It appears that unless the Reds acquire a closer via free agency, the club will use the trio of Weathers, Mercker, and Todd Coffey as its closers in 2006.

“It’s not the preferred setup,” O’Brien said. “But we have to, and Jerry has to, utilize the individuals on our roster and their strengths. He did that last year with Mercker and Weathers.”

I’d still much rather see Wagner used in the closers role, but won’t complain too much about using Weathers. I thought he was at least a serviceable closer after Graves was released.

6 Responses

  1. Ken

    Unlike the brewing 2B/3B fiasco, the team shows some sense here. No sense in stubbornly plugging in one guy in all save situations when there is no reliever that’s head and shoulders above the others. Go with the matchups, who’s hot, etc. – let Narron earn his living.

    And even if we had a dominant reliever, it isn’t always smart to save him for the 9th. Better to use him get out of a bases loaded jam in the 7th than not use him at all because a middle reliever gave up the lead.

  2. DevilsAdvocate

    I liked Weathers fine. He’s no closer, but he at least cares about his performance. I remember that game against St. Louis (how could any of us forget – 5/2/05) where he gave up a couple runs and couldn’t get the third out, and he was absolutely furious with himself when he got the hook.

    And after a slow start, Weathers improved as the season wore on. Wagner, meanwhile, needs to rebuild his confidence before he gets an important role in the majors again.

  3. Glenn

    I guess it can now be truthfully said that the Reds can’t find pitchers even if they have a fistfull of money.

  4. Chris

    I am for dumping the traditional “closer” usage pattern. What I would prefer is some defined heirarchy, and usage accordingly. In English – identify your best reliever and use him to get the most crucial outs, whether that in the 7th, 8th, or 9th. This plan, unfortunately, lacks the “best reliever” part. And I do admit that there’s a psychological benefit to having defined roles, and that blown 9th-inning leads seem to leave more a mark than blown 7th-inning leads.

  5. al

    i agree that it’s probably better to go by matchups/who’s hot if no one is actually better suited to be a closer than anyone else. My problem is that it just doesn’t seem like the reds are capable of evaluating players and making decisions right now, be that because of management or ownership or the moon etc.

    we now have indecision around 2b, 3b, 5th starter, bullpen, Of, and c.

    Really the only thing that’s sure right now is that griffey plays center, dunn plays first, and felo will probably start at short. Other than that it’s a mystery and that screams of poor evaluation abilities. They need to be able to say, for reason x you are our 3b, you are the starting catcher, you are the 2b and you dman it are on the bench!

  6. Tom

    I’m anxious to see how Todd Coffey looks this spring, with his rediscovered split-finger back in his arsenal. I’d also like to see him rediscover that 2-3 mph on his fastball he seemed to have lost last season. They had advertised him as throwing 94-95 in the minors, but he was consistently in the low 90s every time I saw him last season. He could factor into the mix for the closers role if the split-finger proves to be an effective pitch for him.