Brian Wilson, closer for the San Francisco Giants, will be having elbow surgery and miss the 2012 season. This means that the Giants do not have a closer – for the moment. Obviously someone will have to close out their games, but who?
There are two main candidates – Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla. Let’s look at them both.
Santiago Casilla picked up some of the slack last year when Wilson was on the DL. His numbers are solid (for 2011) – a 1.74 ERA, 45 Ks in 51 innings, and 6 saves in 7 chances. At 31 years old, he’s got experience and talent.
Sergio Romo had a fantastic 2011. He had a 1.50 ERA, a 0.71 WHIP, and 70 Ks in 48 innings. So talent is not an issue. At 29 years old, he is also not an inexperienced pitcher which often factors in for consideration for a closer.
Despite the talk that the Giants may go with a closer by committee, that rarely happens in baseball. Someone usually becomes the ‘go to’ guy. Despite the edge in experience for Casilla, I would take the dominant numbers of Romo (not to mention he has a Wilson type beard).
If you are in a deep league and needed to guess at who to grab, I would go with Romo. If you have the luxury of waiting, keep a close eye in the coming week(s) on who will be getting the nod.