Closer To Fine
The Cubs are finally starting to find some cohesion in all facets and it’s resulting in victories. The starting pitching has been consistent throughout the first month. But now the bullpen, offense and defense are catching up a bit, which is refreshing to see. Yes, their last four wins have come against the last-place Marlins and Padres, but these are games you have to win if you have any chance to be competitive.
I really like what Dale Sveum is doing with his bullpen. The closer-by-matchup set-up is by necessity, not design, but JD and I have spoken a lot about the advantages of not having a designated closer. First off, you have a ton of flexibility in terms of moving pieces around to fit that night’s opponent and game situations. Secondly, if somebody blows a save, Dale doesn’t have to answer the question of making a potential change in the 9th inning.
I suspect he will stick with this plan for the immediate future, if not for the rest of the season. Kevin Gregg seems to be emerging right now as the guy, but there is no urgency to put the closer stamp on him. He will just ride this thing out for the time being, creating an unintentional in-season experiment on the best way to use your bullpen.