The Closer Report » Aaron Crow, Andrew Bailey, Brandon Lyon, Chris Sale, Depth Chart Updates, Frank Francisco, Joakim Soria, Jon Rauch, Mark Melancon, Matt Thornton » Baseball Bullpen Depth Charts Update 6.7.11
By Todd Farino, www.thecloserreport.com
Check out our updated depths charts here.
After the immediate failure of Grant Balfour, Manager Bob Geren went right back to Brian Fuentes. After Fuentes went 2/2 in saves, Andrew Bailey was activated and has now become the closer for the Oakland Athletics. While he blew his first save chance against the Red Sox, Bailey has looked outstanding and should have no problems going forward as the closer. Lets just hope he stays healthy.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are still a mess. Currently Dodger manager Don Mattingly has employed a closer-by-committiee starring Matt Gourrier, Javy Guerra, and Mike MacDougal. Jonathan Broxton is expected back within three weeks and should resume closing by the end of the month. Right now my hands on favorite to close is Mike MacDougal. He is pitching well nad has the expereince, closing for two teams in the past and totaling 71 saves in his career.
Toronto Blue Jays
Neither Jon Rauch or Frank Francisco have pitched particularly well this year and after back-to-back blown saves, Francisco handed the job to Rauch. Since Rauch has taken over as the Blue Jays closer, Since taking over as closer he has one save in four innings of work and has surrendered one run. If things don’t work out for Rauch, Dotel is next in line followed by Frasor. I don’t see Frank Francisco getting the job back anytime soon.
Kansas City Royals
Joakim Soria is out, at least temporarily. The new closer is Aaron Crow, who has pitched stellar ball in 2011. As much as I applaud the move, I don’t like it. Crow has only pitched in the majors a limited amount of time and while he has found success, nobody knows how he will fair as a closer. So far, he hasn’t been provided a save chance, so we will patiently wait until the Royals can win. Soria will be placed into less pressure roles until the Royals feel he can return to the closer role. There is a possibility Soria could be traded come deadline time if Crow dominates as closer.
Chicago White Sox
With Sergio Santos having a great season as the White Sox closer, nobody stands in his way or threatens his job. He is 11/12 in saves and commands a 1.24 ERA. WHat is interesting with the White Sox bullpen is, who is the setup man. Over the last three saves for Santos, three different pitchers faced batters in the eighth inning getting the hold. Jesse Crain, Matt Thornton, and Chris Sale. Jesse Crain has been highly unreliable, so I don’t see him as the setup man for the White Sox. Chris Sale has been much better of late, throwing 6.1 straight scoreless innings. Matt Thornton looked sharp for a while, but has been getting hit hard lately and his strikeouts just aren’t there. Look for Sale to be the setup man going forward.
Mark Melancon has done a great job closing games for the Astros with five saves in seven chances. Melancon was one of the prospects acquired from the Yankees in the Lance Berkman deal and he is already paying dividends. His days as closer could be limited with Brandon Lyon due to make one more AAA appearance before returning to the Astros on Thursday. I wouldn’t cut Melancon so quickly though. Lyon is horribly erratic and even if he pitches well, the Astros could move him closer to the deadline to open the door for their future closer, Mark Melancon.