View Full Version : Enquirer: Guardado closer, Coffey set-up

Roy Tucker
07-07-2006, 09:10 AM
Mods, feel free to merge this with other threads...


Guardado fortifies 'pen
Trade for ex-Mariners closer shifts Coffey back to setup role
ATLANTA - The way the Reds figure it, they've taken care of two problems with one trade.

The club obtained veteran pitcher Eddie Guardado from Seattle for minor-league right-hander Travis Chick.

Guardado's role?

"Closer," Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky said. "He's going to close as many games as possible for us."

That moves Todd Coffey, who had been closing, back into the top setup role.

"The biggest thing (Guardado) gives us is a chance to line up our bullpen like we haven't been able to in awhile," Reds manager Jerry Narron said.

The Mariners sent an undisclosed amount of cash to the Reds to offset Guardado's $6.25 million salary.

The Reds' bullpen was fairly effective until Coffey and David Weathers switched roles. Weathers struggled in the setup role; his ERA was 10.23 over his last eight appearances going into Thursday.

Coffey's ERA was 0.56 on May 23. Since, it was 7.02.

Coffey was more than happy to give up the closer role to Guardado.

"I think it's great," Coffey said. "I think it helps the bullpen tremendously."

Guardado's numbers this year are unspectacular: 1-3, 5.48 ERA, 29 hits allowed in 23 innings. But he was 2-3 with a 2.72 ERA and 36 saves last year.

"He hasn't been closing for Seattle this year," Krivsky said. "We're hoping getting back to it rejuvenates him. It's a role he's used to."

Guardado is not a prototypical closer. His fastball tops out at 90-91 mph.

"Our scouts say his stuff's still there," Krivsky said.

Guardado has a reputation as an excellent clubhouse presence, but he had grown frustrated in his diminished role in Seattle. J.J. Putz took over the closer job in early May.

"He's very excited," Narron said of Guardado.

The Guardado trade was one of several moves made by the Reds Thursday. Another transaction will come today to make room on the roster for Guardado.

Left-hander Michael Gosling, recalled Thursday, will be sent back to Triple-A Louisville. Gosling was brought up to give the club a long man in the bullpen after the 13-inning loss Wednesday in Milwaukee.

Reliever Brian Shackelford's demotion to Louisville was planned before his arrest in Milwaukee on suspicion of third-degree sexual assault. Shackelford was not charged and was released from custody.

Also Thursday, the Reds selected the contract of outfielder Dewayne Wise from Louisville and designated Quinton McCracken for assignment.

The club thinks Wise is an upgrade over McCracken. Wise severely sprained an ankle late in spring training and spent two months rehabilitating it. He has played well - .340 average - at Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville since returning to action June 3.

"He's an outstanding defensive player," Narron said. "He gives us a left-hander off the bench. He's a good base-runner."

None of the other moves Thursday will have the effect of the trade for Guardado.

If he's effective in the closer role and Coffey goes back to putting up zeros as a setup man, the Reds are a world better.

Guardado led the American League with 45 saves in 2002 and was second in 2003 with 41. His ERA the last four years: 2.93, 2.89, 2.78, 2.72.

"He's somebody who's been in that role before," Narron said. "He's somebody who knows how to prepare. He has no fear of it."

07-07-2006, 09:25 AM
Well, they might as well. Coffey's shown no ability whatsoever to be able to close games.

Eddie, you're up. Might want to duck.

07-07-2006, 09:28 AM
"our scouts say he still has his stuff."

I guess we will see how good the scouts are. the stats would say otherwise.

07-07-2006, 09:59 AM
"our scouts say he still has his stuff."

I guess we will see how good the scouts are. the stats would say otherwise.

his numbers since the end of april are alot better with a 3.77 era in 19 games.

07-07-2006, 10:22 AM
Well, they might as well. Coffey's shown no ability whatsoever to be able to close games.

Eddie, you're up. Might want to duck.a lot of Reds pitchers have been impersonating Charlie Brown of late.


