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Columbus Bullpen - Closer role

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Columbus Bullpen - Closer role

Postby MadThinker88 » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:28 am

Prior to the trades, Tony had projected Stevens as the Cbus closer. Now that Jeff has been moved, I am curious who will get the 'closer' role.

I would like to see Tony Sipp in the role if he is healthy (unfortunately a big IF at this time). Other possibilites are John Meloan and Adam Miller (if one or both are not up in Cleveland already).

Another possibility is Randy Newsom. If he is given the 'role', there is a greater chance he can stay in it and other guys (when healthy) like Sipp/ Meloan/ Miller can bet slotted into regular work roles and maybe even stretched out to 2 innings per appearance by the development group so they can be better prepared for supporting middle relief slots in Cleveland if called upon.

Comments/ Thoughts??
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Re: Columbus Bullpen - Closer role

Postby indianinkslinger » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:55 am

Tony will have to tell you if he meant for Stevens to be singled out as the only closer but I am inclined to think they will go closer by comittee. I think they will want to keep the high profile types good to go for at least two innings while giving each the pressure of late inning assignments. At this point, the Indians are probably not thinking of closer development first and are more interested in BP depth and getting any of the three left in Columbus development time. Just some thoughts.
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Re: Columbus Bullpen - Closer role

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:08 pm

Yeah I don't think you really should pick one guy to close. You're gonna see guys called up throughout the year so you'd have to replace that guy anyways. Plus giving multiple guys shots at closing will help gauge who has the ability to do it at the ML level somewhat (though not the best indicator).

My money would be on Miller and/or Meloan (if neither is in Cleveland to start the year, which I don't see barring injury). Miller cleary has the stuff to be a lights out closer (great fastball/slider combo). Meloan too has stuff that can play as a closer (though a setup man may be more likely). Personally I think both these guys were better closer options than Stevens even before the trade.

Sipp will likely see some time there as well....if he's healthy.....
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Re: Columbus Bullpen - Closer role

Postby MadThinker88 » Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:32 pm

Stevens had been closing for Buffalo last season as well as for Team USA. Projecting him as the Columbus closer isn't much of a stretch.

On one hand I can understand where you guys are coming from: minor leagues are for development and why limit development of Miller/ Meloan/ etc just to have a standard 'designated' closer in someone like Randy Newsom.

I point now to a different aspect: This is Cleveland's 1st year in the Columbus market and Cbus is opening a new park. I am sure in every fiber of my being that the Tribe wants to see a winning product out on its AAA field without sacrificing anything at Progressive Field.

A successful season in 2009 Cbus and Akron where most of the talents get to remain in place in Cbus and Akron should help to get more people down to Progressive Field in the coming years - fans will have had the opportunity to follow and see these players for a few seasons and will then go to Progressive to keep watching them.

The Tribe's 2008 season got derailed in large part due to bullpen ineffectiveness. I'm sure similar issues in the bullpen in Cbus could have a similar effect in derailing that season.
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Re: Columbus Bullpen - Closer role

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:11 pm

Never said it was a stretch to project Stevens as the closer in Columbus (don't think anyone did)....but his stuff isn't close to as good as Miller's or really even Meloan's. I doubt you'll see him closing in Iowa for the Cubs even.


I agree with the last part....but like you said, 'without' sacraficing the ML club....which means getting more guys experience in high pressure situations....which includes non-save situations.

Tribe can't concern itself with how the AAA team does. If the bullpen isn't peforming well, it won't be because of not picking one closer for the whole year.....

If they do pick one closer and he does well, that guy will be called up pretty quick to Cleveland anyways, thus making a new closer needed anyways in columbus.
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Re: Columbus Bullpen - Closer role

Postby TonyIBI » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:18 pm

Yeah, they do not necessarily label a guy as a closer for any of the affiliates. But, in my new depth chart I am updating I have Newsom as the guy that will be the reg closer in Columbus, although others will get opps in order to give Newsom reg work in non-save games and time off.
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Re: Columbus Bullpen - Closer role

Postby cardiackidz » Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:57 pm

i agree with you on newsom being the closer tony. this is a guy they need to findout at some point this season if he can get big league hitters out.
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Re: Columbus Bullpen - Closer role

Postby indianinkslinger » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:59 pm

cardiackidz wrote:i agree with you on newsom being the closer tony. this is a guy they need to findout at some point this season if he can get big league hitters out.


All things being equal, I consider a Newsom promotion to be unlikely. He doesn't seem to fit in Cleveland and will likely be well behind others in the promotion schedule.
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Re: Columbus Bullpen - Closer role

Postby jellis » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm

does who closes even matter in the minors, to the indians it seems they put people they consider to be marginal prospects in the CL roles in the lower levels and maybe by AAA they will use a legit spec
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Re: Columbus Bullpen - Closer role

Postby Jake Taylor » Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:01 am

It's difficult to know how much closing in AAA really says about a pitcher. Rick Bauer was near un-hittable in Buffalo, and he crapped his pants time and time again pitching in the majors after people were clamoring for his promotion to potentially replace Borowski.

Newsom's down the line a while for a promotion, and since he's not on the 40-man we won't see him until someone else hits the road.
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Re: Columbus Bullpen - Closer role

Postby jellis » Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:14 am

I think it will be very interesting to see newsome this year they way he talked on the podcast made it sound like he really figured something out this off season
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Re: Columbus Bullpen - Closer role

Postby Hermie13 » Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:48 am

Jake Taylor wrote:It's difficult to know how much closing in AAA really says about a pitcher. Rick Bauer was near un-hittable in Buffalo, and he crapped his pants time and time again pitching in the majors after people were clamoring for his promotion to potentially replace Borowski.

Newsom's down the line a while for a promotion, and since he's not on the 40-man we won't see him until someone else hits the road.


Well in fairness, Bauer was 31 last year (not a prospect at all). He's a career minor-leaguer basically. Makes sense that he can be so good in AAA yet totally struggle in the MLs.


Do agree that comparing closing in the minors (at any level) to the majors isn't the same thing though.....
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Re: Columbus Bullpen - Closer role

Postby toledobuck » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:32 pm

With Joe Smith a similar style pitcher to Newsom, his line of getting called up seems to be behind Miller, Meloan, Sipp, and Rundles. However, if Joe Smith gets hurt, I could definitely seeing them call up Newsom to take his place.
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Re: Columbus Bullpen - Closer role

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:44 pm

I don't....Newsom not being on the 40-man will have to show a lot to get called up before Miller, Meloan, Sipp, or Rundles. It could happen....but not likely til the end of the year or closer to it.....
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