Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Jeff Erickson talks closers with Rotowire's Fred Meyer on XM

Jeff raises D-Rays, with Shinji Mori much talked about & fighting for the job; Fred believes Chad Orvella has a chance for the role, Danys Baez & Lance Carter having been traded. Mori will be seen in spring training. Jeff is higher on D-Rays offense, which was already pretty good last year. Re Orioles, expects Chris Ray to get the job, LaTroy Hawkins not really in the picture. Other potential O's candidates are having health issues. Braves will probably use Chris Reitsma for as along as possible, though he gives up too many hits; Davies & La Rue are mainly starters. On the Marlins, have a very light bullpen, sees Travis Boyer as closer or possibly Joe Borowski, but Boyer is better. On the Reds, Fred says they have the lightest bullpen in the majors. Brian Shackleford would be a good closer, but seems Reds want to use David (Stormy) Weathers (Joe Beningo's nickname for Weathers when he was a Met). Shackleford has good ratios but needs more strike-outs. Fred is high on Pirates' Mike Gonzalez to close--walks too many but tough to hit. Hopes the Pirates don't stick in Salomon Torres or Roberto Hernandez. SLEEPERS include Jose Valverde (who I believe got a lot of ink in winter ball this year), Brian Fuentes from the Rockies---good so's even in Colorado, Fernando Rodney in Detroit, good so's, wary of Todd Jones. WORRIED ABOUT-- Keith Foulke--a great, very smart pitcher, fools hitters, but still has serious knee problems; & Bobby Jenks, given the job over Hermanson who had health problems last year. Just has doubts about Jenks. Francisco Cordero walks too many, may be having health problems. Closers in waiting--Rafael Soriano in Seattle, Craig Hansen in Boston.

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