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Joe Maddon said sending Seth McClung to Triple-A Durham to learn to be a closer could be the best thing for his career. It certainly couldn't hurt at this point as the right-hander is 2-10 and has lost six straight. McClung may not see it that way (he always talks about being a starter)but Maddon may be right. McClung has a 96-mph fastball and a good curve, the two absolutes for a closer. And he can be good in short spurts. If he can "harness'' his stuff for a short period and overcome any hurt feelings associated with being demoted and having his job description changed, he might just flourish. In the meantime, Edwin Jackson is being brought up from Durham and added to the pen and Tim Corcoran becomes a starter. Jackson is an interesting case. He pitched so well when he was with the Rays but struggled in Durham. Could be a mind thing in that he believes he belongs in the majors. Perhaps we'll see a better pitcher than he has shown lately.

   You've got to feel bad for Joey Gathright. A fan favorite, he was given every opportunity to stake a claim when Rocco Baldelli was hurt. But he failed and now he is traded to the Royals. Not only that, he was traded for a mid-level minor leaguer in J.P. Howell. It wasn't long ago Gathright was believe to be trade bait for Marlins hotshot Scott Olsen. But Gathright was exposed as a not-ready-for-prime-time major leaguer with bad plate discipline and shoddy defense. It's too bad for the Rays they couldn't pull the trigger on a trade during the winter or spring.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:30am]


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