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View Full Version : Who is the closer?



ben_watson_84
05-10-2009, 08:09 PM
Gonzalez or Soriano?

jmtapia
05-10-2009, 08:23 PM
i like the way Cox is managing this aspect... i think match ups should dictate who gets the 9th Innings...regardless both are doing a great job.

NBA_Starter
05-10-2009, 08:26 PM
i like the way Cox is managing this aspect... i think match ups should dictate who gets the 9th Innings...regardless both are doing a great job.

Exactly what I was going to say, I couldn't have said it any better.

devildogdco
05-10-2009, 08:51 PM
Both are... I honestly love that Cox is using his head... If we could only talk him into some more smart moves...

BRAVE KID
05-10-2009, 09:37 PM
i like the way Cox is managing this aspect... i think match ups should dictate who gets the 9th Innings...regardless both are doing a great job.and there you go, got it covered.

ATLKoos16
05-10-2009, 09:39 PM
i like the way Cox is managing this aspect... i think match ups should dictate who gets the 9th Innings...regardless both are doing a great job.

Exactly what I was going to say

robdizzle3
05-10-2009, 11:03 PM
JM's got it down.Im loving the Gonzo i pitching to everyone right now,because it doesnt matter if the batter is a lefty or a righty.

Vinny642
05-11-2009, 01:33 AM
Both I like how it is.

Jon93405
05-11-2009, 03:35 AM
It's nice having 2 guys who can lock down the 9th. All things even, I actually like Soriano more in the 9th and Gonzo in the 8th. Gonzo is intimidating/crazy, Soriano is intimidating/calm. Both are good, so it doesn't really matter, but I like the calm demeanor of Soriano for the 9th and the crazy, "what the heck is wrong with this guy" look in the 8th.

However, whatever inning Utley/Howard/Ibanez come, that's when Gonzo pitches.

baseballislife7
05-11-2009, 09:22 AM
Bobby is actually managing the pen a little better. Plus starting to put some runners in motion. Everything starting to click a little better.

Wcuracer29
05-11-2009, 01:48 PM
i don't really care who the closer is, as long as they shut the door and we win ballgames.

Half-Truism
05-11-2009, 02:51 PM
I really hope we extend the contracts of Soriano and Gonzo. Is there a better 2?

atl_braves_fan
05-11-2009, 02:51 PM
I would rather see Soriano out there most of the time if he is healthy, but I like the way Cox is changing it up based upon matchups.

jmtapia
05-11-2009, 03:20 PM
I really hope we extend the contracts of Soriano and Gonzo. Is there a better 2?

thats going to be hard...i think we try to keep one or the other. Long term id rather have Gonzo. If the Braves are underperforming i wouldnt be to heart broken about trading either to get some great pieces in return... You know there is bound to be one team with a Playoff caliber team that needs a closer badly...

BravoFan3736
05-11-2009, 03:35 PM
thats going to be hard...i think we try to keep one or the other. Long term id rather have Gonzo. If the Braves are underperforming i wouldnt be to heart broken about trading either to get some great pieces in return... You know there is bound to be one team with a Playoff caliber team that needs a closer badly...

Gonzo will probably will be resigned assuming that he preforms the rest of the season. Soriano would be nice but he has two issues, one is him being healthy and two which is more imporant is 6M + that you would have to pay him for 2-3 yr deal. Alot cheese for guy that might be injuried during his 2-3 yrs contract that you have him signed for. Gonzo as shown already he can pitch back to back night and seem to get his velocity back near his pre-injury form. Plus I still think you can sign Gonzo for less the 6M and use the rest for the LF Bat. Though historically the braves FO have gone the cheap route in the BP/Closer with internal options rather paying a reliever 6M+ and could see a Valdez/Medlen/Moylan/Kimbrel be as one of the closers in 10' and go out in the FA market to sign a Holliday/Bay type. But this would mean that we would have to outbid the yanks which is unlikely.

We will see but my bet is the Gonzo get resigned and Soriano gets traded if out of the race or walks as a FA.

jmtapia
05-11-2009, 03:46 PM
^^^ Medlen may be a good fit, although id like to see how he does as a SP but Kimbrel has been struggling this year... actually they had to back roll him to Rome bc of his struggles. IM not sure on Valdez i think he is more of the journeyman type and Moylan has been struggling. Somethign tells me he was rushed back but i guess we will have to see. Only in 1 game where he doesnt give up a BB has he been charged with an ER.... If Moylan can find his control again he could be that dominant presence once again...

rtgthree
05-11-2009, 10:50 PM
Love what Bobby did with the 'pen the other night. Great flexibility that you don't usually see from him. That's exactly how he should be playing it with his double closers. Seeing some good stuff from him on the offensive side too...some smart bunting, some hit-and-run. Having ol' Bobby start making some smarter tactical decisions would go a long way toward helping the Braves turn things around.


I really hope we extend the contracts of Soriano and Gonzo. Is there a better 2?

I have to say I can't see the Braves shelling out $8 million plus a year for a closer, and it's likely that both Soriano and Gonzalez will see that kind of cash (and possibly more) this winter. The bullpen will miss them, but I think it will be tough to fit even one into the payroll, let alone both. It will be interesting to see how it plays out, but given the Braves history of building bullpens from other people's scrap, I can't see either of those guys in Atlanta in 2010.


^^^ Medlen may be a good fit, although id like to see how he does as a SP but Kimbrel has been struggling this year... actually they had to back roll him to Rome bc of his struggles. IM not sure on Valdez i think he is more of the journeyman type and Moylan has been struggling. Somethign tells me he was rushed back but i guess we will have to see. Only in 1 game where he doesnt give up a BB has he been charged with an ER.... If Moylan can find his control again he could be that dominant presence once again...

