There is a new poll up asking about closers likely to lose jobs. The choices this time are Ryan Dempster, Salomon Torres and Jose Valverde.
I want to talk about the results of the last one. 42% said DeviL Rays closer Seth McClung will be the first to lose the closer's role. I agree he is the worst of the three specified players (Todd Jones and Bob Wickman). What I don't know is who will get the job if McClung loses it.
Dan Miceli? Ruddy Lugo? Shawn Camp? Juan Salas? I really do not know. An angle that is always worth watching is who Joe Madden gives "big" innings this Spring training - the 3rd, 4th and 5th innings in the first third of March and the last inning later in the month in either A or B games. Given Shawn Camp pitched in 75 games last season, I'd expect him to emerge. At the least, those 75 games indicates a degree of faith by the Tampa manager and coaches.
Edwin Jackson is another candidate as he has already failed as a starter, albeit with minimal chances. However, he is out of minor league options and will be on the team. With so little competition, he has to be considered a darkhorse. Of course, any warm body in the bullpen is considered the same way.
The candidates to back-up McClung are unpromising. As a result, he may have the longest leash and thus be least likely to lose his job.