JR annouces again “Hanrahan and Meek will split closing duties equally”
When Octavio Dotel was traded to the Dodgers on July 31st, Manager John Russell annouced that both Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek would both split time closing games. He also said they wouldn’t use one or the other primarily and that they would both get the opportunity.
Fast-forward to mid-September and John Russell is annoucing the exact same thing.
I also blogged about this issue a few weeks ago.
“We were really going to get [rotating] into it more with Evan until he got injured,” Russell said. “Unfortunately, you don’t want to bring a guy back and throw him right into the closer’s role. He will get hopefully a lot more opportunities between now and the end of the season.”
Of the eight save opportunities Meek has only had two of them. Meek was sidelined for a week due to a hand injury but Hanrahan was given the majority of the save opportunities even before then.
Now, I’m not trying to gang up on Hanrahan here. I think they both would make great closers. But I do think that if Russell says they will share the duties then they should.
The problem with not making a decision on a closer until Spring Training in 2011 is that there are not very many save oppurtunities given. Mostly throughout Spring Training they would be facing a lot of the minor club as well.
“It’s something I’ve thought about,” Russell said. “We’ll talk about it this winter, because it is difficult to compete in spring training in that role.”
Although he is still mum on who he prefers as the closer, he did say this:
“I would think that, no matter who is the closer, the other will still have opportunities. If you have four or five save opportunities in a row, you can’t use the same guy.”
Russell said further discussion about who might fit better in the role will wait until the offseason, as the bullpen’s makeup becomes clearer.