Monday, April 10, 2017


                                                   Image result for edwin diaz pics

Lots of closer news and notes to get to from Sunday so let's not waste any time.

-The biggest and most pressing issue to discuss is the implosion of Philadelphia Phillies "closer" Jeanmar Gomez on Sunday when he gave up 3 runs in 1 inning versus the Washington Nationals.  I put the word closer in quotes attached to Gomez because from the beginning this was one big folly by the team in thinking he could possible be the best ninth inning arm this season when the fireballing Hector Neris and still very good veteran Joaquin Benoit were alternatives.  Gomez is downright pathetic and his sub-7.00 K/9 rate last season shows how pronounced a soft-tosser he is and of course that never works in the ninth inning.  An announcement is slated for today as hinted by manager Pete Mackanin to say Gomez is out but we already have heard from a source that covers the team it is a done deal.  The only thing unclear is whether Neris gets the gig outright or if it is as part of a committee with Benoit.  Neris clearly has vast upside as a closer but this is a tough one in that he has arbitration issues that will concern the team in terms of future cost and earning saves will drive that cost up.  Also they may not want to overwhelm Neris who is still quite young.  Either way though, Neris the best bet to lead this team in saves.  Cut Gomez outright everywhere.

-Brandon Kintzler continues to skate on buy with another converted save Sunday.  He has yet to allow a run this season in four innings and 3 saves but underneath the surface spells trouble which I talked about all spring.  Kintzler has already walked three and hit a batter and his awful K/9 rate (5.80 in 2016) makes him another Gomez.  Glen Perkins continues to make progress in his rehab from ongoing shoulder surgeries and down the road it would shock no one if he closes again.

-So much for Addison Reed being a good source of saves for a month or more.  The 15 game suspension for New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia ended up being 15 short of what was expected and Reed only got his first save chance last night (which he converted in perfect fashion with 2 K's).  Familia will be back in a bit more than a week which would make Reed worthless.

-The dreaded pitching in non-save situation came up and bit Kenley Jansen Sunday as he the Los Angeles Dodgers closer gave up 2 runs in one inning.  Nothing to see here.

-Craig Kimbrel got the save for the Boston Red Sox Sunday but it was far from clean as he walked two and gave up a hit.  Kimbrel is still striking guys out (5 in 3 innings) but he is on a three-season run where his numbers and power come up short from his early Atlanta Braves days.  It feels like Kimbrel is one pitch away from Tommy John surgery and his walks remain a problem but he figures to be a big source of saves again in 2017.

-It wasn't a save chance but Texas Rangers closer Sam Dyson tossed a much-needed scoreless inning Sunday with 1 K.  Dyson is on a somewhat short leash with the very capable Matt Bush behind him but for now the dial has cooled a bit.

-Brutal is the only way to describe the effort of Seattle Mariners closer Edwin Diaz on Sunday.  Everyone's must-have closer for 2017 given his insane 15.00-plus K/9 rate last season, Diaz gave up 3 runs in .2 IP to toss the save away.  With 5 K's in 3.2 innings though, Diaz is missing bats and doing what he is supposed to be doing in terms of overpowering hitters.  Chalk it up to a bad day.

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