Nobody can replace Joe Nathan. Absolutely nobody. That being said, somebody has to fill that role. The issue of who can be the next closer has most fans split on who that should be.
The Twins new closer should have a low ERA. He should have a low WHIP. A closer should strike out a good number of his batters. He should be able to make it through 3 outs with a low number of pitches, so he can be ready for the next game, and he should have had a similar workload as Nathan in the past.
There are a few options. I will rank them in order of which I think is most likely, but first I will give Nathan’s values in these statistics.
For those who may not know, Out/GR is the number of outs recorded per games in relief, and P/GR is the number of pitches per game in relief. ERA+ is ERA adjusted to incorporate the pitcher’s ballpark and the league average ERA. 100 is the league average. Anything above 100 is higher than average, anything below it is lower than average.
|Last 3 Years||1.77||241||.952||10.4||3||16||1118||69|
1. Jon Rauch
Jon Rauch is the most likely candidate to close for 1 reason. He has the expierience. He was the closer for the Nationals after Chad Cordero got injured and before he got traded to the Diamondbacks. He has 26 career saves. That will more than likely be significant to Gardy and Rick Anderson.
At 6’11” he is the tallest player ever to play in the majors. That gives him the intimidation factor. Would you want to mess with this?
That's pure intimidation right there.
I haven’t had the chance to put together a decent post in a while, but I am working on a fairly in-depth report on possible closer candidates. Here are some of the biggest stories lately.
- The Twins have signed Nick Blackburn to a 4 year, $14 million contract. There is also a $8 million team option for 2014.
- On that same day the Twins also signed the rest of the players on the 4o man roster to contracts.
- The Official Hot Dog of the Twins that will be served at Target Field is Schweigert meats. There will be four different Schweigert hot dogs served throughout the ballpark.
- Single game tickets went on sale today. Interestingly enough, you cannot purchase tickets to the home opener without a season ticket plan. Tickets are expected to sell out for the entire season sometime today. Last I checked, there were still seats available. (I checked for 2 tickets to the Friday night, July 30th game against the Mariners, and I could get 2 tickets in row 28 of section 110, which are seats looking right down the 1st base line, in the lower level.)
- Joe Nathan has torn his Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) and is likely to require Tommy John surgery. Nathan and the Twins plan to wait 2 weeks and see how he feels. This injury is not a wait-and-see injury, so I am clueless to what advantage this will create.
- Denard Span has signed a 5 year, $16.5 million contract with a $9 million option for 2015.
One of my favorite things about the beginning of Spring Training is the images we get along with. Between seeing favorite players back in action or getting that exciting first look at offseason additions, this is something to look forward to. The time has arrived.
We’ve all heard that Mauer had grown a beard, but we didn’t get to see it until yesterday.
More pictures have come today showing Mauer having shaved his beard. It’s sad. I think it fit him.
We have pictures of 2 of the newcomers, Hudson and Hardy, as they have reported early.
We have pictures of Liriano, Nathan, and Neshek, and a picture of Perkins, Slowey and Mike Maroth, a pitcher the Twins signed to a minor league deal this offseason.