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View Full Version : Is Ozzie testing Russell out as a replacement closer?


White City
07-03-2008, 08:15 AM
I'm pretty confident, based on the various articles I have seen, that Bobby's problem is temporary. Still, remember in 2005 that we had three closers during that season, so a wise program always has a back-up plan at the closer spot.

Rather than blow up the Dotel-Linebrink-[CLOSER] rhythm we have now, is it possible that Ozzie's decision to give the ball to Russell in late-inning situations the last few nights were the beginning stages of trying him out as a potential closer replacement? Neither appearance was a save situation, but consider how you would go about easing a young guy into a closer audition ... pretty similar to what Ozzie did the last two nights, right?

If Bobby has to go on the DL to let his left shoulder heal, I think I wouldn't be adverse to giving Russell a try at the closer spot. If he succeeds, we know our bullpen is even deeper. We have another piece to trade if we need to. And we don't have to mess with Dotel, who has been fairly effective this year but is both a meltdown and a health risk.

Just a thought.

Zisk77
07-03-2008, 08:59 AM
no.

mrfourni
07-03-2008, 09:54 AM
I do like the nickname hawk gave him last night. The Vulcher.

The Immigrant
07-03-2008, 10:11 AM
I do like the nickname hawk gave him last night. The Vulcher.

Cliff Politte was the Vulture in 2005. Russell's nickname should be Bigfoot.

doublem23
07-03-2008, 10:33 AM
I don't think so; Russell's been a starter almost his entire MiLB career. I know Jenks was a starter at the beginning of his tenure, but at least he was closing games in Birmingham in 2005 before being promoted to the Sox.

balke
07-03-2008, 10:36 AM
Its dumb luck for Russell. Linebrink will close unless he's pitched too much (like he wouldn't close tonight I don't think). Then it'll be Dotel, and maybe occasionally Thornton.

Here's the real question, will Jenks go on the DL when PK comes back? Will the Sox solve their problems until post all-star break this way?

VeeckAsInWreck
07-03-2008, 10:39 AM
I don't think is Ozzie is looking at Russell as a potential closer. If you look at it, Russell was in games that were in extra innings. When that happens you don't know how long the game can go. It just happened that the Sox won in the next half inning.

If anything I think Adam's continued success is going to prevent Esteban Loaiza from ever returning to the majors with the Sox.

balke
07-03-2008, 10:41 AM
I don't think is Ozzie is looking at Russell as a potential closer. If you look at it, Russell was in games that were in extra innings. When that happens you don't know how long the game can go. It just happened that the Sox won in the next half inning.

If anything I think Adam's continued success is going to prevent Esteban Loaiza from ever returning to the majors with the Sox.

Well as DJ said, his major plus is there's no scouting report on him yet for the opposition. He got away with a couple pitches last night. I hope he continues to succeed, but there's a good chance teams will hit him better in the next couple weeks.

btrain929
07-03-2008, 11:09 AM
Well as DJ said, his major plus is there's no scouting report on him yet for the opposition. He got away with a couple pitches last night. I hope he continues to succeed, but there's a good chance teams will hit him better in the next couple weeks.

That's the spirit.

If he was being tested for the closer role, he would have pitched the 9th yesterday. He throws hard, has shown pretty good control (he was painting the outside corner yesterday, just not getting the call), and has a few different angles to show the hitters. I think he can be very effective in an MLB bullpen, as long as he can throw that heater inside as well.

ondafarm
07-03-2008, 11:10 AM
No. Just dumb luck.

As for back up closers: Thornton and Masset.

KyWhiSoxFan
07-03-2008, 11:34 AM
If Russell continues to pitch well, he'll move into a setup role, in the 6th or 7th inning. I can't see him as the closer now, nor moving behind Dotel or Linebrink. He would be in front of those guys, or just used in mopup games or into extra innings, like the past two games.

White City
07-03-2008, 11:35 AM
No. Just dumb luck.

