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Jon Rauch has been a closer for the Nationals, Twins and Blue Jays.
As I wrote about earlier on Monday, the New York Mets are likely contemplating making a change at closer. At the very least, Frank Francisco needs a break after giving up five runs in his last two appearances and attempting to take out his frustration on umpires.
If Mets manager Terry Collins takes Francisco out of the closer role for the time being, the expected replacement is setup man Jon Rauch. Though Bobby Parnell looks to be a better candidate, based on his strikeout stuff, Collins will likely opt for experience as a ninth-inning stopper, which Rauch has with the Nationals, Twins and Blue Jays.
While Rauch hasn't been blowing hitters away, striking out only seven batters in 15 1/3 innings, he's been one of the Mets' most reliable relievers this season. Rauch has compiled a 2.93 ERA, allowing five runs total.
The 6'11" right-hander also has 59 saves in 88 opportunities over his 10-year major league career. While many would roll their eyes at the idea that Rauch is preferable as a closer because he has experience in the role, the Mets need someone reliable to replace Francisco, not a reliever who might melt down under pressure.
If Francisco (or Parnell) blows a lead or two in the ninth this week, that lack of confidence could throw the pitching staff out of whack and result in losing more games the Mets can't afford to lose right now. Sure, Rauch could fail in the role. But Collins would then have the opportunity to go back to a calmer Francisco (which he's probably going to do anyway).
For now, the Mets need a steady hand. And it's the one connected to Rauch's massively tattooed arm.