Yeah, he's one for sure.
They have plenty of "forgotten" men in May, Hughes, Chargois, and Jay. They have plenty of guys "ready to take the next step" in Hildenberger, Busenitz, Moya, Pressly, Duffey, and others. They have plenty of prospects who are "promising but unproven" like Curtiss, Reed, Kinley, anda half dozen others. They have a bunch of long shots, guys like Hackimer, Vasquez, Jones, and Anderson. They have a few come-back possibilities too, in Pineda, Burdi, and Bard.
People have been scoffing at the concept of a "proven closer" for a few years now, but that's precisely what they needed to focus all their attention on in terms of relief help this offseason. Rodney doesn't meet my standard in that regard, and it appears they're choosing to pass on the elite FA relief arms. I think that's a mistake. Maybe a big one too. Different bullpen objective last off-season, but in my view they failed and got away with it last year.
Absolutely love this post right up until the end where I disagree somewhat on the closer situation.
Kintzler was a surprise at the end of 2016 and continued to be one in 2017. Belisle, more or less, stunk early. (Though proof shows a lot of his "bad" was in a few outings). But he found himself and was pretty much just as good as Kintzler once given the closer role. In fact, the bullpen...by the numbers anyway...was much better the second half of the season than the first, without Kintzler, and with the promotion and usage of a couple young guys, and Pressly pitching much better. (That is NOT a knock on Kintzler).
I do not dismiss the role of the closer, though it may be changing somewhat. The modern ML bullpen construction is starting to resemble a batting order, fits, options, tendencies, usage, etc. Rodney has had spurts of Ron Davis syndrome, but come on, this guy has had a very nice career with quality numbers, multiple All Star appearances and still brings it. Because hes not 28 and signed for 5 more years at a steal of a salary he's a bum? Perspective people!
But as I mentioned earlier, and Bird mentions here, there ARE horses in the barn!
Especially for relievers, who often struggle as starters before finding their role in the pen, and then begin in lower leverage situations initially, there is nothing old or dismissive about Duffey, Pressly or Rogers. In fact, they were pretty good for stretches last season. What can another year and a new coach do to help?
Busentiz, and especially Hildenberger got opportunity and ran with it. How much better could they be in 2018?
Curtiss has mad stuff. Reed, Jay and Chargois have as much, or barely lag, and just need some better health-luck to take the next step and are oh-so-close to making a mark. You can't ignore what Moya did in the minors, showed a taste at the ML level, and there are others just behind him, RP or SP who could convert, even initially. Hell, either or both of Burdi and Bard could even be back. Regardless, I just don't feel this pen is at all "dry" of arms, talent and potential. I feel what it needs is a combination of opportunity and experience. The opportunity is there. The talent is there. The potential is there. Rodney absolutely provides production, leadership and a helpful bridge. I think one more really good arm does a lot though. And there a few guys out there to do that.
And I am hoping for at least one more good signing, still looking at Watson at least, but I don't think this bullpen is that far away from being really good.