This is always a great thread before the game commentary hits it. As always Havok, your work is appreciated. Here are my head-scratchers.
Baltimore can in no way be safe until Chris Ray proves he's healthy. To a lesser extent, the same can be said about Percival in Tampa Bay. Both of their managers have hinted at sharing or committees to close out games which we all know is no fun.
Orioles manager Dave Trembley suggested Monday that George Sherrill and Chris Ray could share closing duties next season.
"I don't think there will be competition,'' Trembley said. "I think I'm going to be afforded the luxury of having two guys that have done it... I don't think it's inconceivable that we could somehow share that role." It's way too early to buy much into that comment, but it does show that the Orioles have faith in Chris Ray being healthy to start the season. He is coming off Tommy John surgery. We'd still consider Sherrill the frontrunner to take the job full time.
If Percival is not ready for Opening Day, the Rays would likely go with a bullpen-by-committee arrangement.
"If Percy's well, it's his job," said manager Joe Maddon.
I've read your conflicting reports but still think that Street is the favorite for saves in Colorado. With the uncertainty, I don't see how you can call it safe. If you're leery of a trade going down then you should list Street appropriately.
I haven't seen any information that would hint that Qualls isn't the guy in Arizona. Sure Rauch and Pena are both fine options but with as solid as Qualls was last year I don't see how Melvin doesn't hand him the ball in the 9th.
Marmol isn't going to be handed the job in Chicago as Piniella wants him to compete with Gregg in ST. Still safe IMO but maybe a "looking over his shoulder".
Ziegler should definitely be ahead of Casilla. Geren has said he might alternate between Devine and Ziegler depending on the game situation.