Torres to Return as Closer

Most Pirates fans should be questioning their loyalty to the team after reading that headline. Torres is coming back as closer after what, 2 games? And in those two games, Salomon gave up a lead-changing 2-run shot to Andre Ethier. Why then, is Torres replacing Matt Capps in the closer role?

Don’t get your panties in a bunch, Sally. Its a part-time deal. Remember when Capps was ejected for plunking Prince Fielder on the arm? He was subsequently suspended for 4 games. Capps has his suspension-appeal-hearing this weekend, and Torres will replace Capps during the appeal and suspension process. That means Torres, who has been shaky all season, will be called upon to pitch against the Yankees.

Now I know the Yankees of today aren’t the Yankees of, say, 7-8 years ago. Paul O’Neill is nowhere to be found. But let us look at The Buccos interleague stats from last year. The Pirates sported a 3-12 record, with a .269 team batting average and a 5.47 ERA. Interleague usually spells doom for the Buccos, so I don’t care if the team is playing the Devil Rays, Yankees or BoSox. The bottom line is, the Pirates hardly stand a chance against the American League, no matter the team being played.

At least Torres hasn’t regained the entire closer role. I think Capps can do a good job as closer. I mean, he’s been really the only Pirate player to show any life/excitement this season. Throwing at Fielder, Capps was asserting his ability to throw inside, no matter who is up at the plate. Not many other Buccos have shown that much life this season. Seriously, are teams intimidated by a roster that includes Jack Wilson, Don Kelly, Humberto Cota (who was just designated for assignment, finally) and Nate McLouth?

Hopefully the Pirates can hold their own against the struggling Yankees. If Pittsburgh can win 2 of 3, and basically tread water while Capps sits out (since I doubt the suspension will get overturned), then the team knows it has a viable option to close out games for the rest of the season.

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