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tripleaaaron
02-10-2007, 12:04 AM
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=nlfocusrankingthebullpen&prov=tsn&type=lgns
NL Focus: Ranking the bullpens

By SN correspondents - SportingNews



In preparation for spring training, Sporting News correspondents examine position situations for every team. Today's focus is on National League bullpens.

1. Pirates

RHP Salomon Torres, LHP John Grabow, RHP Matt Capps, LHP Damaso Marte, RHP Dan Kolb

Editor's note: evaluations made before closer Mike Gonzalez was traded to Atlanta. Torres is an underrated workhorse who proved he can close games.

2. Mets

LHP Billy Wagner, RHP Aaron Heilman, RHP Duaner Sanchez, LHP Scott Schoeneweis, RHP Ambiorix Burgos

Wagner and Heilman are formidable, but Sanchez (shoulder) is a question mark and RHP Guillermo Mota was suspended for the first 50 games. Burgos can be a key figure if he gains control.

3. Padres

RHP Trevor Hoffman, RHP Scott Linebrink, RHP Cla Meredith, RHP Heath Bell, LHP Royce Ring

Hoffman anchors a back end that's the equal of any in the game. Bell's power could be an excellent complement to Meredith's finesse.

4. Dodgers

RHP Takashi Saito, RHP Jonathan Broxton, RHP Brett Tomko, RHP Elmer Dessens, LHP Joe Beimel

Saito was an unexpected savior last season. Beimel was particularly effective as a situational lefthander. Displaced starters LHPs Mark Hendrickson and Hong-Chih Kuo provide depth.

5. Brewers

RHP Francisco Cordero, RHP Derrick Turnbow, RHP Jose Capellan, RHP Matt Wise, LHP Brian Shouse

The power of Cordero, Turnbow and Capellan is complemented by changeup specialist Wise and lefthanded specialist Shouse. Capellan has closer potential.

6. Cardinals

RHP Jason Isringhausen, RHP Braden Looper, RHP Josh Kinney, LHP Randy Flores, LHP Tyler Johnson

If Isringhausen (hip) is healthy, this is an excellent group. Johnson could take a huge step forward; he has excellent stuff and showed great poise in the playoffs.

7. Astros

RHP Brad Lidge, RHP Dan Wheeler, RHP Chad Qualls, RHP Dave Borkowski, LHP Trever Miller

The back end of Qualls, Wheeler and Lidge is expected to be a strength. Wheeler will close if Lidge struggles; manager Phil Garner likes Wheeler's aggressiveness and ability to throw strikes.

8. Braves

RHP Bob Wickman, RHP Rafael Soriano, RHP Tyler Yates, LHP Macay McBride, RHP Chad Paronto

Wickman and Soriano form a reliable late-inning duo. Once RHP Tanyon Sturtze (shoulder) is healthy, he'll join McBride and Yates in middle relief.

9. Cubs

RHP Ryan Dempster, RHP Bob Howry, LHP Scott Eyre, LHP Neal Cotts, LHP Will Ohman

Howry could step in as the closer if Dempster falters. Eyre was more successful against righthanders last season. RHP Kerry Wood (shoulder) is the X-factor.

10. Nationals

RHP Chad Cordero, RHP Jon Rauch, RHP Luis Ayala, RHP Ryan Wagner, LHP Ray King

This probably is the Nationals' biggest strength. Wagner is poised for a breakout and might be the new closer if Cordero is traded. Ayala is coming off elbow surgery.

11. Rockies

LHP Brian Fuentes, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, LHP Jeremy Affeldt, RHP Ramon Ramirez, RHP Manny Corpas

Fuentes is a two-time All-Star closer. Affeldt got away from using his plus curve at times last season. Ramirez and Corpas have bright futures.

12. Phillies

RHP Tom Gordon, RHP Geoff Geary, RHP Ryan Madson, LHP Matt Smith, LHP Fabio Castro

The team needs to add a veteran setup man with the ability to cover for Gordon, who had shoulder problems last season. Everybody else in this group lacks consistency or experience.

13. Diamondbacks

RHP Jose Valverde, RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP Tony Pena, RHP Jorge Julio, LHP Doug Slaten

There is a lot of power here. Valverde is expected to start out as the closer, but he has been inconsistent the past two years and could be supplanted by Pena.

14. Giants

RHP Armando Benitez, RHP Brian Wilson, LHP Steve Kline, RHP Kevin Correia, LHP Jack Taschner

Benitez or Wilson will close, depending on Benitez's health. It's vital for Kline to improve his conditioning. Taschner must rebound from an off year. RHP Tim Worrell's retirement won't hurt.