07-07-2006, 03:22 PM
What scouts? same ones who said Milton was a good idea? :evil:

07-07-2006, 03:38 PM
What scouts? same ones who said Milton was a good idea? :evil:

No.. actually the ones that told WayneK to go and get Arroyo, Ross, and Phillips despite what their stats said. Hmmm sounds good to me.

max venable
07-07-2006, 03:43 PM
Coffey's ERA was 0.56 on May 23. Since, it was 7.02.:shocked:

07-07-2006, 04:59 PM
Coffey's ERA was 0.56 on May 23. Since, it was 7.02.

I wonder how his WHIP compares.

07-07-2006, 05:22 PM
I wonder how his WHIP compares.

he WHIPs it good!


June WHIP - 1.54

The last 7 days his WHIP has been 3.75. :eek:

07-07-2006, 08:19 PM
Good, I gues that makes the most sense. We should have never put Coffey in closer!

07-07-2006, 11:13 PM
We should have never put Coffey in closer!IMO, it's hilarious to read this sentence now, knowing the number of posts this board saw this season with whining, begging, pleading, *****ing and gnashing of teeth about why he wasn't made the closer.

Not everything that seems perfectly logical in baseball will work. That's why I am a proud member of the "Be careful what you wish for" school of thought.

Homer's Ghost
07-07-2006, 11:36 PM
Good, I gues that makes the most sense. We should have never put Coffey in closer!
Yes we should have. He only blew 2 or 3 saves, and was still the best option we had until we got Eddie.

07-08-2006, 01:27 AM
Who else was gonna close? Weathers? HAMMOND? ;)

07-08-2006, 02:46 AM
Who else was gonna close? Weathers? HAMMOND? ;)

I would have let Mercker take a crack at it.

07-08-2006, 06:21 AM
Coffey is still quite young and learning.

I wouldn't be surprised, at some point in the future, if he is not given another shot at closer.

But I like Todd's attitude thru all of this. Good to see.

Has Wayne worked his "magic" once again with the Guradado pickup? We'll see.

But personally, I don't think Kriv is done. ;)

4256 Hits
07-08-2006, 09:51 AM
I don't think Coffey stuggles has anything to do w/ being a closer it has to do w/ the fact for the 1st 6 weeks of the season Naron was running him out there nearly everyday and tired him out. That and teams getting a scouting report on him and most likely he is tipping his pitches.

He would have had these trouble weather he was name the closer or not.

07-08-2006, 04:04 PM
I would have let Mercker take a crack at it.
Gadzooks :help:

07-08-2006, 04:09 PM
But personally, I don't think Kriv is done. ;)

He's not.

07-08-2006, 04:46 PM
From ESPN Insider


Krivsky giving Reds a 'shot'posted: Friday, July 7, 2006 | Feedback | Print Entry

Reds GM Wayne Krivsky called manager Jerry Narron Thursday to tell him about the trade for closer Eddie Guardado. "He was happy," Krivsky recalled. "We're going to take a shot with Eddie."
And why not: The Reds are two games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central, at a time when St. Louis' rotation appears vulnerable and there are no great teams in the division. Krivsky is taking a chance, for sure, because Guardado is an aging veteran with marginal stuff -- he has allowed 29 hits, including eight homers, in 23 innings, along with 11 walks. It could be that Guardado won't work out.

But the Reds have nothing to lose, because their bullpen isn't working; this is Krivsky being aggressive, taking a shot, giving Cincinnati a chance. Krivsky hopes the adrenaline of moving back into the closer's role will help Guardado, who lost that job in Seattle this year, despite having a solid season in 2005. "I'm just trying to make the team better," Krivsky said. "I hope it makes it better."

At the very least, Cincinnati now has a guy who is accustomed to pitching in the ninth inning, who likes pitching in the ninth inning. Guardado has 175 career saves.

The move also allows the Reds to shift Todd Coffey back into middle relief, where he may be more effective, and more comfortable. "He's got a good arm," Krivsky said. "It's a tough thing pitching that ninth inning, when you haven't done it at this level."

Coffey had a 0.60 ERA in April, a 1.80 ERA in May, and in June he moved into the closer's role and has generally struggled since, racking up a 6.91 ERA over the last five weeks.

The easiest thing Krivsky could have done is nothing. There aren't many quality relievers available, as other general managers can attest, and Krivsky could have asked Narron to shuffle his relief corps and keep running out the same guys who had been getting pounded.

