Thursday, April 6, 2017


More pressing closer news and notes so let's get right to it:

-All throughout the winter and into spring training, I screamed to the rafters regarding how foolish it would be to invest in Texas Rangers closer Sam Dyson.  My reasoning was sound in that Dyson was a soft-tossing setup man masquerading as a closer and his 7.04 K/9 rate was a major red flag for his 2017 prospects in the ninth inning.  Flat out, guys who can't strike out batters at a high clip are doomed to fail when closing games and it has taken just two outings this season for Dyson to show this trend in spades.  Dyson melted down Wednesday night when he gave up 5 (not a misprint) runs in just .1 of an inning and that followed him giving up 3 in just .2 on Opening Day.  When your ERA is sitting at 72.00, we have a problem.  While Dyson got a vote of confidence from manager Jeff Bannister, it is already time to look at Matt Bush and Jeremy Jeffress as potential replacements.

Anyone who drafted Dyson should have backed him up with Bush at the very least as the hard-throwing former 2004 number 1 overall pick has been very good going back to last season when he recorded a 2.48 ERA.  While Bush doesn't have closing experience, he has the high-end talent and 100-mph fastball to make it work there.  The other option would be Jeffress who has closing experience and he did a nice job there when finishing games for the Milwaukee Brewers the first half of 2016 (2.22 ERA and 27 saves).  The experience factor could give Jeffress the edge but there is no doubt that Bush has the higher upside.  If you have just one spot to use, we would side with Bush since he has been pitching in the eighth innings and seems like the heir apparent.

-So far, so good on the Blake Treinen front closing games for the Washington Nationals as the sinkerballer has gone 2/2 in save chances but with 1 earned run given up.  Treinen is missing bats though as he has 4 strikeouts in just 2 innings and so on that front he is passing the smell test.  While he is far from a guarantee, Treinen at least looks like he has the power stuff to succeed in the ninth inning.  Maybe Dusty Baker is not such a moron after all.

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