Well, that didn't last very long.
Just mere hours after saying Jose Veras would continue to be his closer, Cubs manager Rick Renteria pulled quite the 180.
Veras is out as the closer. In Veras' short time as closer, he displayed an inability to throw strikes, blew two saves, and compiled a 12.27 ERA with seven walks in 3 2/2 innings pitched. To make matters worse, he's also hit three batters.
I have to say I'm a bit shocked. After watching the Cubs stubbornly stick with Carlos Marmol as closer, even when he struggled mightily, this is somewhat of a breath of fresh air. I wasn't exactly clamoring for the move immediately, as it is still early in Veras' Cubs career.
However, this can only enhance rookie Manager Renteria's credibility within the clubhouse. If you are going to play the hot bats in the lineup, why shouldn't performance apply to other roles as well?
GM Jed Hoyer says this was his skipper's decision alone, he tells Jesse Rogers.
Jed Hoyer on closer decision: “I talked to Ricky after the game and he wanted to sleep on it and think about it, that’s his decision,”
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) April 12, 2014
"It's been a struggle. Not enough strikes. He's proven when he throws strikes, he gets guys out, says Hoyer."
You have to applaud that sentiment. Bravo Jed.
Renteria has not yet stated who his new closer will be. Rather, the Cubs skipper says he will wait for someone to emerge and take the role; Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop come to mind.
It has been speculated the Cubs signed Veras with the intention of flipping him at the deadline, which is why a move like this so early comes as a shocker. In the long run, it may hurt Veras' stock, but it also sends a clear message the Cubs are trying to win right now.
Who would've thunk?
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