I really like Medlen as a starter. His #2 PECOTA comparable is Roy Oswalt, and I really think there are a lot of similarities there. Not saying Medlen is the next Oswalt, but both of them are guys with wide arsenals and who are small guys that only converted to pitching relatively late in their careers. I hope he continues to start until he proves that he can't do it.

I like Kimbrel a lot...he did get demoted back to Rome, but he's got awesome stuff and I think he'll come around. Valdez also impresses me: a good mid-90s fastball and a nice slider. His control hasn't been as much of a problem this year at Gwinnett. Maybe not a future closer, but certainly a possible setup guy. Moylan will be fine.

Combine those guys with someone we might get via trade or something this winter, and we can replace Sori and Gonzo if we need to.

jmtapia
05-12-2009, 01:16 AM
^^^ there are major flaws with comparing Oswalt to Medlen. First, Medlen is trying to pin down a 3rd pitch (change up). While this 3rd pitch is going well it doesnt guarantee that it will translate to the majors. And if he is going to be a starter he better develop that pitch to at least above average. On the other hand Oswalt throws 4 pitches: fastball, slider, curveball and a changeup.

If Mendlen's FB is anything like Oswalts then watch out... all in all i like Medlen as well but he needs to get that change up down to compete at the majors...

baseballislife7
05-12-2009, 08:49 AM
Where does Medlen't FB register on the gun?

CrippledRam
05-12-2009, 10:35 AM
I see us resigning one of the two. Despite his struggles remember Marek is there too.

Great article on FanGraphs:


At the beginning of the season I posted here bashing a decision made by Bobby Cox in the Braves' opening series with the Phillies. The decision involved using both Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano in the first two games when the late inning leads were large enough that the two relief aces did not need to appear. In the very next game, the Phillies overcame a 10-3 deficit in the seventh inning to win 12-11.

Neither Soriano nor Gonzalez were available due to their appearances in the prior two games. Of course, the Braves bullpen imploded in that third game and could not find the strike zone, an unforeseen circumstance, but the fact remains that aces like Gonzalez or Soriano could have stopped the bleeding if available.

Well, Cox has effectively redeemed himself in my eyes with his handling of the bullpen in the Braves recent weekend series with the very same Phillies. Most notably, the redemption stems from how he attacked the Phillies hitters in the late innings in Sunday's 4-2 win.

The Phillies trailed, 3-2, but had a shot to come back in the bottom of the eighth with Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez and the legen... wait for it... dary Matt Stairs due up. Normally at this juncture in a game, the setup man enters to hold the lead for the closer. Not in this particular game. No, instead of Rafael Soriano taking the hill for that eighth inning, Cox sent closer Mike Gonzalez to the mound.

Gonzalez is a power lefty and all three of the power hitters due up that inning were also lefthanded. Gonzalez turned the Phillies away save for a walk to Stairs, preserving the lead. Soriano completed the role reversal the next inning, closing out the win. Granted, Gonzalez is one of few southpaw closers throughout the league but this decision was a breath of fresh air.

It would not have been smart to bring in a righty to face three lefthanded power hitters in order to do nothing other than ensure that Gonzalez entered into a "save opportunity." For all intents and purposes, Gonzo did record a save in this game because the game had more of a chance of being won or lost in that eighth frame rather than the following inning when Carlos Ruiz was due to leadoff. Yes, Miguel Cairo pinch-hit for Ruiz (what was the point?) and Werth hit for the pitcher, but the more crucial plate appearances took place the inning prior, when Gonzalez did everything he would normally be called on to do, only in an earlier inning.

This is efficient usage of the bullpen, bringing in the right guys at the appropriate times instead of following a dumb, predetermined set of rules. Perhaps Cox feels that both Gonzalez and Soriano are on equal footing and can be flip-flopped as the closer/setup man depending on matchups. If so, bravo, because that is a very sound strategy. This isn't a closer by committee nor is it sticking to one guy strictly because he makes a lot of money. Instead, using both of these guys in each role plays to their strengths and the weaknesses of the opposition simultaneously rather than one or the other.

Cox arguably mismanaged his bullpen early in the season, but here is to hoping that he continues to use Gonzo and Soriano this way, spitting in the face of a "rule" that states only one pitcher can close out games and these games can only be closed out in the final frame.

rtgthree
05-12-2009, 10:42 AM
^^^ there are major flaws with comparing Oswalt to Medlen. First, Medlen is trying to pin down a 3rd pitch (change up). While this 3rd pitch is going well it doesnt guarantee that it will translate to the majors. And if he is going to be a starter he better develop that pitch to at least above average. On the other hand Oswalt throws 4 pitches: fastball, slider, curveball and a changeup.

If Mendlen's FB is anything like Oswalts then watch out... all in all i like Medlen as well but he needs to get that change up down to compete at the majors...

Couple things. First of all, Medlen's changeup is his best pitch...in fact, he helped Tommy Hanson a lot in the AFL to get a feel for it. From what I've read, it's his curveball that he's still working on. Second, Oswalt does throw four plus pitches, but he was still working on things also when he was Medlen's age. The point is that Oswalt is a PECOTA comparable, meaning that their career tracks up to age 23 have been similar....that's all I'm saying. Even so, I don't think Medlen will develop into the next Oswalt; what I'm trying to say is that the kid has legitimate potential as a starter.


Where does Medlen't FB register on the gun?

He sits at 87-92 MPH, but with good command.