Looper to share closer role with Urbina
CLARK SPENCER , mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
The closer's job is no longer the sole domain of Braden Looper.
So said Marlins manager Jack McKeon, who plans to split the duties between Looper and Ugueth Urbina.
"We have two closers," McKeon said Tuesday.
On paper, he does. Looper leads the club with 28 saves, while Urbina was leading the American League with 26 before the Marlins landed him in July.
But after Looper blew each of his past two save opportunities -- both against the Braves -- McKeon decided to go with a "mix and match" approach.
"It's going to be a little different now," McKeon said. "If you've got a guy who can't hit a curveball, you've got [Chad] Fox. If you've got a guy who can't hit a fastball, you've got Looper. And if you need a combination, you've got Urbina."
Looper watched from the bullpen as Urbina closed out Monday's victory in Atlanta after Fox pitched the eighth.
"All I can do is just take the ball when they give it to me," Looper said. "I'm trying not to worry about anything but to help this club win."
Other than Tommy Phelps, who hasn't pitched in two months, the only left-hander in the Marlins bullpen is Michael Tejera. But McKeon said he thinks the team can get buy with just one southpaw reliever.
"Fox usually gets left-handers pretty good, as does Urbina," McKeon said.
Left-handers are hitting .226 against Fox and .182 against Urbina.