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Mijares Could Mean Affeldt Closes

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Mijares Could Mean Affeldt Closes

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Manager Bruce Bochy was surprised that the left handed specialist Jose Mijares slipped through waivers and landed with the Giants.

The Giants were awarded left-hander Jose Mijares off of waivers on Monday. It doesn't sound like the sexiest post-trade-deadline move in the world, but it's kind of a big deal. (Just like all of Brian Sabean's roster moves!)

First of all, there's Mijares' talent in a vacuum. He's quite good, having posted a 163 ERA+ with the Royals this season, striking out 37 in 38.2 innings pitched. More importantly, as a LOOGY ("Lefty One-Out GuY" AKA a left-handed specialist), Mijares has dominated, allowing lefties to hit just .214/.280/.321 with one home run and 21 strikeouts in 84 at bats this year.

This explains why Bruce Bochy was so surprised to see him slip through the waiver cracks.

"I don't know what the situation is, but that did surprise me," Bochy said. "He's really having a good year."

Adding Mijares isn't just about his skill. It's also about the trickle-down effect on the Giants bullpen. Previously, Santiago Casilla was installed as the closer, without questions. Then he started developing blisters and little bit of a problem with "not being able to close."

The result is now that the Giants will roll with a committee going forward, and that committee will likely feature Casilla and Jeremy Affeldt, with the potential for mixing in Sergio Romo.

"With Casilla, trying to give him his needed rest, that's forced us to change our minds and do it by committee," Bochy said.

Bochy didn't outright say that Affeldt will be the go-to guy, but because Mijares can take over the LOOGY role, it becomes substantially easier to use Affeldt in save situations. Affeldt doesn't necessarily have "closer stuff," but he's handled this role for the Giants before, he's a relatively unflappable veteran, and his presence should equate to less issues late in games and, hopefully, a calming presence for Casilla.

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