Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ruach will open season as Twins closer

Given Manager Ron Gardenhire's historic adherence to bullpen roles, the fact that he's finally pegged a closer for his team shouldn't come as a surprise. Nor should it come as a surprise that the man pegged to do that job is Jon Rauch.

Rauch is the only pitcher on the Twins with any closing experience to speak of, and given how established the other relievers are with their roles, this was only logical. Rauch was brought in last season to help lighten the load for over-worked Matt Gurrier and performed admirably. However, with former setup man Pat Neshek back after Tommy John surgery, Rauch was freed to move into the closers position. With Guerrier having excelled for the past couple years as Joe Nathan's primary setup man, Jose Mijares performing nicely as a left handed specialist, and Jesse Crain having been the 7th inning guy the past couple years, everything else was already in place.

None of this should lead anyone to believe that those roles couldn't change quickly of course. Rauch hasn't had much success in his limited time as a closer, and should he struggle, I wouldn't be surprised in the least to see Gardenhire turn to Guerrier. If that doesn't work, perhaps Crain would be given the opportunity.

The closer-by-committee adventure was nice while it lasted (two days was it?) but alas, it was never really meant to be. Fantasy owners, take note.

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