Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington, who’d make a great Bob, if Tyler Perry ever wished to remake Twin Peaks, told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon that since Neftali Feliz is joining the Rangers rotation, he wants someone from outside the organization to become the team’s new closer.
I have confidence in Jon Daniels and our scouts. I’m 100 percent sure they’ll go out there and find somebody to close ballgames down for us.
Washington’s confidence in the team’s general manager and scouting staff apparently doesn’t extend to the current crop of in house candidates to fill a role that probably does more harm than good.
Who do we have in our bullpen that’s closed ballgames down? We ain’t talking about ‘might be able to.’ This ain’t about ‘might be able to close a ballgame down.’ We need somebody that’s bona fide to close ballgames down. But, like I said, if we need to stay in-house, we’ll figure that out. I feel comfortable with all our relief pitchers, but we’re talking about a closer. You know, those guys can probably close games, and if we have to, we’ll find someone. But I’m more than certain that Jon Daniels will find us a closer, not a seventh- or eighth-inning pitcher.
Yeah, because going with an unproven closer worked out so horribly for the team in 2010.
We’ve talked before about how relatively new to baseball the role of the closer is, and how its existence is reinforced by the ultimately useless save statistic. While a typical closer has been proven to be worth about half a win per year to teams protecting one run leads, waiting to use the best reliever on a team has also resulted in far more games getting out of reach. In other words there are fewer close games and fewer chances for a team to come back from a smaller deficit when they hold out on using their closing pitcher until the ninth inning rather than at the point when run expectancy is at it’s greatest.
Still, upon hearing Washington’s wish list being made public, if I’m Alex Anthopoulos I’m immediately on the phone with Daniels offering the Rangers Octavio Dotel and his 105 career saves for the newly available Chris Davis, who has asked for a trade if he’s not going to get regular playing time at first base this year in Texas.
I’m putting a little bit of tongue in my cheek suggesting that the Rangers would be interested in such a trade, but I’m not making up the idea of potential interest from the Blue Jays. While his Major League numbers have failed to impress, the twenty-five year old Davis, who has raked at every level of Minor League Baseball, would make for a nice insurance policy for the Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion experiments at first base and designated hitter.
A deal would also make me wonder about how quickly the Rangers would’ve pulled the trigger on the Mike Napoli for Frank Francisco swap if Texas knew what they know now.
And The Rest
Oakland A’s closer Andrew Bailey has been diagnosed with a strained right forearm. That’s good news for the Athletics, who along with everyone else in baseball, likely assumed the worst after watching the pitcher fall to the ground in pain on Monday night after appearing to injure his elbow.
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