3 Down: For the Padres to Win, Time For The Quack Attack


This article is in direct response to Mark ‘Wisco” Whelan’s piece from last week. In his piece he argued that the San Diego Padres ONLY chance to win the World Series this season, would be for Joaquin Benoit to be the closer.

I categorically disagree with this assessment.

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He bases his claim on the fact that Benoit looked very good in the closer role last season and had a terrific season in general.

However, I would argue that Benoit is still best as the eighth inning set-up man, and that Kevin Quackenbush should be this year’s closer.

I base this on three main points:

1) Quackenbush is younger and poised to be the closer of the future. Benoit’s contract ends this season.

2) Quackenbush also showed poise and domination in closer moonlighting duties last year. In his minor league career he had 64 saves from 2011-2013. Not to mention six saves last year for El Paso and six for the Padres in the majors.

3) I have to go back to the fact that Benoit will turn 38 this season.

Sometimes you don’t want to mess with your strengths. There is no question that having Benoit set up for Huston Street last year was great for the Padres. Like Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland in Kansas City last year, Thayer, Benoit, and Street shortened the length of interesting baseball for the opposing team. When they got to the seventh inning, it was pretty much over! We should continue that trend.

With Benoit holding down the fort in the eighth, it gives the Padres a level of comfort when in the lead and Quackenbush is more than capable of being the full-time closer.

The ninth inning is such a key spot, the Padres cannot afford to have Benoit potentially struggle. Not for a team with sights set on the playoffs and more.

On top of that, on the rare occasion that Benoit does need help, Quackenbush would be able to pitch a little more than one inning to help bail out Benoit in the eighth too. I don’t think Benoit would be able to change his patterns much at 38!

The Padres bullpen has been a strength for years now. From the days of Gregorson/Adams/Bell to Benoit/Street and beyond. They always seem to find quality arms, and this year looks to be no exception.

But a 38 year old closer? Do the lessons of Joe Nathan, Brian Wilson and other aging closers teach us nothing?

What do you guys think? Should Quackenbush or Benoit be the Padres closer? Do you have an overlooked third option?

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