ABOUT THAT CLOSER
If the Nationals can land another innings-eater, it will take pressure off the current corps needing to win games pitching ten-plus outs every night. Those arms can throw only so many pitches. Another solid starter gives you anywhere from 99-130 games when every starter can pitch into the seventh, under the right circumstances.
It may be obvious, but chances of success increase when you need six outs from the pen. This can lead to an internal option. Or, they focus mostly on both pitching roles and spend more than $20 million to take a full shot this year.
When talking about adding another front-line starter, we make the dangerous assumption everyone stays healthy all year. History wraps us on the head with a rolled-up newspaper to say is not true.
We should not assume, unless those big closers sign for major money soon, the chase for a starter means they will not keep Melancon or lose out on this year’s closer derby. Do not be surprised if the Nats go internal for their ninth-inning guy either.