Closer By Committee; Why Not?

May 04, 2009 | Tom Clayton

In an interview with Spencer Ford, Dave Trembley stated that George Sherrill is no longer the Orioles full time closer.  “I’m going to play the ninth inning as a day-by-day situation and do what I think is best to try and win the game,” Trembley said Monday. “I think sometimes it depends on the score and also depends on who’s available and who’s pitching well. And I also think sometimes you have to go away from the norm a little when things aren’t going well for you. And right now, things aren’t going well for us. I think it’s important to do something different.”


Closer by committee has been proven ineffective in the past; but I don’t have a problem with the Orioles using it right now.


As I have said before I do not think George Sherrill is a major league caliber closer.  I honestly can not think of any other team in baseball where he would be a full time closer.  So far this season right handed hitters are hitting .429 against Sherrill and he has allowed eighteen base runners in 10.2 innings.  Left handed hitters are .214 against Sherrill in 2009; this would lead anyone with a minimal knowledge of baseball to see Sherrill’s position in the bullpen should be a left handed specialist.


I like the fact that we should get to see younger, power arms like Chris Ray and Jim Johnson get a shot at closing.  If you look at this team objectively they have no chance at competing for a post season appearance.  So why not allow two young talented relievers to get a look at closer and see what you have?


I believe in the end Jim Johnson would make the best closer of the bunch.  Johnson reminds a lot of Minnesota’s closer Joe Nathan; one of the top five closers in baseball.  I think Johnson has that kind of stuff and potential as a closer. At 25 I think Johnson could be a dominant closer for years to come.


In the pasts closer by committee hasn’t worked; but with a young team trying to find an identity on the mound why not try something different?  At least Trembley is thinking outside of the box, something I have rarely seen from the Orioles skipper.