“Shaky outing, but he’s still our guy. It’s too early to decide anything like that,” Renteria said Friday night. “His stuff is there, but I think he just gets a little excited. He starts pulling some pitches. He overthrows pitches. He just has to find his rhythm.”
After sleeping on it, Renteria changed his mind and notified reporters that he’s going to let a few other relievers try the closer role.
Veras has been awful during his first year with the Cubs. He has a blown up ERA at 12.27 with a 2.45 WHIP. In addition, the 33-year-old right-hander has seven walks to only three strikeouts in 3.2 innings of work.
The decision shouldn’t negatively affect the veteran reliever. If anything, it should help him relax.
Last season Veras was the closer for the Houston Astros and put up a 2.93 ERA. When he was removed from that role to play a supporting one with the Detroit Tigers following a late July trade, his ERA only bumped up a few notches to 3.20.
Expect Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon and Justin Grimm to be three possible relievers to get a crack at the recently opened position. And with that, comes inexperience. They only have seven saves between the three of them.
Through the first 10 games of the season, the Cubs’ bullpen ranks 18th in the MLB with a 4.46 ERA. The Milwaukee Brewers lead the league with a 0.91 ERA.
Strop has a 4.76 ERA during his 5.2 innings of work. While Grimm and Rondon have been lights out, not giving up any earned runs this season.
Personally, I’d like to see Grimm get the nod. His fastball velocity fits the bill and he’s only 25 years old.
Veras has the experience, but the Cubs aren’t likely to be contending for a playoff spot this season. With an expiring contract, expect Veras to be on the move closer to the trade deadline.
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