Cleat Geeks

Who should close for the Cubs?


Over the weekend the closer’s role for the Cub’s looked like this; Thursday, it was Hector Rondon, while Saturday belonged to Pedro Strop and Sunday, Jason Motte earned a regular-season save for the first time since 2012.Hector+Rondon

Cubs relievers rank 10th in the National League with a 3.68 ERA, and they have 14 saves in 22 opportunities. The Cubs are in a bit of a bind because they guy who started the season, Hector Rondon, has struggled of late.  The Cubs have recently signed Rafel Soriano to a minor league deal to add to the bullpen and may end up in the closing role.  Hopefully the Cubs can figure it out soon because the run production is there and someone needs to close it out.

So far this season, Hector Rondon has 10 saves and a 2.96 ERA.  Also, Rondon has posted 21 strikeouts and seven walks.  On the bad side of things, his ERA is high for the average closer and Rondon has blown three games this year.

Hector Rondon has been benched at times.  Pedro Strop has two saves on the year and Jason Motte has one that he acquired on June 7th.  With the signing of Rafael Soriano, Joe Madden has options now and may be calling among another guy to close out the game.


Over a 13-year career, Soriano has pitched for the Mariners (2002-06), Braves (2007-09), Rays (2010), Yankees (2011-12) and Nats (2013-14). He primarily served as a setup man early in his career before saving 27 games for the Braves in 2009, then went on to record a career-high 45 saves with Tampa Bay in 2010 where he had 45 saves with a 1.73 ERA under then Tampa manager and current Cub’s manager Joe Madden where he was named an All-Star.  Soriano’s most recent stint was with the Nationals the past two seasons where he had 75 saves and a 3.15 ERA.

Apr 10, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Rafael Soriano (29) throws during the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Soriano was to report to the Cubs’ academy in the Dominican Republic and needs to complete some paperwork first. There is no timetable for when he would arrive in the U.S.

“Just let him pitch and throw down there,” Maddon said. “Once he gets up to the States, we’ll have a better understanding. I’m looking forward to talking to him — he’ll be honest with me.”

Soriano should be making a quick impact to this struggling bullpen.  Soriano has stated that he will need at least three weeks in Triple A-Iowa to prepare for the majors.  The Cubs are hoping that the wait will be worth it for the Cubs do not seem to have a definite closer at this point.

But can or will he be the closer for the Cubs upon his arrival? “I have no idea,” Maddon said. “I honest to God don’t. I just want him to be well. I have no idea what he’s going to look like.”

According to reports, Soriano will earn a pro-rated portion of a $4.1 million base salary and can add up to $4 million in incentives, which will be based on games finished and appearances.


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