Spartans Rule wrote:Tampa Bay was and still is a committee. Today things just happened to shake out right for Howell to get the save.
In Howell's last four appearances prior to today, he came in 3 times in the 8th and once in the 9th with the Rays trailing. Maddon seems to like to use him to bail out his other RPs when they get in trouble. If no one gets in trouble like today, then maybe he closes. But I'd hardly annoint him a full-time closer just based on this game.
I basically agree with this, although he is clearly the most desirable RP in Tampa's pen right now. And I think saying he'll only get save opps when everyone else struggles is a bit extreme. On the days he does not get save opportunities, he can still provide a lot of value because of his high K/9 and his nice ERA/WHIP. Plus he started into the 9th inning to protect a 1 run lead twice in a row now. Granted, the previous game, he entered with 2 outs in the 8th in a tie game, but when a save opp presented itself after the Rays scored, Maddon stuck with Howell.
To me, it would not be surprising to see him get 90% of the save opps from here on out, but it would also not be too surprising to see him get around 50% of the save opps. Either way, he is a great add.