I agree... Hermanson would set our bullpen up the way Eddie did last year for the 3 weeks he was pitching for us... With Hermanson closing, Coffee, Bray, Stanton and Weathers can return to the roles that suit them and I believe our pen will be very good... Here's hoping

Reds closer to having a closer
Healthy Hermanson an appealing option

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Reds aren't going to make any announcement, but the feeling in camp is that they've found their closer.

The question about Dustin Hermanson was whether his back was sound. Through three outings, several bullpen sessions and one very tough play at first, his back has been fine.

If Hermanson can be what he was in the 2005 - when he saved 34 games and had a 2.04 ERA with the Chicago White Sox - one of the biggest questions about the Reds will be answered.

"It would be huge for us," Reds manager Jerry Narron said.

Heretofore, the Reds have talked about using a combination of David Weathers and Mike Stanton in the closer role.

"That's still a pretty good combination," Narron said. "Their role just might be different."

Narron talked a bit about what a team wants in a closer Sunday.

"You've got to have talent, you've got to be a guy that has the intangibles and wants to pitch the ninth inning," Narron said.

Hermanson, a 34-year-old right-hander, qualifies on all counts - particularly the "wanting the ball" part. He wants the ball, and he wants to attack hitters.

"All I do is think intensity as a closer," he said. "I like watching guys throughout the game, and I analyze what they've been doing. You've got to be smart out there."

"I think intensity will get you through a lot of situations. That's one of the things you can't teach is intensity," Hermanson said.

Hermanson faced his toughest test Saturday. The Red Sox sent up Kevin Youkilis, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz against him. He got all three on flyouts.

"I'm recovering from this little (cold) that I've got. I know I'm not going to overpower people," he said. "I went nice and easy and let the ball run for me."

That's basically Hermanson's style. He throws a split-finger and a slider.

"Let them see it over the middle; by the time it gets there, it's on their hands," Hermanson said. "That's what happened. Their eyes get big and they jam themselves. I'm still learning how to pitch. You throw that ball down the middle and let it run somewhere, it's amazing."

Hermanson has a wealth of experience. He has started, set up and closed. Hermanson went 14-11 with a 3.13 ERA for Montreal in 1998 and 14-13 with a 4.45 ERA for St. Louis in 2001 as a starter.

His career path has come full circle. He was a closer in the minors and at Kent State. In fact, he never started a game in the minors. But the Expos made him a starter in 1997.

He remained a starter until 2002. His first extended time as a closer came in 2004 for the San Francisco Giants. He saved 17 games that year.

His breakout year was 2005 with the White Sox.

But he always had the closer mentality.