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Who will lead the 2010 Orioles in saves?

We had great response Thursday on which pitcher would emerge as the Orioles’ ace for 2011, so I figured we’d do something similar again today.

But we’ll focus on the bullpen this time.

Now that George Sherrill has been traded, Jim Johnson is your newly anointed closer, though he has not had a save opportunity since the Sherrill deal.

Johnson certainly has the stuff to take on the role, but he hasn’t done it since high school.

Chris Ray has struggled in his return from Tommy John surgery but is looking better now. And pitchers are usually better in the second season after elbow surgery.

Kam Mickolio has nasty stuff and is 10-feet-tall, so he would certainly strike an imposing figure in the ninth.

Cla Meredith has a funky delivery and is a tested late-inning guy.

And my wild card is Koji Uehara, who has been a closer previously in Japan.

I don’t want to know who you think will start the season as the club’s closer next year. That’s child’s play. I want to know who you think will be most effective.

Daily Think Special: Who will be the Orioles’ saves leader in 2010?


Koji Uehara NEEDS to be the closer next year. He was a closer in Japan and was extremely tough on hitters the first time through the lineup this years, and deadly from pitches 1-25.

He's only given up two homers and three walks the first time through the lineup, and has a batting average-against of .202 the first time through.

And the entrance gongs that would accompany a Japanese closer in the ninth inning would be incredible.

You're kidding, right? I mean, who could possibly give a flying flute who might lead the team in saves next year. Saves is the most overrated stat in the history of mankind.

Man, pour me some coffee asap. I was out all night partying with Snoop Dogg since he's in town.

Wow, good question.....2010 closer. I'd love to see Kam get a shot but the "experts" seemn to think he's not closer material. I'm worried about Chris Ray....he never be the same. I'm going to go with TBN, someone not currently on the roster. If we are going to have all these pups in the starting rotation, they need to sign a FA in the off season to protect them.

Uh, Arnold Portocarerro, Jack.

Cris Ray

Koji Uehara

Shouldnt be your wildcard though, he should be your first choice. He's deadly accurate with the fastball he has a good split and change, and like you said he's closed before/

Peter Schmuck.

there wont be much to save in 2010. we could possibly save the season by trading angelos and his 2 mental midget sons for some used equipment. go to war ms agnes, boy do we miss you chuck.

Uehara will be annointed the closer out of spring training, but Mickolio would be my choice if it were up to me.

Johnson isn't a strikeout pitcher and should stay as the setup

Koji Uehara

More crystal ball gazing, huh? I found out part of the reason why mine has been so fuzzy. My wife said I shouldn't keep it in the kitchen next to the stove. It was spattered with bacon grease. It's soaking in Oxyclean right now so maybe that will help. But I'm on my own for now.

I'm saying that there will be a "closer by committee" approach during the year so they can find out who has the stuff - mental and physical - to close for 2011 and beyond. Ray, Johnson, Meredith, and Uehara all have more than 5 saves at the end of the season. But the guy with the most is Koji, so that the team can get more value for its $10M investment.

Unless, of course, Trader Andy ships him off to some other team for two corner infield prospects before July 31.

Hopefully, the 2010 season will be saved by a new manager. On the field it will be done by Chris Ray with both JJ and Koji in long relief roles.

Won't Jaime Walker still be under contract? Actually, I see them trading for or signing a closer of little renown. That's the O's way these days .. do it on the cheap .. the Angelose way.

Does anyone really care????

chris ray

fire Dave Trembley

Cla Meredith is the guy. Simple as that. He has learned how to close from one of the best (Trevor Hoffman). I see Koji in a more 2-3 inning relief role. Jim Johnson does not deserve to be on this team.

Chris Ray. Hopefully, he has turned the corner on his rehab and ready to fill the closer role again. But, I dont see much in the way of saves. When you field a trip that plays 18 games under .500. As long as PA owns this team, they won't field a competitive team.

I think JJ starts the year as the closer, but Uehara moves into the role, sometime soon after, once the team finally realizes he can't hold up in a 5 man rotation.

That deal with the Orioles moving to some place like Charlotte or Vegas and in 2 years getting an expansion team like the Ravens who have an owner who more dedicated to winning then profits is sounding better and better every day.

