Mookie4ever wrote:Where is Mercer Boy? I'm waiting for an answer. I have Mike Gonz taking up a bench spot in an NL-only keeper. He's cheap so I'll probably keep him regardless.
I'm here...I've just been spending a lot more time on the Football Cafe recently since it's prime drafting time...I have duties over there that take precedence.
I don't know what to tell you about our team as far as closing goes. The Pirates have gone into the dumper since they were 30-30 in late May/early June. I think we're something like 21-51 over the last months.
In my opinion, Mesa is total garbage. I do not like him as a closer...in fact, we shouldn't even use that word when talking about Mesa. Anyone with a WHIP above 1.40 is NOT a closer; they are "people who get the ball in the 9th inning and make games interesting." Jose fits that description. Sure, he hasn't pitched all that much in the past month or so, but he should know the deal...and he still is no better (and actually worse) than when he was pitching more frequently.
The problem is that McClendon loves the guy. He's gotten 40+ saves over the past few years, and even though he blows some games, he normally gets the job done albeit with many, many bumps. Everything the others have said is correct. He is not signed for next year, but the club has an option on him. He loves to pitch in PIT because:
a) He knows he really has no competition for the job even if he screws up due to his reputation and career numbers.
b) They don't expect him to be "lights-out" since they aren't contenders, thus he doesn't have the pressure that he got with contending teams...if we actually did win, he would surely choke more often.
c) He doesn't ask for much money, and the front office LOVES that.
The Pirates media guys think Mike Gonzalez has the stuff to close. He can bring the heat, and he had success last year. Unfortunately, Gonzalez has had a few injury problems this year and has really never gotten into a groove. He has walked WAY too many people, and that can't sit well with the manager going into next year.
Bottom line - I fully expect Mesa to be our closer going into next year. He comes cheap and is always "good" for the first part of the year because our pitchers normally start strong. The problem is that we will once again get to the point where he starts sucking. No one will want him even if he is doing well because he's old and chokes with contenders...there's also the "I'll retire if I get traded" talk that he uses. At some point, the front office has to say to heck with this guy and release him, but that won't happen unless someone else from the bullpen looks to be a "lights-out" guy for the 9th.
Personally, I think Salomon Torres is a good enough candidate for the job, but they really like Gonzalez's fastball and curve when it's on. I don't know any more than that...