The Closer Report » Carlos Marmol, Craig Kimbrel, Drew Storen, Fernando Rodney, Francisco Cordero, Francisco Rodriguez, Joakim Soria, Joe Nathan, Jonathan Broxton, Mariano Rivera, Sean Burnett » Weekly Roundup: Tough First Week For Some Closers
It’s no surprise that we see some slow starting closers coming out of the gates in a short first week of baseball. From my point of view, I’m just happy baseball has arrived.
While there were several bad performances, there were some good ones to discuss as well. Let’s open with my boy Jonathan Broxton. He was left for dead by most pre-season experts and was a great value around rounds 9-11. He opened the first week with three saves that included a couple of solo home runs. So, yes he is getting the stats, but he is still trying to find his velocity and his past dominance. Of course, you can’t complain.
The greatest closer of all time and the oldest active closer (maybe not), locked up two games in week one. I’m still not a fan of Rivera this year, but I promise my issues with Rivera have nothing to do with the first couple weeks of the season. It comes after the All-Star break.
Here is a guy most of us didn’t invest much time into talking about, but quietly the off/on again closer secured two saves for the Pirates. The bad news, the Pirates will lose allot. Still, not bad for Hanrahan, especially with Meek getting lit up on Sunday, things look good for Hanrahan.
We also got to see Craig Kimbrel come out of the bullpen for the ninth inning and he got his first save of the season. Venters entered the game in the eighth. I feel that Kimbrel will get the call far more often then Jonny Venters.
Now the bad news. Several closers had rough outings including Ryan Franklin, Carlos Marmol, Fernando Rodney, Drew Storen, KROD, and Joe Nathan. Let’s congratulate Nathan for recording his first save since his season ending surgery last year. He did get roughed up in the process, but got the save. Fernando Rodney is one of the most watched closers in baseball. Not because he’s special, but because he may not have the job for long. His first appearance earned him a save, but it wasn’t clean. His next appearance was much worse. Three runs and a blown save. While I believe that the Angels will stick with him for at the very least a few months, it will be a stressful month for Rodney owners.
Francisco Rodriguez blew his first save of the season, but had the luck of the Irish on his side and he still got the win. I still feel that KROD is one of the more elite closers and he should straighten out and be fine going forward.
Drew Storen isn’t the only closer in Washington, but he is their closer. Sound confusing, well it is. Sean Burnett recorded the first save of the season for the Nationals, not Storen. Storen entered the game in the eighth inning and clearly shows Riggleman has other plans for his future closer. I just wish he’d share them with us.
With 16 teams with one or less wins, there are many closers who have yet to start. As we enter week 2, a full week that should all change.
By Todd Farino, www.thecloserreport.com