Results tagged ‘ closers ’
Could he be successful in the majors?
Not only do I think Jim Hoey can be a successful major-league pitcher, I think he has the potential to be an above-average closer. Of all the pitchers I’ve seen pitch for Norfolk, Jim Hoey is the most potentially dominating. In 21 innings, over 18 games, he struck out 32 and allowed only 11 hits (and no home runs). Of course, his control was shaky, with 17 walks in those 21 innings.
Hoey’s going to be 28, and he’s been injury-prone. 2004 and 2005 were lost years (a total of 21 2/3 innings in the NY-Penn league). He was brilliant in 2007 at age 24 (0.79 ERA at AA and AAA) only to succumb to another injury; he missed all of 2008 and spent 2009 getting back to where he once was. He’s not young; he doesn’t have good control, but still … 11 hits and 32 strikeouts is awfully impressive.
There are four basic types of (successful) closers. First are the Dennis Eckersley-type closers, who don’t have outstanding stuff but just keep throwing strikes and challenging hitters. Then there are the Stu Miller/Dan Quisenberry type closers, who get batters out with changeups and sinkers. Then there are the Mariano Rivera/Bruce Sutter type closers, who get batters out with pitches that move. Finally, there are the Goose Gossage/Lee Smith type closers, who overpower batters with their fastballs.
Hoey, obviously, would be in the overpowering fastball class. He’s not going to be Goose Gossage or Lee Smith. But the thing about that class is that some — not all — but some of them have been successful for a time without great control. Mitch Williams, Dick Radatz, Ryne Duren and Mark Clear, for example. If I compare Hoey to the other closer options the Orioles have, I’d give him a full shot at the job.