Here's the last part in my preview series, looking at the closers.
1. Brian Wilson - Giants
2. Jonathan Broxton - Dodgers
3. Chad Qualls - Diamondbacks
4. Huston Street - Rockies
5. Heath Bell - Padres
I get the feeling that I could toss all of these names in a hat, mix them up, then go with whatever order I pick them. All of these players have either done it before with bad numbers (Wilson), are just getting their feet wet (Broxton, Qualls, Bell) or are trying to overcome injures (Street).
Wilson gets the nod because even with a 4.62 ERA and 1.44 WHIP, he still saved 41 of the Giants' 72 wins. That's hard to ignore. Broxton stepped in for the injured Takashi Saito and went 14-17, then gave up only a solo homer in 5.2 IP in the playoffs. His stuff is overpowering. Qualls puts up excellent numbers across the board, so you would think he'll be good in the 9th inning as well. Street needs to prove he's over injuries and can put up good enough numbers in Colorado, or Manny Corpas will be lurking. Bell faded in the 2nd half last year, and on a mediocre team at best, it's hard to see him being that effective.