Check out our latest depth charts update on our Depth Charts page.
There has been a lot of movement in major league baseball depth charts as far as bullpens are concerned, but still some important moves have been made.
When the season opened and Sean Burnett came out as the closer I thought Jim Riggleman had lost his mind. However, Burnett showed to be a strong closer for about three saves, and then faded. He has now committed himself to Drew Storen who has an ERA of 0.56 and a WHIP of 0.88. I'd love to know what Riggleman was thinking to open the season, but hey we all make mistakes.
St. Louis Cardinals
Is Fernando Salas the closer, not so fast! Right now the turmoil in the Cardinals bullpen has hit a fever pitch. Last week, the Cardinals recorded four saves amongst three different relievers none of which were named Boggs, Motte or Franklin. While Salas recorded two saves, his second was merely because the rest of the bullpen was done and out. My money is going towards Miguel Batista. He has closer experience and he is a savvy veteran, which is what Tony La Russa likes. Jason Motte and Eduardo Sanchez both figure to get into the mix, but Motte is prefered in the seventh or eighth inning roles. Salas has been great this season, but he is a low pitch count pitcher and serves the team better if he comes in and pitches one-plus innings. Expect the Cardinals to trade for a closer later in the year, possibly Heath Bell.
Chicago White Sox
It looks like Ozzie Guillen has found his closer in Sergio Santos. After the failures of Matt Thornton and Chris Sale, Guillen turned to Santos, who now has three saves. Coincidently, the White Sox have three saves. Thornton will be used for the time being as a lefty specialist and Sale and Crain will be the setup men for the White Sox going forward.
Kansas City Royals
A young arm to keep an eye on is Aaron Crow of the Royals. He has quickly gained the confidence of his manager and so far in 2011 has posted a 0.00 ERA in 14.1 innings with 14 Ks. Hitters are batting a measly .146 against the 24-year-old right-hander. If Soria struggles more or gets injured, Crow would likely get the call for the closer role in K.C.
Where did you go José Veras? The 31-year-old veteran has been a closer in the past and has found a nice home in Pittsburgh, at least for now. With Evan Meek shelved on the DL, Veras has been performing setup man duties recording five holds. Even more impressive, 21 Ks in 12.1 innings. His WHIP is just as impressive sitting at 0.81. If he continues to perform at this level, the Pirates will use him as trade bait. Maybe, St. Louis?
By Todd Farino, www.thecloserreport.com
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