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Justin Lehr, next A's closer?

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Justin Lehr, next A's closer?

Postby thehat » Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:00 am

Lehr was brought up in an Arthur Rhodes thread, but as he's apparently about to enter the A's bullpen mix, maybe he deserves his own Cafe thread. So here it is.

Right hander, drafted eighth round 1999. Played as a catcher at UCSB, then transferred to USC where he was the #2 starter behind Zito. As a pro, moved to the bullpen full time in 2002 at AA, pitching as a setup man primarily. Made it to AAA last season and went 3-2, 3.72 with four saves in 53 appearances. Alomg the way, his fastball, generally in the low 90's, has improved to regularly being 94-95.

Got his first real taste of closing this winter in Puerto Rico and did well. He's continued that progress with Sacto this season and has posted some very sharp numbers.

Although he's been projected as a setup man at the big league level, this mught be changing. He throws strikes and has the calm demeanor required for late inning work.

Numbers since becoming a closer are as follows:
Ponce: 19 G, 23.1 IP, 17 H, 7 BB, 17 K/ 1-1, 1.54, 9 SV
Sacto: 27 G, 32 IP, 28 H, 10BB, 38 K/ 4-1, 1.97, 12 SV

I have no idea what his role with the A's will be, but he sure looks like a guy worth a spec shot if you've got roster space.
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Postby Mr Last Place » Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:34 am

Thanks thehat for the info


Worth keeping an eye on as even Duke has appeared mortal recently
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Postby Lofunzo » Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:29 pm

Just waiting for him to be added to Yahoo.
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Postby thehat » Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:29 pm

Note that the A's have now stated that he's not in the closing mix, at least for starters. Nevertheless, he's worth keeping an eye on considering their current closer situation.
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Postby G-Man » Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:33 pm

thehat wrote:Note that the A's have now stated that he's not in the closing mix, at least for starters. Nevertheless, he's worth keeping an eye on considering their current closer situation.


thehat, you seem to always be right on top of new developments like this....thanks for passing it on to fellow cafe-ers ;-D
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Re: Justin Lehr, next A's closer?

Postby LBJackal » Thu Jun 17, 2004 2:52 pm

thehat wrote:He throws strikes and has the calm demeanor required for late inning work.


Calm demeanor is the last thing you see from the elite closers, isn't it? He's got to get that adrenaline pumping for those 10 pitches which will hopefully finish out the game }:-)

I'm not sure I'll add him right when Yahoo does, partially because I'm not going to waste my waiver priority, and partially because he probably won't be closing. But ya never know...if he gets the job I'll add him for sure.
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Postby SuperHippo » Thu Jun 17, 2004 3:32 pm

Don't be suprised if Huston Street is closing next year for Oak.
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Postby thehat » Thu Jun 17, 2004 7:08 pm

Street will probably be kept in a relief role this year, but the A's are undecided as to where his future lies. They're giving strong consideration to stretching him out to a starter next spring.
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Postby Arlo » Fri Jun 18, 2004 5:27 am

thehat wrote:Note that the A's have now stated that he's not in the closing mix, at least for starters. Nevertheless, he's worth keeping an eye on considering their current closer situation.

Then again, they also stated a week ago that he wouldn't be called up... ;-)
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Postby BronsonPinchot » Fri Jun 18, 2004 11:19 am

"Demeanor" isn't relevant. Different closers have different demeanors. The only thing they have to do is pitch well. Thats all.
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