I'm not going to venture a guess as to who racks up the most saves for the Crew this year. All I'll predict is that the top 3 guys (according to usage, Maddux, etc.) on Opening Day (can you feel the anticipation?!) will not be same as the top 3 guys at the All-Star Break, and they probably won't be the same as the top guys in September.
And that's not a bad thing.
Well, I suppose it's negative in that we're not breaking camp with Gagne/Brazoban/Carrara threesome--oops! the Dodgers aren't either! I mean...I'd like to start with Mariano Rivera, Tom Gordon, and Felix Rodriguez, but the Brewers' total payroll is about equal to what those guys are making.
What's positive is that there are a lot of unknowns with relatively high ceilings. I get the feeling we've just seen the beginning of a few years of success for Matt Wise...Mike Adams has the potential to, at the very least, be a quality set-up man...Justin Lehr may start out hot in Nashville and keep his momentum going into some important innings in Milwaukee...even someone like Jerome Gamble could really contribute.
And what's more positive is that Melvin/Yost/Maddux recognize that just because they assign someone the title "closer" at the beginning of the year doesn't mean they've got a six-month hold on the job. I'd love to see Adams succeed as much as anyone--in fact, I've like the guy since his first appearance last year--but odds are he'll slip, and it may not be pretty. Rather than letting someone become the next 2003 Jose Mesa (52 blown saves, 36.27 ERA in 62 innings), I think we can trust the mantle to shift to another promising player.
You may be wondering about my title: "Derrick Turnbow, Brewers Closer." I started writing about this because I seem to be getting a lot of hits from people who search google for that exact phrase. I'm assuming that the phrase is an abbreviation of:
If you, reader, are the person who did that google search, I've probably offended you now, and I apologize. I'm sincerely glad that you found my page, and I wrote this entry for you. Here's the soundbite you may be looking for:
Want the Brewers' 25-35 2005 saves? I don't have a #### clue who you should put on your fantasy team, either.
And in what is developing as Brew Crew Ball style, there's a poll below. Vote in it! You know you want to.
Who will get the most saves for the Brewers this year?
This poll is closed
Two words, baby: Brooks Kieschnick!