You 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.