Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Sunday he’s planning to go with a closer-by-committee approach this season to replace the injured Joe Nathan. That means Matt Guerrier, Jon Rauch, Jose Mijares and Jesse Crain could all be called upon to get saves.
This type of approach doesn’t bother me. Despite my push for a Heath Bell trade, I do feel the closer’s position is overrated. Often times, managers are best suited to just play matchups rather than hand the job to someone who might not be able to get right-handed and left-handed hitters out on a regular basis.
But I don’t expect Gardenhire to go this route for long. And I do think it’s still possible that the Twins might make a move in the next week or so prior to the regular-season opener against the Los Angeles Angels next Monday. The Toronto Blue Jays are reportedly going with Jason Frasor as their closer, meaning Scott Downs is potential trade bait.
In all likelihood, one of the above relievers – probably not Crain, but who knows? - will step up in April and have a firm grip on any save opportunities before you know it.
But if the Twins aren’t going to make a trade for a closer, I like the closer-by-committee approach to open the season. None of the above names jumps out at me as a full-time closer at this time.