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Mesa removed as closer

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Mesa removed as closer

Postby Pedantic » Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:48 am

You might want to pick up Mike Gonzalez. And I hate Jose Mesa. I hate him, I hate him, I hate him.

MLB.com wrote:PITTSBURGH -- Jose Mesa's time as the Pirates' closer has come to an end.
The 39-year-old Mesa, who ranks 12th all-time in Major League history with 319 career saves, has been mired in his biggest slump since joining the Pirates in 2004. Mesa has blown three consecutive saves after converting 27 of his first 30 opportunities.

"We just feel that we want to open it up and give [interim manager] Pete [Mackanin] the ability to use whoever he wants," said Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield. "Out of respect to Mesa and what he's done for us, we talked to him about that and let him know that it's the direction we're going to go for the rest of the season.

"I would say that we'll still continue to include Mesa to a certain degree. It just depends on the matchups and how guys are throwing."

The decision is a strong indication that the team will not pick up Mesa's club option for 2006. The Pirates will use the final three weeks of the season to audition right-hander Salomon Torres and southpaw Mike Gonzalez as potential replacements.

"What they do the rest of this month would give us an indication," said Littlefield. "Both of them certainly have stuff enough."

Littlefield was quick to note, however, that closing games is more demanding mentally than physically. He's curious to see how Gonzalez and Torres handle the added burden for the first time.

"Most of the closers you see aren't purely about elite stuff," said Littlefield. "It's about throwing strikes. It's about having the confidence to stand out there and deal with the pressures of the ninth inning and the last three outs that most people can't handle."


There goes my $10 closer. Damn that Mesa.
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Postby Red Stripe » Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:27 am

Thank youuuuu!!!!!! The Jose Mesa Era is over, Im going to jump for joy.
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Postby Pogotheostrich » Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:31 am

Excellent. I have M-Gon signed for $1 until 2008. :-D
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Postby AT » Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:32 am

Took long enough... Shame I can't really take advantage of this development given I am running away with SV in my roto and I have 5 closers for h2h playoffs but thanks for the news. I'm sure this will help a bunch of people down the stretch...
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Postby mamorris » Mon Sep 12, 2005 9:02 am

Just reading that article, it sounds like Gonzalez is not going to close full-time. As a matter of fact, if I had to take a chance on one of these guys, I'd take the righty Torres. Regardless, unless I was in a desperately tight race for saves in a roto league, I wouldn't be playing stab-in-the-dark with closers at this point in the season.
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Postby Sultans of Squat » Mon Sep 12, 2005 12:24 pm

Well, that's good news for me as I own M Gonzalez in my dynasty-like keeper points league, waiting for the day that Mesa goes -- I was really tempted to consider dumping Gonzalez at some points this year even though holds are equal to saves in our league. However, this seems only one step in that direction as they might still try to re-sign Mesa to some cheap deal as had been the rumor all along -- you never know w/ the Bucs. But I guess this at least means we'll get to see if Gonzalez (or someone else) will end the year as the heavy favorite to take over at closer next year.

I could really use a strong finish from Gonzalez (and all my other guys, including Bonds and Big Unit) if I'm gonna get back into the dogfight in that league. I've actually sat Gonzalez for the past few days due to his wildness since returning from the DL, but seems like he might be getting back into the groove again.
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Postby Mercer Boy » Mon Sep 12, 2005 12:30 pm

Nice...thanks for the story! ;-D

I'm telling you guys...the one you want is Salomon Torres. He's been lights-out for the last month and a half...I think he has a 0 ERA and less than 0.5 WHIP! 8-o

I didn't realize that Torres threw as hard as he has been. The radar gun has been reaching 95-96 MPH on his fastball, and it has some good movement. He has a really good slider as well.

Forget Gonzalez...pickup TORRES! ;-D
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Postby Sultans of Squat » Mon Sep 12, 2005 1:00 pm

Mercer Boy wrote:Nice...thanks for the story! ;-D

I'm telling you guys...the one you want is Salomon Torres. He's been lights-out for the last month and a half...I think he has a 0 ERA and less than 0.5 WHIP! 8-o

I didn't realize that Torres threw as hard as he has been. The radar gun has been reaching 95-96 MPH on his fastball, and it has some good movement. He has a really good slider as well.

Forget Gonzalez...pickup TORRES! ;-D


Hmmm... What you say about Torres' recent great performance is all nice and good, but I'm not sold given his long track record unless you can offer some convincing explanation for his recent success and how it can be sustained. He's never been a big K guy and usually don't sport a good K/BB ratio although it was pretty good last year. He seems susceptible against lefties -- and his slider probably only helps against righties. He's simply quite hittable for an RP when he's not busy walking people. A month-plus doesn't really tell us that much, especially given his track record.

Of course, if you don't have Gonzalez already and desperately need the help, by all means. But I'm not buying that he's the better option at this point. At least w/ Gonzalez, you know he's been struggling much of the year mainly because of his bum leg. And if Gonzalez is back at 100% and getting his command back, I don't see why he's not the better option. He was quite dominating last year, which is something Torres hasn't done yet for more than just a month-plus -- and I've owned Torres before in fantasy.

For myself, there's even less reason to try Torres because he's not as keepable as Gonzalez in my league since he'll be FA eligible sooner -- we can only keep players that don't officially enter MLB FA. And even if Gonzalez doesn't get the job, holds count as much as saves in my league while runs prevention is still very important. In my league, a top setup RP could be just as valuable as a middle-of-the-road closer -- and middle-of-the-road closers can easily lose their jobs and turn into complete junk in fantasy.

FWIW, I'm not exactly averse to grabbing little tested young guns (which I did w/ Turnbow and Wagner very early on), but Torres isn't quite the same thing since he has a rather long history of spottiness going against him.
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Postby Mercer Boy » Mon Sep 12, 2005 9:24 pm

Well, you can keep Gonzalez...and he may indeed close. But, if you expect him to do well for you this year, I would temper your expectations. He's walking everyone and their brother, and his stuff is not as good as last year because of his knee.

You're basically losing Mesa and gaining Mesa for this year.

Now, if you are talking about next year...then sure, Gonzalez is probably the logical option. But, if the wildness continues, he's not a very good closer option and someone I would not want on my fantasy team...much like Mesa this year.
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Postby Mercer Boy » Mon Sep 12, 2005 10:31 pm

Well, we just put Mesa in for the 7th...and he prompty gave up our lead.

Then Torres came in for the 8th in a tie game. :-? He also is pitching the 9th, and may lose the game...it would be his first ER given up in a long time.

Makes me wonder what they're going to do now. Guess we just have to wait and see. Maybe Gonzalez will get the ball late...if so, I guess that's what the organization is wanting to see. Good luck fantasy guys!
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