There is a problem with McBride possibly being the closer. In the NL East, there are only 9 regular Lefty bats and 23 righty bats. Now these are some pretty darn good lefties (Howard, Utley, Abreu, Johnson, Schneider, Delgado, Floyd, Jacobs, & Hermida) but the fact remains that odds are against a not favorable. I'm not at all saying that McBride can't get a righty out. But I doubt that he's the guy for Atlanta closer mainly because of the stud lefty bats that are present. His value is greatest when Cox can play matchups with him to get those guys out. I mean, look at those guys, there isn't any slouch. So...I firmly believe that the next Atlanta closer will be right handed.
Mr. Trade = Lots of different scenarios here. Atlanta has some prospects blocked (Salty, Andrus, Betemit, Pena, etc) and could sure use a guy to nail it down. I doubt they'd want somebody unproven so possible candidates are, Gagne (injury risk, expensive, but Dodgers have Beaz, Saito, & Broxton as backup), Foulke (could be risky and expensive), Baez (still a FA after this year but has been bad as interim closer for Gagne), Williamson (nothing great, but proven, Cub offense can't score runs, doesn't matter how good RPs are), F. Cordero (Done well since demotion), Farnsworth/Dotel (I doubt Yanks would spend all that money just to trade em), Rodney (not with Todd Jones being well...Todd Jones), Guardado (he's a MR, now more than ever), Wickman (last year he pitches but Indians have plenty of guys to take over, intriguing).
Reitsma = He's not a closer and never will be. He doesn't have the stuff or the mentality. His team value increase exponentially if the Braves can find somebody to successfully to close and allow him to setup. Which is what he's supposed to do.
McBride = As I've stated before, his team value decreases becoming the closer being a lefty (much like how Marte & Cotts in the ChW pen the last few years).
Ray = More likely than McBride to close, imo, and has been most consistent reliever by far so far this year. He's the in-house RP to take over the job as closer. But he's young and who knows if he can deal with the pressure?
Villarreal = Numbers very misleading and has a lot of luck when it comes to blowing leads and then picking up the win. Has been bad of late and splits point to him being an ineffective closer.
Sosa = The darkhorse here, there was a lot of speculation on making Sosa the closer this year but after his successful stint in the rotation last year they felt he would be more valuable starting. Cox wanted Sosa to close. Sherholtz wanted him the rotation, Sherholtz won. Sosa has had 1 good start out of 5 and is scheduled to pitch tonight...we shall see. If he blows up, Ramirez is due to start Thursday and James will return too. I like this move a lot, though the Davies injury may hinder Sosa's move. Sosa has the stuff, maybe not the consistency, to close. But if Cox has trusted him this long in the rotation. He obviously has faith in his ability.
James = Again, a lefty but his true value lies in the rotation this year.
Devine = "The Closer of the Future", he's currently on the Minor league DL with a back injury. Was great in ST, but got hammered in the majors when he came up, both times out. But he did only pitch 2 games.
Startup = Far too young and inexperienced, imo, but may 1 day challenge Devine for closer helm. Of course, some of these College closers have worked out well (Cordero) or not so well (R. Wagner).
Lerew = Apprently the most raw of Atlanta's major league ready starting pitching. Was called up, never pitched, then went right back down to the minors. Decent K/BB ratio in AA, maybe a Papelbon situation? Probably not but who knows?[/b]