Mound Musings: Let's Talk Bullpens
Mound Musings: Let's Talk Bullpens

This article is part of our Mound Musings series.

Bullpens are intriguing … and frustrating. The current closer isn't cutting it (or was just dealt) and you need saves. The set-up guy is pitching great. Won't he just step in? Closing is an art that some embrace and others disdain; it's as simple as that. Some pitchers can thrive in the environment, and some, even those who seem to have the perfect tool box, just can't seem to get comfortable in the role. Trades, injuries and ineffectiveness all contribute to what has become something of the norm – musical closers. That said, one of the questions I'm asked the most is, "Who is going to be the new closer in {name city now} that {name previous closer} is out?" I actually like that question, because it brings out the chance to do analysis. It's often not the most obvious answer so you have to look beyond the basics. Let's take a look…

Let's check in on some bullpens that are now, or soon could be, in flux:

Oakland A's – The A's have become regulars on this list as a team that seems to annually find itself in transition. This year's main man, Ryan Madson, has closing experience, but has also suffered through injuries that have sapped his power. He's done a mediocre job, and with his primary challengers Sean Doolittle and John Axford fumbling along, there's been no urgency to make a change. That said, Ryan Dull has been making his case for consideration, but he's probably

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brad Johnson
For more than 30 years, pitching guru Brad "Bogfella" Johnson has provided insightful evaluation and analysis of pitchers to a wide variety of fantasy baseball websites, webcasts and radio broadcasts. He joined RotoWire in 2011 with his popular Bogfella's Notebook.
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