Monday, March 23, 2009
Carlos Villanueva 2009
With Trevor Hoffman beginning to look doubtful for Opening Day 2009, the Brewers closer role is likely to be in the hands of either Carlos Villanueva or Seth McClung for a while. Villanueva was very effective last year, striking out 7.8 per nine innings and walking 2.5. He also had a groundball rate of 46.6%. If anything, he's likely to improve on those numbers (other than the groundball rate) this year, since he's only 25 years old, and will presumably be pitching strictly out of the bullpen. Last year he started nine games, and relieving generally improves performance slightly. While he's no match for Hoffman, Milwaukee will be in capable hands if they have to rely on Villanueva temporarily.