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Closer Clarity

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Update [2007-4-9 14:21:30 by Eric Hz]: For those who voted for Brad Lidge to be the first closer to lose the job, you're right!

"I'm going to change the bullpen configuration a little bit," Phil Garner said. "Brad is not going to close as a general rule. There may be a situation where I may o it, but as of right now I'm going to pitch him earlier in the game, sixth inning area, sixth-seventh inning area 'cause I want to pitch him more often, give him more consistent work. As it stands right now I'll probably close with Wheeler, set up with Qualls and White.

With Jorge Julio getting today off from closing, fantasy players will get a much clearer picture of who is next in line for saves in Florida.  Marlins' manager unequivocably stated Julio remains the closer, and this is normally the kiss of death so pay attention.

The Blue Jays used Casey Jansenn to close out yesterday's win against the Devil Rays.  Despite management assertions that Jason Frasor was the set-up man behind BJ Ryan, the choice of Jansen says otherwise.

With a save in Thursday's win against the Yankees, the Devil Rays have signalled that AL Reyes is the closer.  If he successfully closes out the next win, then the ground upon which he stands will have firmed-up.

Jonathan Papelbon is guaranteed to hold the job in Boston.  That isn't ground-breaking though.  What is interesting is the fact he was used in the 8th inning of last night's game.  That signals a weakness in the Red Sox middle relief.  If Papelbon's should doesn't hold, the ugliness will return.

With Octavio Dotel on the 15-day DL, Dave Riske successfully converted his first save opportunity.  Unfortunately, he blew his next one and brought back all the baggage he carried from Cleveland where he was never allowed to pitch in a save situation.

With the three-game snowout, nothing was learned about Mariners' closer JJ Putz and the state of his elbow.  Nor was Cleveland closer Joe Borowski given a chance to have a non-shaky appearance.

The Phillies bullpen looks like a trainwreck waiting to happen.  The acquistion of Francisco Rosario from Toronto is worthy watching as is the status of free agent Dustin Hermanson.

How does Brad Lidge retain the closer's role after exacerbating a 5-0 deficit yesterday?  Dan Wheeler should get the next opportunity, and, if he fails in it, full-blown panic will set in.  For Yankees fans, that is great news as Roger Clemens will be closer to joining them than he would have been otherwise.

Armando Benitez is unchallenged in the Giants' bullpen.  Note, though, that Brian Wilson is closing in AAA.  He has a save already and struck out three in three innings.  Unfortunately, he has walked three also.