Continuing his assertion that the Tigers need a better closer than Fernando Rodney, FOXSports.com's Dayn Perry has a suggestion for a possible trade. He'd like to see Detroit make a deal with Colorado for Huston Street.
Street, who's still just 25, has yet to surrender a run in May, and that's despite his being a fly-ball pitcher in Coors Field. Getting out of the thin Denver air will allow Street to rely on his slider more often (and his changeup less often), and that should yield even better results.
I'm not as certain that closer is such a big need for the Tigers, but I was definitely impressed with how Street pitched last weekend at Comerica Park. (Two saves, no hits, three strikeouts in two one-inning appearances.) I also wouldn't disagree that a bullpen can never have enough good relievers. But would Street really give Detroit more than what Rodney is already providing?
Rodney has eight saves in eight opportunities, with 16 strikeouts (versus five walks) in 19 innings, and a 3.32 ERA. Street has seven saves in eight chances, with 22 strikeouts (versus five walks) in 19.1 innings, and a 3.26 ERA.
While Rodney has had some bad games, they've all come in non-save situations. He struggled earlier in the season when there wasn't a save on the line, that hasn't been a problem in his last five non-save appearances. And how about the fact that he's pitched in so many non-save situations? Rodney has basically been victimized by the Tigers' success, and their ability to establish some big leads in many of their wins.
Street, meanwhile, lost his job to Manny Corpas earlier this season. Though in fairness, that may have been an overreaction by Rockies manager Clint Hurdle after three bad outings from Street. It wasn't very long before Corpas gave the job right back, and Street's been pitching well ever since.
I can see why fans, bloggers, and columnists might not have total confidence in Rodney, based on how he pitched the last couple of seasons. And I still wince whenever it's suggested that Rodney's going to pitch well this year because he's up for free agency. But if you had to pick one area in which the Tigers needed to improve, one position that they needed to bolster, would closer be your choice? Is that where they should really devote their resources? (And if not, which way would you go?)