15. Reds

RHP David Weathers, RHP Todd Coffey, LHP Mike Stanton, RHP Gary Majewski, LHP Bill Bray

The unit is deep in the middle and may boast three or four lefthanders, which could provide matchup advantages. The club believes Bray has closer potential.
16. Marlins

LHP Taylor Tankersley, RHP Matt Lindstrom, LHP Renyel Pinto, RHP Kevin Gregg, RHP Sergio Mitre

A number of quality but untested arms will get shots to win jobs. Tankersley and Lindstrom will be closer candidates if the club can't acquire a veteran.


From SN so take it as you will, but this brings up a thought, will wagner end up being the biggest piece of "The Trade" to haunt us. Although I am not completely decided on "The Trade" itself, could wagner have been the answer to our closer question, I think just as possible as Coffey or Bray really, but I always felt he had the "stuff" to be a good closer. And Rank 'em.
Here goes:
1. Padres
2. Mets
3. Dodgers
4. Cubs (I believe Kerry Wood will close, if otherwise they drop about 6 spots
5. Pirates
6. Cards
7. Braves
8. Brewers
9. Houston
10. Rockies
11. Phillies
12. Nationals
13. D-Backs
14. Reds
15. Marlins
16. Giants (Worrell retiring, if not flip-flop them and Marlins)

Enrico Pallazzo
02-10-2007, 12:47 AM
15. Reds

RHP David Weathers, RHP Todd Coffey, LHP Mike Stanton, RHP Gary Majewski, LHP Bill Bray

The unit is deep in the middle and may boast three or four lefthanders, which could provide matchup advantages. The club believes Bray has closer potential.

You'll notice Cormier is not listed. Coincidence?

Patrick Bateman
02-10-2007, 12:55 AM
Coincidence?

Yep.

They only list 5 guys for each team. Somebody has to be left out. Cormier may as well be the guy.

edabbs44
02-10-2007, 07:24 AM
For this year, WK spent roughly $7 million on Weathers, Cormier and Stanton and dealt two starters in efforts to improve the bullpen and they're next to last? Comical.

I think WK should be Co - GM: Contract Negotiations and there should be another Co-GM: Talent Evaluator in Charge of Player Acquisitions.

mth123
02-10-2007, 07:34 AM
For this year, WK spent roughly $7 million on Weathers, Cormier and Stanton and dealt two starters in efforts to improve the bullpen and they're next to last? Comical.

I think WK should be Co - GM: Contract Negotiations and there should be another Co-GM: Talent Evaluator in Charge of Player Acquisitions.

They are only next to last because of the unproven nature of Florida. I'd take any of Florida's 5 over Weathers, Cormier, or Stanton.

Willy
02-10-2007, 10:16 AM
I never knew bullpen rankings by some guy in Feb. was even worth reading. :dunno:

thatcoolguy_22
02-10-2007, 10:24 AM
I never knew bullpen rankings by some guy in Feb. was even worth reading. :dunno:

I agree. This is an example of people reading only because it is baseball related and today's date is 9 FEB.


Also I would place our bullpen 10th in the NL. Even without the proven closer. I love Coffey/Bray combo for the next 4 years+ I think Maj will be back and weathers/stanton will be fine for a season or so until they realize that the only real closer we have on the team is pencilled into the #4 rotation spot and goes by Kyle... Also I think Santos or Saarlos will make an excellent swingman whichever doesn't start.

lollipopcurve
02-10-2007, 10:28 AM
I never knew bullpen rankings by some guy in Feb. was even worth reading.

Bullpenners are up and down year to year. Would be interesting to look back at this in June to see how far off it is.

tripleaaaron
02-11-2007, 02:06 AM
I never knew bullpen rankings by some guy in Feb. was even worth reading. :dunno:

For Fantasy's sake that's why. Notice they are pointing out the next in line closers, by there best guess.

Scrap Irony
02-11-2007, 03:30 AM
Relivers are most often dealt between late February and early May. Wait until the wheels have been dealed to know who's strongest. Even then, relievers are so hard to categorize, it's almost impossible.

As of now, Cincinnati ranks nearer the bottom than the top. And, IMO, Krivsky will look to deal two to four arms before the end of ST.

Dunner44
02-11-2007, 11:01 PM
:birthday: The Reds aren't last!!!!! :rockband: