Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays' Closer Report

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 3: Pitcher Troy Percival #40 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws in relief against the Boston Red Sox May 3, 2009 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Todd FarinoCorrespondent IMay 18, 2009
Thanks to Joe Madden and his closer wisdom, many have been confused as to who is the closer for the Rays.
Troy Percival is the obvious choice, but since he got hammered on May 13, and with left-handers hitting .475 he had been benched for a few days to clear his head. JP Howell and Joe Nelson each picked up saves in his absence.
Today Percival went back to closing and pitched a near perfect inning with two strikeouts. He did hit Mark DeRosa and Carl Crawford mad a great catch two save a double. In the end, Percival is back to closing.
Nelson looked as though he could be getting the job, but Percival is their guy and Nelson has had his own problems and isn't much of a closer.
Start Percival at will, but Expect Madden to Howell or Nelson if the 9th inning is loaded with left-handers. If Percival gets the save chance, fasten your seat belt and cover your eyes.

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