Tag:Michael Gonzalez
Posted on: March 15, 2011 3:45 pm

Wanted: Experienced closer, likes Texas heat

Neftali Feliz

By C. Trent Rosecrans

If Neftali Feliz is starting for the Rangers, it doesn't appear the close is in camp with the defending American League champions.

"I have confidence in Jon Daniels and our scouts," manager Ron Washington told reporters, including ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon on Tuesday. "If that's the case, I'm 100 percent sure they'll go out there and find somebody to close ballgames down for us."

If that's the case, the Rangers will be looking for their seventh different closer in the last seven seasons (defining "closer" as "dude with the most saves."). The last Ranger to lead the team in saves in back-to-back years was Francisco Cordero in 2004-05. Cordero has since been an All-Star for two different teams.

Alexi OgondoThe Rangers' internal candidates appear to be Mark Lowe and Alexi Ogando (right). Or the team could go with a closer-by-committee until the trade deadline, also using veteran lefties Arthur Rhodes and Darren Oliver along with Lowe and Ogando. Prospect Tanner Scheppers is another (remote) possibility. The Rangers traded Frank Francisco, their closer in 2009, to the Blue Jays in exchange for Mike Napoli in the offseason.

As for trade candidates, the team could go out now, or wait until the trade deadline when more candidates would be available.

Among those available could be the Padres Heath Bell, the Mets' Francisco Rodriguez and the Orioles' Michael Gonzalez. The Blue Jays have several experienced closers on their roster, including Francisco, Jason Frasor, Octavio Dotel and Jon Rauch.

If the team waits until the trade deadline, if the Mariners David Aardsma could be available, as well as Cordero, who could be supplanted by Aroldis Chapman (or Nick Masset). Others that could be available include Kevin Gregg, J.J. Putz and Brandon Lyon.

However, Washington did tell reporters in the same sitting that he felt confident enough with the rotation as it is and Feliz in the bullpen. It also appears, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Jeff Wilson writes, that Washington would prefer to keep Feliz in the bullpen unless Daniels can get another closer.

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Posted on: September 5, 2010 4:58 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2010 5:59 pm

Baldelli homers in return to Rays

Rocco Baldelli Welcome back Rocco.

Rocco Baldelli returned to the Rays on Sunday and hit a two-run homer in his first swing since being called up on Wednesday.

Baldelli pinch-hit for Matt Joyce in the seventh and blasted Michael Gonzalez's pitch into the seats in left field at Camden Yards, to pull the Rays to within a run, 8-7. He stayed in the game to play right field. He didn't get another at-bat in the loss.

Baldelli played for the Red Sox in 2009, but returned to the Rays as as minor league coach in 2010. In July, Baldelli, who has struggled throughout his career with multiple injuries and medical issues, returned to the playing field. At Class A Charlotte (Fla.) and Triple-A Durham, Baldelli hit .278/.295/.422 with two home runs and 14 RBI in 23 games. He was called up to Tampa when rosters expanded on Sept. 1.

Baldelli was the Rays' first-round pick in 2000 and made his debut in 2003. He was the team's first home-grown star, but injuries plagued his tenure in Tampa.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 10, 2010 9:37 pm

Orioles to spread save opportunities around

Alfredo Simon isn't exactly out as the Orioles' closer, but he's not going to be the only one finishing out games for Buck Showalter.

Simon has 17 saves, but has blown three of his last 10 save opportunities and allowed runs in six of his last 10 outings.

"I'm sure Simon will get some more opportunities along the way, but I feel like we have some other people capable of doing it other than him," Showalter told Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun . "We'll see what each night dictates."

Michael Gonzalez and Koji Uehara could get some of those opportunities.

"Some guys down there have shown that they are capable of getting big outs for us," Showalter said.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com