Drew Storen or Tyler Clippard in line to replace Matt Capps as Nationals' closer

Leave a comment

Who will be Washington’s closer now that Matt Capps is in Minnesota?
According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com the Nationals “will split the closer’s duties between Sean Burnett, Tyler Clippard, and Drew Storen.”
In theory, at least. The odds of manager Jim Riggleman truly going with a closer-by-committee approach for the rest of the season seem pretty long, so my guess is that he’ll give those three relievers various shots in various high-leverage situations before deciding on a primary closer soon enough.
Burnett would be the poorest fit for ninth-inning duties, but Clippard and Storen are both capable of doing the job well. Clippard has a 2.98 ERA, .195 opponents’ batting average, and 136 strikeouts in 121 career innings as a reliever. Storen was tabbed the Nationals “closer of the future” from the moment they made him the 10th overall pick in last year’s draft and has pitched well as a rookie despite some control issues, posting a 2.64 ERA, .234 opponents’ batting average, and 26 strikeouts in 31 innings.

Report: Mets showing interest in Bartolo Colon

Getty Images
7 Comments

Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.

Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.

Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.