When Addison Reed left town in the Adam Eaton deal everyone wondered who would take over 9th inning duties. Two candidates seem to have emerged this spring in Nate Jones and Matt Lindstrom. And if you listen close enough to what is being said in Arizona, it appears as though Jones is the guy to beat. The righty was average at best last year over 70 appearances. He struck out 89, but carried a 4.15 ERA and 1.22 WHIP.
Much has also been made of selecting someone with a “closer’s mentality.” In other words, can a guy keep it together when it matters most? Jones can’t answer that question as he currently has 0 saves during his career. But the 28-year-old told MLB.com his approach to pitching is pretty stagnant:
"You've still got to get three outs, still got to put up a zero. As a reliever that's what all our jobs are, no matter which [inning] we get, you still want to put up those three outs and put a zero up. It doesn't really change too much."
The club has put no timetable on officially naming their closer and pitching coach Don Cooper isn’t interested in talking about the subject. The fact that Jones is now healthy and dominating Cactus League play won’t hurt his chances. Sadly, he might just be the best bet in any otherwise shallow pool.
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