For the second time in his baseball career, Salomon Torres has called it a career and is going to retire from the game. He first retired in 1997 after spending that season with the Mariners and Expos. Took four years off and then came back in 2002 with the Pirates where he played till 2007. Last year in his first and only season in Milwaukee he took over for Eric Gagne as the closer when Gagne melted down in May and he did a good job converting 28 saves with an ERA of 3.49 and a WHIP of 1.35. He did struggle a bit down the stretch blowing some saves and making some games a little too interesting for my taste but all in all I would say Torres was a big part of why the Brewers got to the playoffs for the first time in 26 years. When Gagne struggled someone had to step up and Torres did just that. I'm almost positive the Brewers were going to exercise his $3.75 mill option to come back for 2009 but Torres wanted to spend more time with his family. I wish Salomon and his family the best and thank him for what he contributed to a memorial 2008 season.
So where does that leave the Brewers and a closer for 2009? Well since I don't think and Melvin already stated he won't spend money on a big time free agent closer like Frankie Rodriguez or Brian Fuentes I say you keep it in house. And this is another name Melvin has already mentioned as a possibility: Seth McClung. I started to think McClung could be the guy at the end of last season. Everything about Seth screams closer. Intensity? Check. Intimidating presence on the mound? Check. Blazing fastball? Check. Breaking ball? Check. Off-speed pitch? Check. Wants the ball in big spots? Check. Seth McClung posses all the things you want and look for in a closer. I have never been more sure then his performances down the stretch in 2008 when he looked like a man possessed on the mound, specifically in a couple of Cubs games. He just mowed through their lineup once in Chicago and once in Milwaukee. That is when I knew McClung had what it takes to close a game and get a W. I really hope Melvin and Macha give him a chance to win the job. I think the closer topic would make for my next poll, who should be the closer in 2009? Yup, we will go with that after the current one is over.