Shocking The World
- Feb 11, 2007
- Reaction score
Curious to know everyone's thoughts. I'm surprised to see the Mets on here. I think they need to spend money on another starting pitcher, not a closer. Braves make a ton of sense though.
Its weird to think that a team with Josh Hader in its bullpen needs help, but Kimbrel makes far too much sense for Milwaukee. With Corey Knebel out for the season and Jeremy Jeffress intermittently effective, ninth-inning leads have fallen to Hader, something he can and has handled with ease. But its a misuse of his talents. A multi-inning monster, the lefty is best suited to gobbling up six-to-eight outs at a time with the freedom to deploy at the games most crucial momenti.e., not always the ninth.
For a team on pace to win 110 games, the Dodgers have the bullpen of a much worse outfit. Kenley Jansen is amid a second straight ordinary season. Top offseason addition Joe Kelly has a 7.91 ERA in 19 1/3 innings. Setup man Pedro Baez is striking out fewer batters and allowing more hard contact than last year. The relief corps has a 4.79 ERA and its strikeout rate of 22.2% is seventh lowest in baseball.
Plenty of teams need closers, or at least lack a set ninth-inning man. But some of those are by design, like Boston and Minnesota, which rotate through relievers in the ninth depending on matchups. Atlanta, though, has no such excuse for its fire drill of a bullpen. When youre giving late-inning leads to Josh Tomlin and hoping that Luke Jackson and his career 4.70 ERA can close night in and night out, you need someone like Kimbrel.
Chicago started the season with meltdown after meltdown from its relievers, though the situation has stabilized since: The bullpen put up a respectable 3.52 ERA in May. But this is still a team thats converted just half11 out of 22of its save opportunities. With nominal closer Brandon Morrow and fill-in Pedro Strop both on the injured list, Joe Maddon is relying on a skeleton crew to protect leads. Hell grind Kimbrel into dust, but thats better than having no one at all that you can rely on when the going gets tough.
Theres no shortage of contenders for the final spot here. Minnesotas bullpen is good without a regular closer, but why not make it better with one? Boston could use its old closer back. Philadelphia needs better options for Gabe Kaplers late-inning merry-go-round. The Nationals are a total disaster, though in truth, they need half a dozen Kimbrels.
In the end, the Mets' non-Edwin Diaz options are gruesome, and because as a marginal contender, every single advantage makes a difference.