January 14, 2008
When the Arizona Diamondbacks traded closer Jose Valverde to the Houston Astros last month it left what many think is a gaping hole in the bullpen and questions around who will close games for the snakes in 2008. It is not as though Arizona is without any options, they currently have three individuals on their roster who is more than capable of filling the role as closer. For the past year I have been a proponent for Tony Pena to be given an opportunity to become the closer. His blazing fastball with late movement as well as his mental make-up seems to suggest he is the prototypical closer. Others have suggested that Chad Qualls whom the Diamondbacks received in the deal for Jose Valverde be given an opportunity to become the closer. Qualls has been very durable and consistent over the past few seasons and would seem to be a very good candidate. Another possibility and one that is looking more and more as the favorite; is to move current set-up man Brandon Lyon from his eighth inning role to become the closer.