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Herald article about closer


Eddie Altamonte
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http:/Posted on Tue, Dec. 19, 2006

 

 

MARLINS

Marlins' closer could already be on roster

Florida seeks a closer that fits its ideals, but the best choice might come from a group on the roster, including Ricky Nolasco.

BY KEVIN BAXTER

[email protected]

 

Although the Marlins continue to search high and wide for bullpen help that fits their tight budget and go-with-youth philosophy, the team ultimately might choose its closer from among candidates already on the roster.

 

Former Barry University catcher Henry Owens, acquired in a November deal with the New York Mets, was 1-0 with nine saves in 10 games for Licey in the Dominican winter league before returning home following the trade. And Matt Lindstrom, acquired in the same deal, appears ready to make the jump from Double A to the majors after posting 11 saves -- and striking out 54 -- in 40 2/3 innings last summer.

 

Then there's left-hander Taylor Tankersley, who was 2-1 with three saves in 49 games in his first big-league season, but might continue to be more valuable as a situational reliever.

 

But the most intriguing idea the team has kicked around is returning fifth starter Ricky Nolasco to the bullpen, where he opened last season, and using him as a closer.

 

''I'm open to doing whatever the team wants me to do,'' said Nolasco, who was 2-1 in 13 relief appearances and 9-10 as a starter last season. ``If they feel that's the best thing for the team to win every day, that's what I'm going to do.''

 

Other candidates on the roster include right-hander Randy Messenger and right-hander Carlos Martinez, who is rehabilitating after his 2006 season was cut short by Tommy John surgery. Martinez has resumed throwing and could be back by the summer.

 

But whatever the Marlins do is likely to be temporary while they wait for hard-throwing right-hander Travis Bowyer to recover from shoulder surgery that cost him all of last season. When Bowyer was acquired from the Minnesota Twins in the Luis Castillo trade a year ago, Florida considered him to be its closer of the future, and general manager Admin Beinfest said recently that hasn't changed.

 

? Former Marlins manager Jack McKeon, a special advisor to owner Jeffrey Loria, said Monday he already is up and around after hip replacement surgery last week.

 

''I'm not back in the lineup. I'm still rehabbing,'' McKeon said by phone from his home in Elon, N.C. ``I still probably need three or four weeks. [but] I just took a walk around the house.''

 

McKeon, who walked with a slight limp at the baseball winter meetings this month, said his hip has been causing him pain for some time.

 

''You keep messing with it and favoring it and it tears up your knees,'' he said. ``So I figured I would get it done in time for spring training [so] I can go out and hit a few fungoes or something.''

 

 

/www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sports/16270868.htm

 

No surprises here

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"But whatever the Marlins do is likely to be temporary while they wait for hard-throwing right-hander Travis Bowyer to recover from shoulder surgery that cost him all of last season."

 

 

I believe this is factually incorrect.

 

The surgery didn't cause him to lose the season, the injury did. He didn't have it (the surgery) until late in the season or shortly afterward. He was shut down all summer rehabbing slowly in hopes with rest he would recuperate and when that didn't happened he went under the knife. If I'm correct he won't be ready for the start of spring training and maybe the entire year.

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"But whatever the Marlins do is likely to be temporary while they wait for hard-throwing right-hander Travis Bowyer to recover from shoulder surgery that cost him all of last season."

 

 

I believe this is factually incorrect.

 

The surgery didn't cause him to lose the season, the injury did. He didn't have it (the surgery) until late in the season or shortly afterward. He was shut down all summer rehabbing slowly in hopes with rest he would recuperate and when that didn't happened he went under the knife. If I'm correct he won't be ready for the start of spring training and maybe the entire year.

 

Indeed.

 

I think I remember reading somewhere that he's more likely than not to miss this entire season.

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Both of the guys we got from the Mets look pretty good in the closer role. Henry Owens tore it up in AA last year, seemed to be flustered in his first MLB appearances, and then looked good again in the Dominican. Lindstrom throws gas and has put up nice numbers too, i'm sure we'll see plenty of them during spring training.

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