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Closer Clarity

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Mariano Rivera was slated to pitch a two-inning save before he blew the game against the Red Sox.  If this is more than the standard early season blip, then the Yankees will be in the trade market.  Joe Torre clearly doesn't trust any of his six other relievers.

Jonathan Papelbon is a lock to close for as long as he is healthy.  His back-up is Hideki Okajima.  I read something this weekend to the effect that the Red Sox check Pap's shoulder after every game.  That can not be a good thing, can it?

Shaun Marcum took his successful save opportunity last weekend and successfully made everyone forgot about it by blowing consecutive 8th inning leads.  Jason Frasor should be safe for the next month or so.

Brian Stokes' blown save on Sunday made Al Reyes one of the most solid closers in baseball. Sad but true.  Anyone who owns Al Reyes couldn't be happier, though.

Todd Jones is solid.  However, his back-up is clearer with the disclosure of Fernando Rodney's nagging neck injury.  This should put Joel Zumaya at #2.

Joakim Soria got his second save.  It was just his first since locking down the closer's role - 11 days ago!

Joe Borowski was on the receivng end of that great Yankees comeback on Thursday.  Or spectacular blown save depending on your POV. Despite that, he is without threat.

Has anyone else noticed that Mariners' closer JJ Putz has hardly pitched since his elbow injury?  It is the lack of opportunity, true, but I'd have hoped any questions about the elbow would have been cleared-up by the end of the third week of the season.

Eric Gagne was pulled from a save situation because of a hip injury.  I wonder if he will ever be completely healthy and if this injury is part of a "cascade' to use a Will Carroll phrase.

Brett Myers was warming up in the 9th inning of Cole Hamels 15-strikeout complete game.  He is a must-grab as a potential closer.  Wait.  He already carries that value from being drafted as a 200-K starter!

In Florida, Henry Owens has earned the closer job.  Unfortunately, he hasn't had a save since.

Brad Lidge nearly blew a 6-2 game in the 9th. He should be dealt now - by the Astros for sure.

If only the Giants had a viable option behind Armando Benitez.  By pitching AB three days in a row and letting Matt Cain pitch out of trouble in the 9th,  Giants manager Bruce Bochy has made his view known.

Brian Fuentes is as solid in the closer's role in Colorado as Trevor Hoffman is in San Diego.  However, keep an eye on Manny Corpas as he is second in line following the demotion of LaTroy Hawkins from the 8th-inning role.  That move didn't have all the hallmarks of someone going back for their lucky hat in a slasher film, did it?