Wade Davis is Making His Case to be a Closer


We all knew that Wade Davis was a dominant eighth inning pitcher. The numbers that he has posted this season speak for themselves, as Davis has posted an 8-2 record with a 0.71 ERA and a 0.821 WHiP, striking out 94 batters in his 63.1 innings of work. His run of dominance since April 26th has been nothing short of amazing, allowing only one run, earned or otherwise, in his last 53 innings. In fact, Davis may well be the best reliever in baseball this season.

This impressive run by Davis, as well as his strong performance in the bullpen for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012, certainly signals that he has found a home in the bullpen. Likewise, Davis’s performance makes one wonder if he would be able to become a closer in the future. Even though he has dominated in the eighth inning, that is no guarantee that Davis would be effective in a ninth inning role. After all, there have been numerous setup men over the years who dominated in the eighth, yet were unable to replicate that performance in the ninth.

With Greg Holland dealing with tightness in his tricep over the weekend, Wade Davis got his chance to put in an audition as a closer. He was thrown directly into the fire, appearing in 1-0 and 2-0 games in Yankee Stadium. That second game just happened to be Derek Jeter Day in New York, a game that a team desperately clinging to life in the playoff game truly needed to win. Instead, Davis calmly slammed the door, preserving both victories.

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Former Chicago Cubs closer Wade Davis hangs up his spikes
Former Chicago Cubs closer Wade Davis hangs up his spikes /

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  • As Holland is firmly entrenched as the closer in Kansas City, Davis is not likely to see many other save opportunities. However, it may be that the Royals will need to look at trading either Davis or Holland this offseason. Davis is due $25 Million in team options over the next three years, while Holland is entering his first year of arbitration. For the Royals, as dominant a duo as Davis and Holland have been, it may be too expensive to keep both pitchers going forward.

    Given his performance this season, Wade Davis would likely be a very hot commodity should the Royals look to trade him. Now, as Davis has shown that he could potentially work as a closer, he may fetch a higher price in any potential trade during the offseason.

    For now, the Royals have a viable second option to close out games should anything happen to Greg Holland, or if the Royals want to give him a night off. Having an option like Davis waiting in the wings to close out games is certainly a major advantage for the Royals. After all, look at the general dumpster fire that is the Detroit Tigers bullpen.

    Wade Davis has certainly made his mark this season. He is also making a case to be considered as a potential closer in the future.