With the acquistion of Jorge Julio from the Diamondbacks, the Marlins answered one of the Spring's top fantasy questions - who will win the Marlin's closer job. I held throughout the off-season that it would be Kevin Gregg, a "veteran" of three seasons with reasonable success out of the bullpen. Despite the acquistion of two fireballing relivers from the Mets, Henry Owens and Matt Lindstrom, I kept the faith.
With those radar gun readings nearing 100 MPH, there was little surprise that most of the roto-commentariat predicted either Owens or Lindstrom. Chicks my dig the long ball, but roto-geeks love pitchers who hit the high 90s.
What I have found surprising, other than acquiring Julio, so far is the lack of strikeouts for the two fire-balling rookies. Henry Owens has appeared in three games and pitched three innings. He has zero strikeouts. That will change very soon, but I found it worth noting anyhow. He was clearly dominant in AA, but that dominance has not appeared at all as a major leaguer. Even as a Mets for four innings, he only K'ed 2.
Linstrom doesn't have the major league experience of Owens, but he hasn't struck out any of the three batters he has faced so far. If he is hitting 100 MPH and not missing bats, that may be something to consider when guessing who will close if/when Julio breaks the three season streak of veteran relievers reviving their careers as successful Florida closers. After all, he only struck out 128 over 132 innings in his last two minor league seasons.
The fact that neither rookie has struck out a batter yet may be the canary in the coal mine that puts Kevin Gregg second in line for the closer's job.