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Tampa Bay Closer

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.