Is It Time to Panic About Brandon League?

May 14, 2011


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Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America
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On May 7th Brandon League had nine saves and a 2.08 ERA to his credit. He hadn’t lost a game or blown a save. He was automatic.
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He then gave up three runs in 1-1/3 innings against the White Sox on May 8th. He didn’t blow a save that day, but took his first loss of the season. His ERA jumped to 3.77.
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Two days later League blew his first save of the year against Baltimore giving up two runs while getting just two outs. League’s ERA climbed to 4.80. The once steady closer became shaky.
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He didn’t have to stew on the first blown save long as he was back at it two days later.  Again it was Baltimore. Again the results were the save. League blew his second straight save and lost his third straight game. He gave up two runs again while getting just one out this time. His ERA jumped to 5.87. What was going on?
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The very next night Eric Wedge gave him another opportunity. Like the previous three outings, League blew it. He gave up three runs while recording just two outs. It was League’s third straight blown save and fourth straight loss. League’s once petite ERA skyrocketed to 7.31.
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Which brings us here. What to do, what to do? At least David Aardsma had a setback, which gives League some time. It’s crazy that only a week ago I wonder if Aardsma would have replaced League as effective as League had been.
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Aardsma worries me. If he pitches at all in 2011 I’d be slightly surprised. Still, with a streak like League is on, the questions start piling up.
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Should Chris Ray be given a chance? He has 51 career saves. He also has an 11.88 ERA and 2.16 WHIP. David Pauley has a 1.16 ERA and a 0.77 WHIP, but has never been called up on to save a game. Aaron Laffey is pitching well (1.35 ERA, 1.35 WHIP), but has just one career save. Jamey Wright has also pitched well (1.96 ERA, 1.15 WHIP), but he is 36 and not likely to get his first crack at the closer position.
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Where does that leave us? The M’s could raid the farm system, but that seems unlikely right now.  He may just get a temporary break from the gig to clear his head. There is always a chance that somebody takes the job and runs with it, but more likely than not this will be a closer by committee system until League gets back on track.
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One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Free Fantasy Baseball Closer Report and Draft Kit
    May 14th, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    [...] May 14th, 2011 | Add a Comment By Ryan Lesters of Lesterslegends.com [...]

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