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St. Louis Cardinals Closers Of The Future On Display

On Bird Land, a look at the Cardinals' possible closers of the future, with Ryan Franklin away on personal leave. (Franklin will presumably be the closer in 2011, at which point he has already expressed his intent to retire.) Derrick Goold's post is, for the most part, an advocacy of Kyle McClellan, lost in these discussions because his fastball is less impressive than Mitchell Boggs's or Jason Motte's. 

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Longtime Viva El Birdos readers will recall that I've never been fond of Kyle McClellan, whose purported effectiveness in the bullpen has always come at the exact right moment—he starts the season well, so we remember low ERAs; nobody else is good, so we remember how relatively reliable he was. But in 2010, for the first time in his career, he's actually pitching like an excellent reliever. Strikeouts are up and, more importantly, walks are way down—he's thrown 15 fewer than he did last season in one additional inning. 

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Motte and Boggs have also been solid this year; Motte, in particular, has occasionally shown himself to be the pitcher he was in Memphis and St. Louis in the summer of 2008. But while McClellan doesn't have a prototypical closer's repertoire, the Cardinals have proven themselves not in the least concerned by that in their continued employment of Ryan Franklin.

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