Brett Tomko the Closer?

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

The New York Yankees gave recently demoted pitcher Brett Tomko a surprising role. Tomko will be the closer at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Yea, I know closer? Wasn’t he a starter his whole career? The Yankees were even looking at him as a spot starter and long man in the bullpen. So how did he wind up the closer? The reasoning is actually pretty simple.

Tomko has enough experience where he doesn’t really need the work. He knows exactly what he needs to do to be ready for when he gets called up to the Major League roster. The guys who really need the work are the young pitchers. The guys like Mark Melancon, David Robertson, Steven Jackson and Anthony Claggett. They’re the minor leaguers who will get a bulk of the innings in the pen.

“Tomko is going to pitch in the closer role right now, and we’ll go from there,” pitching coach Scott Aldred said. “We’ll see how it works. I think it will be fine. A lot of experience. Give him some intense work instead of being a long guy and pitching in some games that don’t mean much, I think we’ll get the best out of Brett Tomko by pitching him at the end of the game.”

Is Tomko happy about this I doubt it? He was pretty upset at not making the big league roster and now to be a closer? Tomko has an out thou. If he’s not on the big league roster June 1st he can become a free agent. I’m sure Tomko will swallow his pride and do what he has to too prove himself. He’ll either make the Yankees call him up or make another team know he can contribute.

Regardless, it’s still weird to hear that Tomko is closing.

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