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October 11, 2013

Raising Aces

Set-up the Fall Guy

by Doug Thorburn


The role of set-up man is a tough gig. Serving as the bridge to the more famous, better-compensated closer, the set-up man carries all of the risks of a late-inning reliever with virtually none of the accolades. A closer who gets his requisite three outs (or more, as often happens in the postseason) might be credited for “shutting the door” on the opposition, but the eighth-inning guy is rarely mentioned in the aftermath of a victory. The only time the name of a set-up man appears in bold ink is when he gives up runs and incurs the dreaded blown save.

The situation is magnified under the microscope of playoff baseball, where one bad turn can hang like an albatross around a pitcher's neck throughout the offseason, and set-up men are stuck in an unenviable position with two potential outcomes: to succeed quietly or to fail loudly. Let's give the set-up men their 15 seconds of due fame and tip the cap to the top eighth-inning options (one right-hander and one southpaw) in the bullpen of each playoff team.

Boston Red Sox

Junichi Tazawa

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Related Content:  Relievers,  Bullpen,  Set-up Men

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Minor League Update: A... (10/11)
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Premium Article Raising Aces: Playoff ... (10/04)
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Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush Lea... (10/18)
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Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: AL... (10/11)

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