The Denver Post is reporting that Manny Corpas could take over the closer role for the Rockies from Huston Street. Street, who has gotten off to a slow start in the 2009 season, closed for the Oakland Athletics before being traded to Colorado.
Does Corpas have what it takes to hold the closer role?
The short answer...maybe. Corpas does have skills that are, at minimum, setup-worthy. Corpas spent some time in the closer role for the Rockies in 2007, saving 19 games for the team in 78.2 innings. He also had very nice peripherals in that season, with a 6.7/2.3 K/BB ratio.
2008 was a different year for Corpas, however, and his skills were not apparent in the first half. His walk rate ballooned close to four, and his strikeout ability fell.
However, he seemed to put things together in the second half of last year, dropping his walk rate to just below two walks per nine innings.
Corpas is also a groundball-first pitcher, which is great considering that he pitches in the launching pad that is Coors Field.
If he can avoid a slow start like last season, Corpas could end up being a tremendous value. If you need saves, or even a solid middle relief guy for the ratios, you will want to roster this guy.
For owners in more shallow leagues, Corpas is not a must-add, but keep a close eye on the guy.
If Corpas proves that he can pitch in a dominant manner like he did in the second half of last season, we could be looking at an upside of 30 saves on the season. A worthwhile pickup in mid-to-deep leagues and a definite add in NL-only leagues.
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