Simon: A true underdog story
The Bruins just lost a 3-0 series lead and a 3-0 Game 7 lead to the Flyers, so I’m drowning my sorrows in a blog post on something non-hockey related. Alfredo Simon.
Orioles manager Dave Trembley has a soft spot for underdogs and is a big fan of Simon, who underwent Tommy John surgery last May and has served as the Orioles de facto closer, picking up five saves with Mike Gonzalez and Jim Johnson both on the disabled list.
“I would evaluate [Simon] as a guy that is an underdog who has overachieved who has proven a lot of people wrong, who has come back from a terrible injury in a record amount of time, who is as appreciative of a get-out for a second chance, ” Trembley said. “[Simon is a guy] who will do anything to pitch in the big leagues, who gives us a presence in that role physically and mentally.
“He’s not afraid. He likes what he’s doing. He has fun with it. I know he keeps you on the edge of your seat sometimes. Some of the clubs test him. They wait him out and make him throw a lot of pitches, but he’s gotten the job done against some very, very good teams. And for a guy who’s never closed before, he’s been pretty darn good,” Trembley added. “But there’s a long way to go. There will be some slipups along the way by him, by me, by all of us, but it won’t change my opinion of him right now.”
“I’m just amazed by the fact that he’s been so resilient in a role that he’s never done. It’s not only different physically, but it’s different mentally.”
I’ve gotten a bunch of questions about what happens when Gonzalez comes back. Does he take the closer role from Simon? It’s tough to say, and Trembley hasn’t really given a definitive answer. I would think they would bring back Gonzalez in more of a setup role until he proves to be back on track. You can’t mess with what works and right now Simon is getting the job done. And he’s giving Orioles fans a mini-panic attack in the process. But you can’t argue with results.