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A Fleshner Fantasy wrote:What's the situation in Washington when Storen returns? Does he get the job back or does Clippard keep it?
wazzeus wrote:A Fleshner Fantasy wrote:What's the situation in Washington when Storen returns? Does he get the job back or does Clippard keep it?
It was announced by the team weeks ago that Clippard will remain the closer.
Of course, an implosion by Clippard, coupled with strong pitching by Storen, would surely change things.
In an interview on Monday with ESPN Radio’s Michael Kay, Mariano Rivera (knee) said Monday that his goal is to return in September.
"That’s my goal," said Rivera. "Definitely, that’s my goal. I’m not thinking about it because if it doesn’t happen, I will be disappointed. So I’m taking it day by day. I’m working hard and doing what I’m supposed to do. I don’t want to put something in my mind." Rivera's rehab doctor, Dr. Keith Pyne, told Joel Sherman of the New York Post last week that the all-time saves leader is ahead of schedule in his recovery from knee surgery and said he wouldn't be against him returning this season. However, the Yankees continue to say that they aren't expecting anything in 2012. It's a long shot, but an intriguing one.
Michael Dunn nailed down his first save of the season in Monday's win over the Nationals.
He made manager Ozzie Guillen sweat first, allowing a hit and a walk before getting Andy LaRoche looking to cinch the two-run win. It's confirmation that the Marlins will go with a closer-by-committee, as Steve Cishek netted the first save since Heath Bell's demotion, and Randy Choate and Edward Mujica could get into the mix, as well. Bell pitched the eighth inning Monday.
Juan Carlos Oviedo was diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
Oviedo suffered the injury while pitching in the minors as he neared the end of his eight-week suspension. It's not clear if he'll attempt to rehab the injury or opt for Tommy John surgery, but he won't be joining the Marlins' bullpen in the near future. The Marlins moved to a closer-by-committee coming out of the All-Star break, but Steve Cishek is the pitcher to own at the moment.
SpecialFNK wrote:how long of a leash does John Axford have?
he blew another save tonight, allowing 3 runs before being removed. Fiers went 7 without giving up a run, and Rodriguez pitched in the 8th.
Axford's numbers on the season are not good, 4.71 ERA, 1.46 WHIP coming into tonight.
Axford was so good last season I would imagine he still has a good hold on the job, yes?
You have to wonder if John Axford got the ball for the last time in 2012 with the game on the line in the ninth inning.
Axford blew yet another save Monday night, once again failing to get the third strike of the third out as the St. Louis Cardinals rallied for three runs to stun the Brewers, 3-2, at Miller Park.
It was yet another excruciating last at-bat loss for the Brewers (16, for those who are counting), who can’t afford to blow any more games if they have any hope of climbing into the NL Central race. Axford has been at the center of that issue, suffering his sixth blown save as well as his sixth loss.
After past failures by Axford, manager Ron Roenicke said he planned to stick with his embattled closer. There was no vote of faith after this one, however.
Asked if it was time to consider other options – former closer Francisco Rodriguez has been the setup man – Roenicke said, “We talk about it all the time. We talked about it just now and we will again tomorrow.”
Following a season-long pattern, Axford was unable to command his fastball, falling behind in the count to every hitter. That leaves him to go to his breaking ball, which has been equally inconsistent. By allowing three hits and two walks, Axford now has allowed 37 hits and 21 walks in 37 innings for an atrocious 1.568 WHIP.
“I just gave it up; that’s all there is to it,” said Axford. “All together, that’s the most frustrating outing I’ve had all year. I’ve had a few blown saves this year but that’s definitely the most frustrating one.
“I couldn’t find anything – fastball, breaking ball. When I finally threw a breaking ball for strikes, it was too late. When I threw one for a strike, I shouldn’t have. It ended up being a base hit. I couldn’t find the fastball in or out, up or down. I’ve been feeling good lately but today I just felt awful.”
Given a 2-0 lead, Axford found immediate trouble by walking Matt Carpenter. He was fortunate when Lance Berkman and Carlos Beltran just got under pitches, hitting deep fly balls. Rafael Furcal then hit a bouncer the other way down the third-base line that Aramis Ramirez muffed trying to backhand it, but probably had no play at first in any event.
With two on and two out, Axford faced the hitter he had to get out – Skip Schumaker, who has no home runs this season. Axford didn’t want to face slugger Matt Holliday but didn’t trust his fastball and walked Schumaker on a 3-2 curveball that was up and in.
Holliday then bounced a 2-2 fastball – again, one strike away – through the right side for a two-run single to tie the score. Allen Craig followed with an RBI hit to left and Axford was done, as were the Brewers.
“I was trying to mix things up and finally get a breaking ball over but it didn’t work out,” Axford said of the 3-2 pitch to Schumaker. “I wasn’t finding anything. I figured if I could throw a curveball for a strike, maybe I could freeze him."
Asked what he was feeling right now about all the leads he has blown, Axford said, "I know how important these games are. That's why this one was even more frustrating, just giving away a win like that. I don't know how to sum it up. It just feels bad."
Axford, one of the top relievers in the majors last year with 46 saves in 48 chances, including a franchise-record 43 in a row to close the season, was asked if he thought he’d keep the closer’s job.
“I’m not the manager; that’s up to the manager,” he said. “Am I confident that I’ll be able to go out there and get the job done? Yes. Hopefully, I will get that opportunity again.”
You get the feeling at this point that he won't.
SpecialFNK wrote:is Dunn really worth adding? he would have to be considered a reach? 4.98 ERA, 1.43 WHIP. he was brutal in April (9.53/2.47/5.2 IP) and May (9.64/2.57/4.2 IP) but then good in June (0.00/0.00/5.2 IP) and July (1.59/0.88/5.2 IP).
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