday. Ryan believes the two recent Trade Deadline moves, which brought in Koji Uehara and Mike Adams, gave the Rangers one of the best bullpens in baseball. "I think we are probably in the running for that," Ryan said during the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame Luncheon at the Arlington Convention Center. "I wouldn't go out there and say we are the best bullpen in baseball, but we certainly feel pretty good about our bullpen."
The Rangers managed to turn their biggest perceived weakness into a strength, and did it with two pitchers who will be under team control next year. "I was very pleased [with] what we accomplished," Ryan said. "I felt like we strengthened our ballclub as much as we possibly could in the area that I feel like we needed to address. We had trouble earlier in the year holding onto leads, we had trouble earlier in the year keeping us in a position to regain the lead. I think by getting those two guys, we've addressed those issues." The additions to the bullpen will also alleviate the pressure on the starters. That is something that Hall of Famer Ryan, a 324-game winner in the Majors, can appreciate going into the "dog days" of the season. "When you look at the last 60 days of the season, and the fact that we've had a lot of starters pitch late into the games, and they're accumulating innings, I think that's important," Ryan said. "I think it gives [manager] Ron [Washington] the option that if he doesn't want to keep someone out there another inning or two, he has some options and some people in the bullpen now that he can go to. He's confident they'll throw strikes and show hitters different looks, and that's important." Though Ryan is encouraged by the improvement of the bullpen, he thinks the defense has room to improve down the stretch. "We obviously have made a lot of errors this season, and that's concerning to me, because when I look at our ballclub, I don't look at us as having those kind of issues," he said. "I really think that we have the potential to be as good a fielding ballclub as there is in baseball, so it's a little disheartening to me when I see it." Though 112 games, the Rangers have committed 92 errors, 13 fewer than they made all of last season, and there are 50 games left to play. Even so, the Rangers find themselves one game ahead of the Angels in the American League West, and Ryan has been impressed with the team's ability to avoid long losing streaks. One such example came on the just-concluded road trip, when the Rangers emphatically ended a three-game slide behind the pitching of Alexi Ogando and some timely hitting. "They're resilient," Ryan said. "They haven't been as consistent as I'd like, but they don't let that get them down, and they bounce back after they have a tough two- or three-day period. I like that they don't get down."
Louie Horvath is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.