Closer by committee? Sure sounds like it

It’ll get lost in the news about Rick Porcello and Ryan Perry, but Jim Leyland was asked about his closing situation. If the Tigers have a one-run lead in the ninth inning on Opening Day at Toronto, he said, he’ll turn to Fernando Rodney to close it out.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll do the same if the Tigers have a one-run lead on Tuesday, it’ll be Rodney again. It could be Brandon Lyon.

Leyland indicated a week or so ago that he might not name a closer, that he might turn to multiple relievers for the role. As the Tigers close out camp, that still appears to be the case.

“It might be,” Leyland said. “It might not just be one guy. There might be somebody else involved.”

And it might not just be Lyon and Rodney, at least not for the long term.

“We may have a guy that’s two weeks, maybe a month away from joining the team,” Leyland said.

That’ll get Joel Zumaya into the picture.

4 Comments

I don’t think it’s lost in the news at all, Jason. Check out ANY of the Tiger forums, and you can read the outcry from fans. Letting Rodney get near the closer’s role is sheer lunacy. Rodney has conclusively proven that he is unfit to be a closer. He’s a meltdown waiting to happen- straight out of the Dontrelle Willis school of mental midgetry.

NOT ONE reliever in the Tiger bullpen had even a decent season in the major leagues last year. Not one. That’s unacceptable from DD, and Rodney closing is grounds for immediate dismissal for Leyland. I have never dreamt of a dumber move by a manager. Ever.

You got that right, TD. Rodney can’t close games. Doesn’t make him a bad person, or even a bad pitcher (although he is). The dude just can’t close games, and more than that, he doesn’t even want to. So why make him do it?
.
Just when I said we were running out of things to complain about……………………
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–Rich

Hey, TD and Rich. After Verlander’s showing Wednesday against the Braves, I’m not so sure they will be protecting a one-run lead late in the game Tuesday. They have to face Halladay, don’t they? Other than that, I agree with you about Rodney and Lyon. Just hoping past performance is not a true indicator of what to expect daily.

THIS is scary!
TIGER RELIEVERS
1. Brandon Lyon, 61 games, 4.70 ERA/ 1.48 WHIP
2. Bobby Seay 60 games, 4.47 ERA/ 1.49 WHIP
3. Freddy Dolsi, 42 games, 3,97 ERA/1.64 WHIP
4. Fernando Rodney, 38 games, 4.91 ERA/ 1.59 WHIP
5. Zach Miner, 32 games, 4.23 ERA/ 1.52 WHIP
6. Clay Rapada, 25 games, 4.22 ERA/ 1.55 WHIP
7. Joel Zumaya, 21 games, 3.47 ERA/ 1.97 WHIP
8. Chris Lambert, 8 games, 5.66 ERA/1.84 WHIP
9. Juan Rincon, 47 games, 5.86 ERA/ 1.65 WHIP
10. Ryan Perry, Never pitched in the major leagues
11. Eddie Bonine, 5 games, 5.40 ERA/ 1.54 WHIP
12. Nate Robertson, 32 games, 6.65 ERA, 1.66 WHIP
————————————————————————
LEAGUE AVERAGE RELIEVER:4.10 ERA, 1.39 WHIP

NOT ONE Tiger reliever was at or below the league average WHIP, and only Zumaya below ERA.
2008 Tigers average: ERA 4.69/ 1.58 WHIP
———————————————————————
On the bright side, they just CAN’T be much worse. The rotation can even reek just as badly but if they can cut those 28 blown saves (26 blown games) in half, we’re back in the race. Get some help from the defense, the lineup, and, most importantly, the rotation, and a marginal improvement in the pen could be very helpful.
I just think that DD totally whiffed on several very good, reasonably priced relievers the past two winters. There’s no reason to come back with this, and talk of Rodney closing again has already sent my aspirin bill through the roof!

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