Saturday, May 17, 2008

Save Situations, May 17: An update

Just a quick update since the last time we chatted about closers ...

g Eric Gagne is already back in the closer's role and earned his 10th save earlier this week. He says he's cleared of whatever mental demons that haunted him, and manager Ned Yost says Gagne is his "guy."

It also doesn't help that David Riske was put on the DL and Guillermo Mota imploded in a loss to the Brewers. So, it looks like Gagne's the guy, until the next meltdown at least. Stay tuned ...

g Turns out Jason Isringhausen did have something physically wrong with him: He was pitching with a lacerated hand, which he apparently gave himself by whacking a TV. Nice.

Now Izzy's on the DL, and the Cardinals called up Manatee County's own Chris Perez as we discussed the other day. Perez, who had some fine numbers closing in Triple-A, worked a scoreless inning Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays and hit 100 mph on the radar gun in his debut. Tony La Russa says he'll use a variety of pitchers to close out games, but I still think Ryan Franklin is going to get the call in the ninth most of the time. But Perez has got a very bright future.

g The Indians also find themselves in a closer-by-committee situation after fill-in Rafael Betancourt's ERA has floated above 7. Indians manager Eric Wedge told the Associated Press he plans to use four guys - Betancourt, Masa Kobayashi, Jensen Lewis and Rafael Perez - to close out games until Joe Borowski returns from the DL. In the meantime, my money's on Kobayashi, who's got prior closing experience in Japan and has already come in to save Betancourt's butt and pick up a save Thursday.

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