Jun 13, 2011; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Cincinnati Reds general manager and president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Marshall is the Closer?

If you watched Reds Live this past Thursday evening, you also heard what Reds GM Walt Jocketty said…not once, but twice. He referred to Marshall as the Reds closer. That’s little bit different from the words coming from his manager’s mouth.

Yes, Dusty Baker has been a tad evasive when asked about the subject. He has gone so far as to state that there could even be the dreaded “closer by committee”. Why all the secrecy? Are you convinced Marshall cannot be the closer?

Better yet, Baker opined that he was informed that Marshall could not work three or four days in a row. After all, as Baker said, “your closer ideally can go three or four days in a row. That’s how closing goes. Then he might not get work for a week”.

Funny. As I look at Francisco Cordero‘s 2011 game logs, I noticed a couple of things…

The part about not working again for a week, true. Coco once did go a full week without pitching. He also went six days in between appearances twice.
Coco did work on four straight days…once from May 13 to May 16. He had four days rest prior to that string. Cordero also worked in three straight games on three occasions.

It is a different animal being a closer versus being a set-up guy, right? Looking at Marhsall’s 2011 logs…

Marshall did work in three consecutive days three times just last season. And if you haven’t already, check out what information that Steve Mancuso delivers to us over on Redleg Nation. He delves farther into this.

Marshall was converted from starter to reliever on a permanent basis in June 2009. Based on easy-to-check game logs, he pitched on three consecutive dates eleven times since then. In those eleven appearances, he did not give up a single run. Not one.

Summary: 0.00 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and 3.5 K/BB

That includes those three occasions from last season. I’d say that’s pretty darn effective. I’ll throw something else into mix here. During 2011, Marshall worked 1+ innings on twelve total occasions, half of those outings, he pitched at least 2 innings. By contrast, Coco worked more than one inning only three times and all were exactly two innings.

I guess you could say that it depends on how you’re used as well as when you are used.

It’s apparent that Jocketty believes that Marshall can handle the duties. That may be why Mike Gonzalez was getting the ol’ “look see” from the Reds. In moving Marshall from setup to closer, the Reds would want/need another lefty arm in the bullpen.

The issue may be getting the skipper on the same page.

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Tags: Baseball Cincinnati Reds Dusty Baker MLB Reds Bullpen Sean Marshall Walt Jocketty

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