Remember a little while ago (say, a month) when I told you that if Ryan Madson continued to pitch well, he’d remain the closer upon Jose Contreras’ return? Remember how the comment section called me out about it? Well, Contreras has returned, and Madson’s still the closer.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Coming into the 2011 season, Ryan Franklin looked to be one of the most reliable relievers around. He wasn’t elite by any means, but at least we knew he was locked into his closing gig. That was more than we could say for about a third of the league, right?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Injuries unfortunately play a part of every season, but 2011 seems to be the year of the afflicted closer. Multiple stoppers started the year on the disabled list, and several others joined their counterparts on the DL over the course of April.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

From 2004 to 2009, no pitcher that doesn’t wear Jackie Robinson’s 42 has been more rock steady in the closer role than Joe Nathan. After winning 12 games coming out of the Giants bullpen in 2003, Nathan took his talents to the Twin Cities, finding himself immediately in the closer role, where he would reel off six consecutive 35-plus save seasons.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Closers have a very difficult job to do, which is probably why so few relievers are consistently good at it. When things aren’t working out for a closer, he gets the added pressure of knowing the manager is looking at the other five or six guys in the bullpen and figuring out which one can do better.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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