On Tuesday night, Ryan Cook entered the ninth inning for the Oakland Athletics. It was an “About Time” for me personally. I was shocked when they placed Brian Fuentes in that role to begin with and A’s management finally wised up. After doing what Brian Fuentes does best, blowing saves in big ways, Manager Bob Melvin finally made the right move to Cook. In a span of 11 days, Fuentes managed to blow two saves, giving up seven runs on seven hits, and a walk in only 3.1 innings of work. The two blown saves were of the three run variety of which he entered both games with a 2-run lead.
Ryan Cook got the call last night and did not disappoint. He worked a solid ninth inning, giving up a hit and a walk, but posting two strikeouts. He threw hard and aggressive with a 3-run lead and needed 21 pitches overall. While it wasn’t his best performance of the season, it certainly wasn’t a microcosm of his season. Cook so far has posted a 0.67 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP in 27 innings of work. He has a strong K/9 of 9.00 andwhile he hasn’t been named closer yet, the job is all but his to lose.
Grab Ryan Cook ASAP in your league. It may be a committee situation on paper, but he looks to be the closer and likely will hold the job for a while. Also, the Athletics are known for providing plenty of save opportunities for their closers, even when the team is playing poorly. This could be a great way to earn some cheap saves.