Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gagne Close To Returning, Will Set-Up Torres Upon Arrival

I have to give Ned Yost some serious credit. He has already made the decision that when Eric Gagne comes off the DL during the Twins series June 27th he will not be the closer, but will instead be the 8th inning set-up man. Salomon Torres who has been lights out since taking over for Gagne picked up his 10th save today and surley deserves to continue to be the closer for this team until he proves otherwise. I'm as big of a Gagne fan as you will find, but this is flat out the right decision. Gagne had some struggles before this DL stint closing games out and Torres has just been to good to make any kind of move. Now if Torres struggles, sure then maybe you make a change at some point. I don't see Torres all of a sudden blowing up though. I do believe that Gagne can be a very effective 8th inning guy setting Torres up. Guillermo Mota has been the 8th inning guy but has been very inconsistent. I see Yost going with roles of Villanueva in the 7th, Gagne in the 8th and Torres in the 9th. Mix in Brian Shouse anytime you need to get a lefy out in the 7th or 8th and our pen should be set. David Riske, Tim Dillard and Mota will be guys you can go to in the 6th and I would assume Mark DiFelice will now be the long man if a starter struggles early on. The best part about all of this is Gagne is being a true team player and had this to say:

"I'm here to win," Gagne said. "That's all I care about. Salomon has been throwing unbelievable, and if I get upset with that, that would be stupid. That would be selfish. ... All I demanded when I came over here was respect, and they showed me a lot of respect.

"Closing, setting up, [pitching the] third inning, I don't care. That's the last of my worries. I just want to compete, get back on the mound."

Say what you will about Gagne but you have to respect comments like that. Team first.

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