deerayfan072 wrote: Crippler wrote:
mikerobbjk wrote:Izzy was warming up while Howell was pitching in the 9th. I was listening to the broadcast and they said he might be warming up to face the next batter if Howell didn't get the third out. Which is weird because I believe how pitches better against right handers than left handers. I like Howell the best, but I still think that this closer situation isn't solved in TB.
I'm not sure what you would really expect though...doesnt a coach always need to have someone warming up in the pen just in case?
I mean if Howell walks the bases loaded, it would be nice to have someone warm enough to replace him...
Since he didnt struggle at all (retiring 4 straight batters), I think its safe to call him the closer. As with just about every team, they will have another option to take over (izzy) if he struggles a lot in the future.
I dont see anyone warming when Papelbon, Krod, Nathan, Jenks, Capps, Broxton, Rivera, etc. are pitching. If someone is the "closer" i don't typically see a coach warming someone. You go with a guy.
As far as Howell, he is def pitching the best and hopefully that means Maddon gives him more shots, but he still likes his matchups.
That's just it, it's not like Maddon has annointed Howell as "closer." Maddon just doesn't think that way. He's certainly a better manager than Acta's annointing MacDougal out of nowhere (that's a disaster waiting to happen). Plus, why would Maddon want to put added pressure on Howell if Howell hasn't really even had an opportunity to take the role by the horns?
I think what Crippler, I, and other Howell advocates are saying is that it looks like Howell is basically the one that Maddon wants to take this thing. Hell, the whole TB community seems to want this, so if Howell keeps pitching like he has over the past two years (and you all should really see that he's been the best bullpen arm not just this year, but last year really too, especially when you factor in consistency), he looks like the guy to beat.
Does anyone seriously think if Howell's pitching alright, Maddon's going to go to Wheeler if a righty comes up, or Choate if a lefty comes up? The point is, even granting that Maddon likes his matchups (his pulling Wheeler for Choate a couple of times confirms this), he does not
seem to think this way with Howell, which makes Howell a somewhat clear favorite at this point.
As for the whole "guy warming up" business, I don't think anyone's seriously claiming that Howell is the closer like Papelbon, Rivera, and Krod are closers. Jenks definitely pitching sometimes with people warming up behind him, lest we forget Ozzie Guillen's notorious lack of confidence. Same with Gregg, Rodney, others. While these warm up aren't necessarily as the inning begins, the point is that when someone's trying to take the closer's role in an open situation, that someone is warming up behind them shouldn't be a surprise, or a cause to say, "he's not a legitimate contender." In the mind of any manager with a closer situation, a pitcher won't jump from closer candidate to no-questions-asked closer in a day.
And back when Capps, Jenks, hell, Papelbon and Rivera (likely, someone would have to do the research) were in the process of taking the closers role, that another pitcher may have been warming up behind them wouldn't be shocking.