Monday, December 29, 2008

Who Will Close For The Rangers

Unless they sign a free agent (a distinct possibility), the race for Texas Rangers closer in 2009 comes down to Frank Francisco and C.J. Wilson. Personally, I wouldn't be thrilled with either if I was a Rangers fan. Wilson clearly doesn't have the skill set to be a reliable closer, with neither an overpowering strikeout rate (K/9: 8.5 in 2007 and 7.4 in 2008) and mediocre control (BB/9: 4.5 in 2007 and 4.9 in 2008). Francisco has the advantage of a great strikeout rate (2008 K/9: 12.1), and if he can maintain even the moderate level of control that he attained in 2008 (BB/9: 3.8) he'll be excellent. Unfortunately, I think a small amount of regression in both areas is likely, making him a slightly scare proposition when you consider his tendency to allow a lot of fly balls. He's still the right choice here, and given the fact that most teams prefer to have righty closers, Texas will probably do the right thing.

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