Highly sought after, highly prized, highly infuriating.
Heading into the season managers were excited about new, fresh closers like the Oakland Athletics Joey Devine, the Chicago Cubs Carlos Marmol and the St.Louis Cardinals Jason Motte. While others were looking for insurance plans when incumbent closers like the Detroit Tigers Fernando Rodney and others succumb to their usual mediocrity and give someone else a shot at closing out games.
So what has happened to these guys? Well Devine is on the 60 day DL, Mamol remains the set up man in favour of Kevin Gregg and Jason Motte blew his first save attempt. Where as Rodney was surprisingly effective, despite recording no save (none save situation)
So here's a quick Bullpen round up;
Top 10 saves leaders.
1- Heath Bell- 2sv, 3k, 0.00era,
2- Jonathan Broxton- 2sv, 4k, 0.00era
3- Matt Capps- 2sv, 1k. 0.00 era
4- Fransisco Rodriguez- 2sv, 2k, 0.00era
5- Joakim Soria- 2sv, 2k, 4.50era
6- Brad Zeigler- 2 sv, 3k, 4.50era
7- Grant Balfour- 1sv, 1k, 0.00era
8- Fransisco Cordero- 1sv, 4k, 0.00era
9- Frank Rodriguez- 1sv, 2k, 0.00era
10- Brian Fuentes - 1sv, 1k, 13.50era
Surprise Saves of the Week
1- Grant Balfour- 1sv, 1k, 0.00era- Picks up a 4 out save after coming in with the sacks drunk in the 8th inning.
2- Denny Reyes- 1sv, 1k, 0.00era- LaRussa says it was for the lefties match up. Maybe he's previewing available options. Keep an eye on the situation.
Players to Watch
Given the uncertainty of the closer role, and the volitility of the closers outside the top tier there are plenty of guys that could lose their jobs without a moments notice, so here are five guys to keep an eye on.
1- Ryan Perry-1k, 0.00era- Well it was only one inning but the guy has a 95mph fast ball, and Rodney is no stud and Brandon Lyon well he's Brandon Lyon
2- Rafeal Soriano- 1k, 0.00era- Not quite the picture of health but neither is current closer Mike Gonzalez when healthy he should rostered.
3- Ryan Franklin- 2k, 0.00era- We know that LaRussa doesn't trust young players, Franklin could get a shot again this year if Motte isn't lights out next time out.
4- Grant Balfour- 1sv 1k, 0.00era- As you can tell I like this guy, but given Troy Percival's injury past he's a guy to watch for.
5- Jose Arredondo- 2k, 13.50era- Kind of an obvious choice but it wouldn't be the first time that Brian Fuentes has been replaced in season for the younger arm.
That's your quick Bullpen Brief, remember you can always find saves, they're just not always pretty.