jose veras cubsYou can totally forget everything you read earlier this morning, because, after a meeting with Jose Veras today, Cubs manager Ricky Renteria has changed his mind from last night (Jesse Rogers). Other pitchers will now be given an opportunity to close, and Veras is no longer “the closer.”

I’m sure this will be fleshed out in greater detail in the coming days – is it a committee approach? does Pedro Strop get the first crack? How about Hector Rondon? will Veras still get looks as the situation dictates? why the change of heart after the meeting with Veras? – but, for the near-term, don’t look for Veras to automatically be inserted into the 9th. It doesn’t sound like there’s a set closer right now, though, so it could be something of a committee until someone emerges as the best option.

Since I was pretty ambivalent about the decision to keep Veras in the role, I’m also pretty ambivalent about the decision to move him out. It’s fine. It’ll be interesting to see other guys get a look. And, let’s not forget, Kyuji Fujikawa could be back in a month.

UPDATE: Josh Timmers offers a pretty thoughtful take on Twitter. Renteria may have simply not wanted to publicly bounce Veras last night to the media before he had a chance to talk with Veras about the decision personally. We may never know, but that certainly would have been a nice way to do it.

  • HislersHero

    Maybe Theo gave him a call and told him to stop throwing his big mistake of the off season out there in the 9th to blow games.

    • Jon

      Yeah, it’s bad enough he has to throw his another big mistake out there every 5th day

  • Jon

    Changed his mind or Theo had a talk with him ?

    • Spriggs

      Or Theo made Jed have a talk with him.

      • Jon

        Theo is like Pauly from Goodfellas , he doesn’t like phones

  • Spriggs

    Wow. Maybe Veras admitted he blew. I would go with Strop first. Would much rather have Rosscup than Rusin brought up.

  • drben

    Sounds like he got a late night call from Uncle Theo…

  • HislersHero

    Guess everyone is thinking along the same lines about the FO telling RR what to say.

  • Soda Popinski

    The weird part: nobody has a clue whether or not Theo had a talk with him. He could have just changed his mind. Why are the conspirators out in droves today?

    • arta


    • MichiganGoat

      It’s also what managers do after a tough outing, you don’t throw them under the bus in the post game press conference. You want until you discuss everything with the player, but that would get in the way of the bullshit conspiracy narrative so many love to keep spinning.

      • Cyranojoe

        I’m strongly inclined to believe this. No reason for the FO to step in this early.

        • MichiganGoat

          If anything the FO should want him to successful close so they can flip him.

  • Argonzo

    Front-office conspiracy theories are nice, but maybe RR just wanted to talk to Veras first.

  • E

    I’d like to see Rondon get a shot.

    • arta

      i’m with E.

    • Lou Brown

      Yeah, I have liked Rondon’s stuff. At the start of last year he was right around 90 on the fastball, and it showed in the early results. But he got consistently faster throughout the year. He has looked good so far this year. I would like to see how he does, he did great last night.

  • woody

    I’m glad somebody has a pair whether it’s Theo or RR isn’t important. The two blown saves by Veres were so Marmol like that it gave me flashbacks. Look at the standings. The Reds are in last place and we have played the Pirates as even as anybody. I think maybe the FO is thinking that these guys can compete and doesn’t want to see any more games in the toilet because of Veres. Personally I would be inclined to take an early look at Viscaino.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Maybe the front office told the manager they had his back. Play to win the games and don’t worry about contracts and trade values.
    When we see easy ed pitching out of the bullpen, we will know for sure then.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    The positive is, they are all just keeping the spot warm for Vizcaino, who is the guy with elite closer stuff.

  • another JP

    I wouldn’t doubt if RR sat down with Veras and they agreed to do a closer by committee. Not a bad way to go for now- Veras can regain a little confidence and some of the other guys can have a chance to get the last three outs. Grimm and Rondon have the stuff to get the job done, so let them take turns and see what happens. Rondon is becoming a lights out reliever, and if Vizcaino continues to do well he should be up in a month or so.

    Love how the Cubs are making these moves sooner rather than later.

    • woody

      I think Renteria has the guts to make the tough choices, but he doesn’t do it in an abrasive manner. He strikes me as a guy who will always be supportive of every player from the human side of things. He’s not going to play the passive agressive games with guys by disiplining them publicly or in the club house. The fact that Barney has been riding the bench is an indication to me that Renteria is going to put his best guys in there regardless of others expectations.

      • another JP

        Agreed. RR is making moves during this honeymoon period and getting some positive results from most everyone. With the exception of Rizzo and Castro everyone has been sharing PT, which should keep players incentive to make the best of their opportunities. Split the next two games and the Cubs have a series win on the road.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Every team has issues. Think the cardinals are not concerned with Rosenthal. Fastball was at 94 last night. This a guy who was at 98-101 last year.

  • Funn Dave

    Wow. Some big internal moves today.

  • IA_Colin

    Something could be wrong with Veras. He didn’t have command in spring training either. Maybe he’s just not comfortable in the Cubs system? He also hasn’t really been on the same team for more than a season. He’s possibly just a fringe reliever and it’s showing.

  • Dustin S

    In RR’s defense, it’s kind of silly for reporters to ask him about a major decision like changing closers 20 minutes after a game. I think if I were him when asked about things like that, a better (non-answer) response would be something like “…my coaches and I are constantly re-evaluating all of our players, no one has a set position, our coaching staff discusses the optimal roles for the roster to give us the best chance to win everyday…”. It’s not the most interesting from a fan standpoint I know, but at least it avoids him having to say this player is my guy and then replacing him the next day.

    I still think we might see a phantom sore shoulder 15 day DL stint while Veras works on things.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    Maybe Theo should tell RR that they are going to a manager by committee until he gets his “bunting wildness” under control.

    • DarthHater

      heh heh

  • cjdubbya

    Saw something that I believe Stan (Mind of Stan/Crewsett) tweeted out late last night. Veras’ velocity has dipped about 2 mph this year from last year. Link was to Brooks Baseball, so the info’s there. Was 95-96, now 93-94, breaking stuff has a similar difference. Maybe he’s not quite right.

    Also, since I’ve been championing the #RondonFanClub on Twitter for oh, 13 months or so, my vote is for him if you absolutely need to designate a “closer”. I think I’d rather go the Bo Porter route – when I call you, get people out – but who knows.

  • Orval Overall

    Well, not going to matter today, I guess. (9-2 as I write this).

  • Akabari

    It does seem weird though that a team that hires freakin Tom Tango would be so worked up over less than 4 innings of work.

    • MichiganGoat

      Why? Is Tango hitting it pitching for us? I’m guessing this is just a stab at us saber-monkeys.

    • MichiganGoat

      Or are you blaming Veras on Tango? You know he’s not a scout?

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