As for back up closers: Thornton and Masset.

OK. I like that better than messing with Dotel and Linebrink. Moving them around would feel a little like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Chez
07-03-2008, 11:38 AM
Here's the real question, will Jenks go on the DL when PK comes back? Will the Sox solve their problems until post all-star break this way?

I don't think putting Jenks on the DL solves a problem. It creates a bigger one! Deciding who goes down among Wise, Ozuna, Russell etc. pales in comparison to losing our closer for any amount of time

dickallen15
07-03-2008, 11:41 AM
Linebrink was the closer yesterday. If he earned the save, Russell wouldn't have pitched. If Jenks is out, Linebrink will close.

kevingrt
07-03-2008, 12:08 PM
I don't think there is any chance Ozzie would ever use Russell as a back up closer if Jenks were to go on the DL for any reason. I think the two guys best fit for the closer position on this team behind Jenks are Thorton and Dotel and I wouldn't count out Boone considering how hot he has been recently.

However, I would give the nod to Dotel just for his track record and his experience as a closer.

Madscout
07-03-2008, 12:14 PM
I don't think there is any chance Ozzie would ever use Russell as a back up closer if Jenks were to go on the DL for any reason. I think the two guys best fit for the closer position on this team behind Jenks are Thorton and Dotel and I wouldn't count out Boone considering how hot he has been recently.

However, I would give the nod to Dotel just for his track record and his experience as a closer.
Nah. Boone or Thorton. Doc Oc, as I like to call him, has been shaky mentally in big situations this year. Matt has as well, but Matt hasn't had a complete break down in controll the way Oc has. I think Boone is are best bet here. I think he would respond beautifully.

hawkjt
07-03-2008, 12:16 PM
I say they muddle thru with closer by committee...depending on matchups. Thornton or Logan could go against a couple of lefties...massett,dotel,liney or russell could fill in against rightys. We just have to pray that Bobby gets back by next week....then he gets healthier over the All star break. No all-star game for bobby now...just decline it.

TheVulture
07-04-2008, 03:58 PM
It's pretty nice when you've got a bullpen where 5 pitchers are mentioned by fans of the team as possible closer backups, with no resultant flaming, in a twenty-odd post thread.

eastchicagosoxfan
07-04-2008, 04:24 PM
Cliff Politte was the Vulture in 2005. Russell's nickname should be Bigfoot.
I'm pretty sure Phil Regan was the original Vulture. He went something like 12-1 in a season.

StillMissOzzie
07-04-2008, 06:33 PM
I do like the nickname hawk gave him last night. The Vulcher.

Cliff Politte was the Vulture in 2005. Russell's nickname should be Bigfoot.

I'm pretty sure Phil Regan was the original Vulture. He went something like 12-1 in a season.

Ding ding ding, we have a winner! Phil Regan was The Vulture some 40+ years ago, swooping in to pick up W's from the dead and lost causes.

SMO
:gulp:

TheVulture
07-08-2008, 04:16 AM
I'm pretty sure Phil Regan was the original Vulture. He went something like 12-1 in a season.

Hawk used to refer to Barry Jones as the vulture. That's where I derived my name from.

Chez
07-08-2008, 09:54 AM
[quote=StillMissOzzie;1951736]Ding ding ding, we have a winner! Phil Regan was The Vulture some 40+ years ago, swooping in to pick up W's from the dead and lost causes.

/quote]

Phil Regan was indeed the original Vulture, but it wasn't from winning games which were "dead and lost causes." Koufax and Drysdale would pitch their butts off for 8 or 9 innings; get pulled for a pinch hitter; Regan would enter the game and the Dodgers would finally score a run to make Regan the winning pitcher despite the efforts of Koufax and Drysdale.

jabrch
07-08-2008, 10:12 AM
I do like the nickname hawk gave him last night. The Vulcher.

I don't like stealing other people's nicknames. The Vulture is a long time Cub... Can't Hawk do better than that?