I still think Alfredo Simon can be a closer at the big league level. Sure, he needs to throw more strikes. This is a new thing for him.
Less than a year after Tommy John Surgery, he was back on the mound throwing 96-97 mph fastballs. That's incredible.
Some think that anybody can close. Not true. It takes a certain type of pitcher to handle that ninth inning. Just because a guy can do it in the eighth inning, doesn't mean he can succeed in the closer's role.
I think that's the natural progression, but Simon didn't get to ease his way into it. The Orioles were forced to throw him in to sink or swim.
If the coaching staff can get him to really trust his fastball, I think he could dominate in that role.
Some people think I'm crazy. They think Simon is nothing more than a guy who will be out of that role before you can blink an eye. That's fine with me. They may be right.
But, I would like him to just come in and throw the fastball for strikes. He needs to stop trying to be so perfect with his fastball. Just throw it in there and say, "here it is, see if you can hit it."
I know he will have to mix in an off-speed pitch every now and then. But right now he is trying to pitch like a starter, using all of his pitches.
It's just not necessary to do that in the closer's role...
Good luck Alfredo!