The following is a brief example of what you’d see on The Sunday Flash (or whatever I end up calling it).
4. MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan writes that Mark Lowe is “clearly the front-runner” to assume the ninth-inning reins in the event that Neftali Feliz locks down an Opening Day rotation spot. Based on what you currently know, are you fine with Lowe nabbing that spot over someone from the Oliver/Ogando/O’Day/Rhodes collective — and if things do go down that way, and Lowe struggles early as a closer, will you be less patient than you would be with somebody you’ve seen more of (e.g. Ogando)?
For me, Lowe is a completely unknown element. I’ve heard that the club had their eye on him for a long time, which is why he was shoehorned into the Cliff Lee deal last summer. As far as what he can offer to the club from here on out, I have no idea.
That might all be moot anyway, because I don’t think Feliz is going to crack the rotation this year, even as a 5th starter. The need for him to suddenly become a TORP* isn’t there, since he’s only 22 years old and there’s a fair amount of pitching depth in front of him.
*For the baseball stupid, TORP means Top of Rotation Pitcher, which are guys like Cliff Lee. Ace is another term meaning the same thing.
(In the last months, I have always addressed my asterisks at the bottom of the page, which I recently realized might be a pain for the reader. Do you like this way better, where an explanation is added immediately after?)
As far as those other candidates mentioned, I would take O’Day over Oliver and Rhodes. O’Day has some serious stuff, a deceptive delivery, and he doesn’t give up a lot of HRs. If he were given a specific role where he would only see so many innings, I think he would be stronger down the stretch and convert roughly the same percent of saves as Feliz did in 2010.
Ogando’s name has been thrown around as a possible closer candidate, but I’m not entirely convinced that he belongs in the bullpen. In fact, I have no idea what his ceiling might be. His career path will probably be a lot of trial and error before we figure out what he is best suited for, whether it be starter, closer, specialist, or long reliever.
(If tonight is any indication, it sounds like Ogando was strong in three innings as a starter in a fake baseball game. Might be a sign of things to come.)