Going For Gold: Closing Edition
The group of relief pitchers is a solid group of guys who very good at specific circumstances. I will only discuss a few of these guys since the group is so big. I like that they only have a couple of guys who are closers and then they have some guys who work great in the 6th or 7th innings or in specific situations like lefty vs. lefty. Tim Collins is one of those guys. He is a former Lansing Lugnuts who is 5’7” and 165 lbs. He is a left handed pitcher who can typically throw his fastball around 93-94 mph, topping out around 97, and complements that with a very good curveball.
Heath Bell is a former elite closer that has not been as dominant as he has been aging in his career. He was on the 2009 team that took 4th and posted a 7.36 ERA in the tournament. I believe that there are some other guys that they could have gotten who can fit specific roles better than Bell. He doesn’t really have a role anymore because of his recent struggles.
The two dominant closers on this team are Chris Perez and Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel is a 24 year old phenom that had 42 saves last year which tied him for third in the league. He has been the Braves closer for the last two years and has 88 saves while being voted the 2011 Rookie of the Year. Perez is a 27 year old Cleveland Indian that has put up 98 saves in the last three years for a struggling team. He has a 3.07 ERA with the Indians and has made the All Star game the last two years. I think that Kimbrel will be the main closer and Perez will be the setup man and will get a couple opportunities in save situations.
There are three left handed pitchers that include Collins, Jeremy Affeldt and Glen Perkins which are all pretty established relief pitchers. Mitchell Boggs, Steve Cishek, Luke Gregerson and Vinnie Pestano are the right handed pitchers that will shore up the bull pen. A lot of these guys probably will not get a lot of opportunities because of the lack of games but it does depend on how good the starters will be performing. They will probably only play 8 or 9 games and might not get a lot of Save opportunities if the games are out of reach.
If you have missed any of the other Going For Gold blogs then make sure to read them on benjamindbrown.wordpress.com. Feel free to comment if you have any other ideas about the USA’s Team Roster. I will close out the Going For Gold blogs with a projected lineup of what I would do if I were USA Manager Joe Torre.