MLB Today: Closing Time in the Bronx
Don’t overlook Rafael Soriano in the Yankee closer conversation.
How ironic is it that just a few weeks after we marvelled at how Mariano Rivera has never had a serious injury in his long and illustrious career, he suffers a serious injury? While shagging flyballs. Really?!
The only closer the Yankees have known since John Wetteland was bagging saves for them in 1996 is done for the season, and considering Rivera hinted this was his final season, the immediate reaction was he done, as in rocking chair done.
But no, not to worry… Mo put those fears to rest on Friday when announcing he will be back next season.
But that still leaves us with the question about who will be earning saves in New York this season. Since Rivera’s injury, the Yanks have not had a save chance. The closest came on Friday, when David Robertson was brought in to finish up a 6-2 win, and he blew away the Royals, striking out all three batters he faced. He’s clearly going to get the first shot to do the job, but as Tim discussed in the Wire Troll on Sunday, don’t forget about Rafael Soriano.
- Asdrubal Cabrera, a player we identified as one our Top 10 busts for 2012, is not cooperating with our prognostication. His two-run double Sunday helped key a huge win for Cleveland and gave him hits in five straight games and a .429 mark for the past week. Cabrera’s extra-base pop – considered somewhat of a fluke last year – has been even more impressive so far in 2012, and he’s also substantially upped his walk rate in the early going. If Cabrera can consolidate his 2011 gains, we’ll have to start considering him an upper tier shortstop real soon.
- It’s time to take a long look at R.A. Dickey – and not just in NL-only leagues, but in mixed formats as well. After tossing eight innings of four-hit, one-run ball on Sunday to earn his fourth win of the young campaign, Dickey has now tossed quality outings in 17 of his past 18 starts. Just think about that for a moment. How many starters offer that kind of consistency? His strikeout rate is higher than ever this season, and if you need pitching help (and whoever couldn’t use an extra hurler?), Dickey can help you. Go ahead… just do it.
- While we’re trolling for pitchers that could help you, how about Rick Porcello? He looked pretty good in his first two outings before taking back-to-back beatdowns. But he’s rebounded so far in May, winning his second straight start Sunday with 6 1/3 innings of four-hit, one-run ball and a season-best five strikeouts. Take away his butt ugly line against Texas on April 21 and Porcello’s numbers have been pretty good: 30 hits and 12 runs allowed in 35 2/3 IP. That computes to an ERA just a nick over 3.00, and that’s pretty useful where I come from.
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