Royals: MacDougal sent down
by Fanball Staff - Fanball.com
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
As expected, the Royals sent struggling closer Mike MacDougal down to the minors on Tuesday and will protect what few leads they have with a committee of relievers. However, manager Tony Pena made it clear that he has not given up on MacDougal. "He's my closer," Peña told the Kansas City Star. "That's what I told this kid—for us to win the Central, I need to have my closer; I need to have MacDougal as my closer. But I need to have him where I feel fully comfortable, where I know he's ready, that he's my boy, that he's doing the job. I don't want to send him back out when I have doubts in my mind."
Pena suggested that perhaps MacDougal came back from his stomach virus too quickly, and it appears the team will give him a chance to work things out at Class AAA Omaha. Unfortunately, we don't share Pena's confidence in MacDougal. After opening last season with 10 saves in the first 21 games, he has just 18 in the Royals' next 172 contests. He has a 10.80 ERA this season and blew two of his three saves opportunities since coming back in late April.