Guten Tag!! Back from Germany, contemplating AA-not really, but there were a few late nights.
Now that we are at the end of March the NL closer battles are coming to a head. Let's take a look.
Chicago-the battle is between former Marlins closer Kevin Gregg and Carlos Marmol. I think Marmol owners will be upset when the season starts, but quite content come June.
St. Louis-the battle is between Jason Motte, Chris Perez and Ryan Franklin. Mottle has had the best spring of the three, striking out 15 and walking 1 in 9 1/3 innings this spring, while saving 4 games. I will be shocked if he doesn't get the nod.
Colorado-the battle appeared to have been won earlier this spring when Huston Street battled a few minor injuries, and got knocked around in an outing. But, since then he has given up one run in his last 6 outings. Meanwhile, Manny Corpas has pitched well this spring with a 1.29 ERA in 7 innings of work, while Street has a 6.48 ERA in 8 1/3 innings of work. It appears Corpas may win the job, and manager Clint Hurdle will make the decision as soon as this weekend.
Cincinnatti-incumbent closer Francisco Cordero has been absolutely awful this spring, and has a huge contract, so I don't see him losing his job unless he is pitching hurt, or he continues to get hammered onced the season starts. Yet, his spring stats tell you Dusty Baker better be looking at alternatives-in 7 1/3 innings, he has given up 18 hits, 5 walks, 9 Ks, 13 earned runs, and 3 HRs. The Reds alternatives are Jared Burton, David Weathers and how about Homer Bailey and his 12-3 K/BB ratio this spring. This situation bears watching.
Milwaukee-Trevor Hoffmann will probably begin the season on the DL, and the alternatives in Milwaukee, barring a trade, are Carlos Villaneuva and Seth McClung, but they have both been hit hard this spring. I would say Villaneuva gets the nod until Hoffman is healthy.