A closer

To me, that was a key ingredient we were missing last year. Two seasons (Arkansas’ and LSU’s) might have taken completely different tracks if we had a closer.

So, who fills that role next year? Someone currently on staff? One of the new recruits? Help…

Cronin has the stuff. Need to harness it. The Bonnin kid sure fits the profile in terms of stuff. I don’t like finesse closers so I hope whomever they chose is a flamethrower.

Trevor Stephan and Cody Scroggins were a couple of potential closers in 2017, but weren’t used in those roles because of injuries.

I think Arkansas has a lot of options at closer next season. Jake Reindl typically was good out of the bullpen. Kevin Kopps is tough to solve the first time through the order and his cutter is a great strikeout pitch.

Without question the Hogs were about two arms short this past season. When you are short an arm or two, that means you don’t get to your closer. They could piece it together the first night, using the best arms in the bullpen. But you are not as effective the next day or on a Sunday after already pitching on the weekend. So you aren’t going to have your best stuff that second time out.

I’m guessing that you see several pitchers on this team benefit from another year with Wes Johnson’s off-season workouts. You may see someone come back with the kind of stuff that pitching coaches like to call “filthy electric.” That’s what you want as your closer, a guy with a big heater. He might be good twice in a weekend if you don’t use him more than three or four outs each time.

When you get a staff that is 10 deep, then you can usually be alright. One of them might develop into a closer. I think there was hope that Taccolini could have been that. Or, as Matt said, Stephan or Scroggins.

I’m like others, Cronin might have electric stuff. Look for someone like him to make a big jump over the next six or seven months.