Who closes for the Os?
It won’t be Mike Gonzalez Tuesday night. Manager Dave Trembley said he wasn’t sure when he would use Gonzalez –who returned to the team on Tuesday following the birth of his baby girl in Arizona — but all signs point away from the ninth inning.
Gonzalez is here, but I haven’t seen him yet. He’s supposed to be working with pitching coach Rick Kranitz, and he won’t be closing games until Kranny gives him the OK.
“He came here to be the closer,” Trembley said. “Like I said before he left to attend the birth of his child, I thought it was in his best interest and in the team’s best interest not to put him out there in a closing situation until he got some mechanical things straightened out.”
“The perfect scenario would be to be ahead 9-1 in the ninth and not have to worry about it. We need a laugher.”
Although Trembley’s doing a decent job holding it together, he’s clearly frustrated by the Gonzalez situation. It’s cost the O’s two wins already and there really is on clear successor should Gonzo continue to struggle. Koji Uehara is still on the DL (although he’s moved up to throwing bullpens) and Kam Mickolio is in Triple-A to work on his command. Jim Johnson could get moved back, but he seems to thrive on the setup man role. Moving him back weakens both the 8th and 9th inning.
” I don’t know what to tell you, the guy is a closer – get three outs, lets shake hands and go in and get something to eat and get ready for the next game,” Trembley said of Gonzalez. “The bottom line is, you have a job to do, do it – get it done.”