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It might finally be time. Manager Joe Maddon said he would love to give the job to hard-throwing, right-hander Tyler Walker. As you know, the Rays have been using a closer-by-committee program with Dan Miceli, Shawn Camp, Chad Orvella, and even Jesus Colome, before he was released, filling the bill. But with Miceli on the disabled list with right shoulder soreness, the time might be right for Walker. Maddon likes Walker's 95-mph fastball, and Walker had 23 saves last season for the Giants. But Maddon said he also likes Walker's temperament; that Walker lets bad outings role off his back and can come back fresh the next day. Having a closer also should help the bullpen gain some consistency because the pitchers will better know their roles. The pen has taken some deserved harsh criticism this season but the past few days has shown signs of settling down. Is that just a blip? We'll see but the ever-positive Maddon said he believes it might be the first sign that things could be starting to round into shape. We'll see.

Say what you will about starter Seth McClung, and a lot has been said about his inconsistency, but Big Red had his second straight solid outing Saturday against the A's. The best part is he is keeping things simple, not only on the mound but with reporters. After striking out just three in 6 1/3 innings against Oakland, McClung said he is pitching to contact because he knows his fielders will do the job behind him. Smart. Now all he has to do is start winning.

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


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