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Todd Jones – Tiger Closer

I took quite a bit of heat last year for declaring that the best place for Todd Jones was at closer.  Many think Joel Zumaya or Fernando Rodney should have gotten the job after Jones had a horrible stretch in early June but Jim Leyland stuck with him and got some solid production from Jones in the second half.  In 30 second half innings, Jones posted a 1.80 ERA with a 1.07 WHIP.  He then threw 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball in the playoffs.  Now Jones is the spotlight of this interesting Detroit News article.

My logic behind having Jones be the closer is that normally he comes into a game and usually gives up a hit or even two.  If he comes in with nobody out and he gives up two singles in the ninth, it gets our blood pressure up but it usually doesn’t cost us the game.  If he were to come in with men on first and third and one out, it would be a recipe for disaster because in that kind of situtation, you’d want a guy like Joel Zumaya to come to get a strikeout or a weak grounder.

Jones biggest strength is that he doesn’t normally walk many batters.  He had eleven last year in 64 innings.  Now Jones can look to build on that second half (remember he was injured to open the season) and hopefully earn his keep as the Tigers closer for at least one more season.

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