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Rob Long: Closing It Out

I must admit, I was very skeptical of what the Baltimore Orioles were doing in the off-season with many aspects of their baseball team, especially their bullpen.

Last season, the Birds got Pedro Strop from the Texas Rangers as "A Player To Be Named Later" in the deal that sent Mike Gonzalez to the AL Champs. What am I suppose to expect from "A Player To Be Named Later" in a Gonzalez trade? Advantage Orioles.

They also acquire Matt Lindstrom as part of a deal that sent their former numbeer one starter, Jeremy Guthrie, to Colorado. Lindstrom is with his fourth team since 2007.

Add Jim Johnson, whom I have lots of confidence in, and some guy named Darren O'Day who they claimed off waivers from the Rangers and this is suppose to be the pen that closes the door on Oriole opponents.

Well, so far, so good. The combination has been a breath of fresh air for the team. In Strop and Johnson, the Bird have two guys with "closer stuff". In O'Day and Lindstrom, they have two guys who can take the ball in the seventh and really shorten games for Buck Showalter. That's what successful teams have done for years. As long as O's starters can go six strong, the bullpen has shown the ability to close it out.

I'm not predicting this formular will bring a pennant to Baltimore anytime soon, but at the same time, I'm not predicting that it's a flash in the pan either. Let's wait and see if the starters can continue to hold up their end to give this pen a chance for success.

Rob Long

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