Nobody Mcgillicuddy will lead the staff in saves with zero, but they will trade him for a couple of prospects that will help them supposedly win in 2011.

Unless MacFail can get Angelos to open his wallet this offseason we don’t need a closer!!

Koji - 5
JJ - 4
Ray - 3
To be determined - 2

I would like to see Chris Ray re-emerge as the closer and get back to his dominant stuff, but if that doesn't happen...either we sign someone, or it comes down to JJ, Mickolio or perhaps even Koji. The more I think about Koji as a possibility, the more excited I get about his potential in that role!

Alberto Castillo - he has done well in Norfolk and will be brought up to stabilize the bullpen when Koji goes down injured, Ray can't hold it together, and Kam never gets comfortable in the role.


He has the best makeup for the role. JJ and Ray are the setup guys, with Mickolio and Meredith used in the middle innings and Albers and Bass as the Long men. Uuummm, that leaves us with no Lefty, so I guess someone has to go and a Lefty needs to be brought in.

Would like to see Koji Uehara get first shot. As many others have stated, he appears to have great control, does not walk many and does well in short stints.

I don't know what has happened to the once proud Oriole fans. Mike is suggesting that the team moving from Baltimore and hoping for an expansion team is the best plan for the future and nobody responds. And while the Orioles for the first time in the last 12 years are actually starting to show progress the comments seem to be more and more negative.. The rotation has already seen 5 rookies this year that have performed to at least some level of success. Next years spring training competition for a rotation spot will be incredible even if they don't add another pitcher. They have a young talented and successful OF one of the better 2B leadoff hitters and one of the best hitting catchers in baseball.
As for the question I think that Johnson will lead the team in saves because he will show no reason to relinquish that role. If he does somehow falter I think the next shot will go to Koji then Ray if it makes it past there our season has yet again gone rapidly downhill but I don't think that JJ will have a problem.

Manny Corpas

Is Koji signed through next year, I thought he only got a one year deal?

David Hernandez - converted from SP to closer. You heard it here first.

Chris Ray, for the reasons mentioned above. He was good, and will be 100% with his new bionic elbow well healed.

I just got Chris Ray off the scrap heap in my roto league for $1, so here's to hoping it's him and his 6 saves will make a difference!

I'd rather wait and see what JJ does given the opportunity (granted the Orioles eventually get him a chance) first. If JJ does well in the chances that he has to close the door in the 9th, that will make things regarding the potential closer situation next year a bit more interesting considering that this is basically like an '10 spring training audition for him.

I think though right now things boil down to Koji and Ray. You have one guy who was an all-star closer in Japan, another guy who has major league experience all-ready coming from tenure pre-Tommy John surgery.

Cla Meredith is also another guy with experience. I think that with a staff full of young pitchers to have a veteran presence along with the ability to get it done as a closer would be where this organization goes. I'm thinking that Uehara gets the most saves next season. However there is potential for me to be totally wrong on this, and I'm kind of glad. It's good for the O's to have competition at that spot since their closer now plays for the Dodgers.

Koji, Koji, Koji!!!

A good closer is a waste of $10-$15 million dollars. Spend an extra $2-$3 million a piece for 5 solid relievers and you'll double your money. I'm with Luke. Closer is the most overrated position in the history of sport. Your best pitcher comes in when you need him or the situation is right - not when you're up by 2 in the ninth with nobody out.

If Chris Ray is healhty, he's the man. Koji is an interesting option, but I'd rather see someone more likely to be with the team for a long time in the closer 's job. JJ could do the work, but I think he's a better suited for the set up role (It's a shame closer is the only glamour role in the bullpen!). Whatever happened to a relief propect we had named Hoey?

Mike Mussina

David Hernandez (yes the guys currently a rookie starter) He has the power arm and nasty off-speed stuff to do it but have lacked the mental concentration to last 5 + innings. So... if the guy can show he can pull it together for just one inning (which he has)... he is perfect.

and it that doesnt work out... I vote Koji!

Uhm, JJ has had a save since Georgie was traded...what are you talking about dude?

Matt Wieters was a solid reliever at Georgia Tech. Knowing the O's luck, I wouldn't be surprised I Matt decides his knees won't let him catch anymore and he wants to be a pitcher. So my prediction, Matt Wieters will be the O's saves leader in 2010.

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