Cards07Champs wrote:In July of last season I called for McClellan as a closer, I was hoping we'd consider it in the offseason again this year (but Carpenter's injury necessitated making McClellan a 6th starter).
As a reliever, McClellan has absolutely filthy stuff. He dials his fastball up around 95, with his 'cruising speed' being about 92 with sink. He has a hammer curve that reminds me of Carpenter's but with a little more roll (still a plus offering, Carp sets a high bar). His changeup has good drop and he'll occasionally fire out a slider or cutter. He has a starter's arsenal that he simply dials up to max effort from the pen.
He emerged as a non-roster invite to become our jam righty last year. He'd get the call when a couple guys got on and we needed someone to put the fire out. Until his stamina wore out (perils of youth), he did so with great aplomb. He has the guts of a burglar out there.
I know folks are worried about the CBC, but I just don't see it. Remember, LaRussa practically invented the modern closer. Additionally, he's seen twice in the last 5 years just how bad a bullpen operates when there is no set closer (2003 and 2007 due to Izzy injuries). He may match up Reyes from time to time, if a bunch of lefties are up. But ultimately I think he's going to keep trying a RHer until he finds one that runs with the job.
Right now McClellan appears to be the first in line and I expect him to grab it with both hands and run with it. I like him FAR more than Nunez. I disagree completely with the above poster. The Cards closer position has always been a good source for saves and the Cards look like they'll put together another strong season this year. Whoever emerges as the closer will be a great bet for saves going forward. In my mind, this is a situation that is worth the speculation (i.e. not the Mariners).
Love the analysis here, but a question? If McClellan is so great at getting out of jams then wouldnt it make more sense to let him do that and let someone else start off the 9th with no one on base to close the game. In actuality McClellan could be more valuable doing this job and saving the game at this point than closing things out right? If I am the Cards I look at using McClellan to do the 'get out of jams' thing again, and then use Franklin (though I don't think he's really what they need there in the end) and/or Perez (since he's being groomed, has the stuff, and didnt do a terrible job last year why not?) to close things out. Interested in your thoughts, thanks!