Pitch or Ditch for Thursday, April 7 + Closer Thoughts
Lester @ Carmona
Cahill @ Romero
Liriano @ Burnett – not sold yet on AJ’s resurgence
Price @ Jackson
Penny @ Tillman – don’t trust either
Myers @ LeCure
Rogers @ Maholm
Hanson @ Marcum – Marcum was rusty first time, but 7 Ks tell a story, too
Niese @ Halladay
Lannan @ Johnson
***SIANO SAYS “I’m OK with Burnett vs. Twins.”
Less than a week into the season, we already have messy closer situations. First we hear that Sean Burnett, not Drew Storen will, at least for now, be the ninth inning man in Washington. But the bigger news comes out of Hollywood, where Jordan Walden has supplanted the awful Fernando Rodney. The Angels say the move is temporary but we all know better. As long as Walden continues to get the job done, he will continue to close. Note that Rodney sports a mediocre 4.30 career ERA and 1.45 career WHIP. His habit of walking the ballpark (3 BBs in 1/3 of an inning on Sunday) simply doesn’t translate well to the closer role.
The 411 draft strategy regarding closers is clear: Draft elite guys early so that you won’t have to deal with the constant turnover throughout the season. But the opponents of this strategy do have a point. Rather than spending a 5th round pick on Mariano Rivera, use that pick on a top-tier hitter and be the first to snatch up the Jordan Waldens and Sean Burnetts. Don’t expect this debate to go away anytime soon! Now let’s get to Thursday’s Pitch or Ditch.