Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mets are looking at Rauch and Lidge..

It's funny when I saw how tight the budget was, the name that struck me as our potential next closer was Jon Rauch.  According to Mike Puma of the NY Post Jon Rauch and Brad Lidge remain strong candidates for the closers role.  For me Rauch reminds me of an older version of Bobby Parnell, not because of their make-up or pitching styles but both looked destine to be closers, after dominance as relievers they flopped at saving games.

Rauch would be cheap since he's coming off the worse year of his career in which he saw his ERA rise to 4.85 ( holds a career 3.82 ERA and prior high was 4.14 ERA) and he has not been successful at making the transition to closer.  In 2008 he started the season in Washington as the closer making 17 saves with a 2.89 ERA, then was traded mid-season to the D-Backs where he only recorded one save and his ERA ballooned to 6.56.  In 2010 the Twins kept him to close in which he earned 21 saves with a 3.12 but the Twins still traded for Matt Capps and down the stretch he earned 11 saves with a 2.00 ERA.  Last year the ugly ERA only earned him 11 saves while Frank Francisco recorded an additional 17 saves both for the Jays. 

Lidge is another reclamation project but at least he has a history of successful closing and rebounding from adversity.  Rem. in 2005 when closing for the Astros, Pujols hit a monster shot off him to win the playoff series.  Many wondered if Lidge would ever rebound as many pitchers wouldn't, but it was Lidge with the Phillies who pitched a perfect season in 2008 and after struggling in 2009 with a 7.21 ERA, it was Lidge who put together ( despite losing his closers role in 2011) two consecutive dominant season where his ERA was below three.  Lidge is an injury risk and many say his dominant slider has flattened out making him very hittable, but I'd still take a chance on him...