Washington Nationals: Koda Glover better than expected
By Ron Juckett
Since inheriting the closer role, Washington Nationals reliever Koda Glover has excelled. Although a future trade is likely he is not the problem.
It might sound weird after a spring of uncertainty, but the Washington Nationals have their closer.
This does not mean they should not be active at the trade deadline for help, as the rest of the pen is as shaky as the San Andreas Fault, but Koda Glover is the Nats man.
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Except for one iffy outing Sunday against the Oakland Athletics, Glover has done the job. In nine save situations, he has converted eight and not blown any. In that game, remember Shawn Kelley gave up the grand slam to make it a one-run game.
Statistics for closers are tricky to gauge. One bad outing can blow the ERA out of proportion. What may look awful on a quick TV graphic does not tell everything. Glover’s ERA now is 4.34. High enough on the surface to start endless rumors about David Robertson again.
In reality Glover’s FIP, or fielding independent ERA, is 1.72. Greg Holland of the Colorado Rockies—you remember him—has a FIP of 1.86 with 21 saves. Yeah, the kid from Oklahoma can hold his own.
With a nasty assortment of pitches, Glover has 17 strikeouts in 18.2 innings. Not impressive at first glance, but he has three walks to go with it. For every batter walked, he punches out 5.67. Only Max Scherzer has better control at 5.7 SO/BB. Electric stuff.
Before the Oakland game, Glover had not allowed a run since his return from the disabled list in mid-May. Over 8.2 innings, six runners reached base and 10 struck out. It is hard to match those numbers elsewhere. For as much grief as this bullpen gets on social media, he does is job.
Again, Washington needs bullpen help. When Oliver Perez and Matt Albers are converting save chances, depth is an issue. Kelley did all he could to give Sunday’s game away. Although Blake Treinen is better, the confidence is not back yet. Sammy Solis is still hurt and so is Joe Blanton.
A trade is coming.
But, would you move a high prospect like Andrew Stevenson or Victor Robles to bump Glover back to setting up? With five weeks before things get serious at the trade deadline, Mike Rizzo might address other needs at a lower future cost.
Next: Hagerstown well represented in SAL ASG.
Unless Glover implodes, he has earned the trust of the Nats. With an offense who scores at will and deep front line starting pitching, you have a team which can win in October. That matters.