But Krivsky has shown, in his short time as Reds general manager, that he will make moves and take chances. He dealt for Bronson Arroyo, for Brandon Phillips and for Guardado. The Reds have played above expectations, and Krivsky is doing what he can to reward them and give them a chance to win a race they can win.

Coffey was the losing pitcher Thursday, in the Reds' latest heart-breaker. The trade was a good thing for the Mariners, too, writes Larry Stone.

07-08-2006, 04:46 PM

From Seattle to Cincinnati, closing time for Guardado
By Larry Stone

Seattle Times baseball reporter

Eddie Guardado will be missed I have as much affection for him as any player I've covered in the past 20 years but his trade is a good thing.

For both sides.

In Cincinnati, Guardado gets to close again. He believes deeply he can still do the job so deeply that he never came to terms with manager Mike Hargrove's decision to yank the job from him in Chicago in early May and give it to J.J. Putz.

Guardado seemed to believe, first, that Hargrove gave up on him too soon and, second, that he came to be used mainly in "garbage" situations as he tried to re-establish himself. He told one person that he felt like he was the team's 10-run-rule pitcher.

It got to the point that Guardado seethed over virtually everything Hargrove did, such as telling reporters that he was still the closer in name. One friend said Guardado was upset one night when he was told he was the closer for that game because Putz needed a rest; but when the other team rallied late, it was Putz who was told to get up.

To his credit, Guardado remained supportive of Putz, a good buddy of his, and he never asked for a trade. His steadfast stance was that he wasn't a quitter, and he wanted to make it work in Seattle, not run away from the situation.

That said, Guardado badly needed a change of scenery, and his relationship with Hargrove was becoming toxic enough that it was healthiest for all concerned to move on.


Detroit @ Seattle, 7:05 p.m., FSN/KOMO (1000 AM)
While Guardado is an outstanding clubhouse presence, a life-of-the-party guy known for his pranks and camaraderie, he became increasingly sullen in the aftermath of losing his closing job.

It wasn't a case, I feel, of Guardado being selfish. He simply felt he had failed, let the team down, and he was hurting. He was agonizing over his place on the Mariners, and in baseball only natural for a 35-year-old who has been pitching for the past two years with a torn rotator cuff, not to mention fighting through a bum knee.

As Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi said Thursday, you can't fault someone for caring about his job.

"He handled himself great," Bavasi said. "I have no problems with the way he handled things. The guy was not at all happy about being taken out of that role, and thank God he felt that way."

The decision to replace Guardado, however, has proven to be the right one. Putz has become an overpowering closer. While one could argue that he would be just as invaluable as a setup man to a revived Guardado, it would have been exceedingly difficult, to the point of foolhardy, for the Mariners to have taken Putz out of a role in which he has been dominant.

Guardado's game has always been about guts as much as stuff. At his peak, he had a presence on the mound, a demeanor that said, "You aren't going to beat me."

He once told me, "All the good ones, they've got that edge. You can't put a finger on it. It's not like they don't give a damn; they do. But when they take it out there, it's like, 'Here it is. Hit it. See what happens.'

"I think that's a big part of being a closer: attitude. It's all about heart."

It worked brilliantly for Guardado, a two-time All-Star who was the closer for two division-winning Twins teams. But at some point, a bulldog attitude and heart ceases to be enough, and the Mariners had reason to fear, after a series of blown and near-blown saves, that he had reached that point.

Guardado never believed it, and now he'll get his chance to show the Mariners, and everyone else, what he has left.

In fact, in Cincinnati, where the bullpen has been atrocious, he is being viewed as a savior. The Reds have had a series of meltdowns that cost David Weathers and Todd Coffey the closing job. When news of the Guardado trade drifted to the players on Thursday, Ken Griffey Jr. reportedly was high-fiving teammates.

Guardado now has a chance to go into Cincinnati, and into the Reds' cozy new ballpark (ominously cozy for a guy who has given up eight homers in 23 innings this year), and provide a huge lift for a team that believes it's a playoff contender.

I hope he runs off 20 saves in a row. But regardless of what happens to Travis Chick, the pitching prospect the Mariners received, that wouldn't make it a bad trade for Seattle.