For the last two seasons, the Giants have spent roughly $9 million each year for a closer who was unable to pitch. Now that Armando Benitez is out for at least four months, the team will spend about $8 million dollars for him to not pitch. That is some debilitating injury-related expenses.
To what angry God must the Giants send a sacrfice to overcome the horrific injury bug that has plagued their most important cog in the bullpen, the closer?
Really, what are the Giants gonna do about this? Closer by committee? I’m sorry, that is not going to work. Look, there was already a huge problem in getting to Benitez. Now the Giants basically have no one at all to turn to when they need a big out, regardless of the inning. And for the most part, they don’t have a group of starters that are going to get very deep into the game.
Out of every reliever they have, I’m gonna suggest a guy that no one else will. He’s the only one who could possibly bloom in the role of closer, and he is one of the Lunatic Fringe’s most hated and confusing pitchers, Jason Christiansen. He is a lefty, has decent velocity, and since he hasn’t done well in any other role the Giants have used him in, in my opinion, they might as well give him a shot at being the closer. Sure, his splits this year are eye-popping, lefties are 0 for 14 against him, and righties are 7 for 16, I mean, those are splits.
Over the last three seasons, however, his splits aren’t nearly so dramatic:
Right 133 AB 37 H 21 BB 20 SO .278/.378/.466 .844 OPS
Left 125 AB 28 H 18 BB 25 SO .224/.333/.320 .653 OPS
I’m not arguing that he is the answer, I’m saying he might as well be the first sacrifice. You never know how a guy’s gonna respond to the pressure of the ninth. Christiansen just might thrive under the gun. Anyway, it’s not like there’s a better option in uniform right now.