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SF Giants: Can Camilo Doval establish himself as the closer

By Nick San Miguel
San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies
San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies / C. Morgan Engel/GettyImages
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The SF Giants came into the 2022 season with a closer-by-committee approach. With Camilo Doval looking solid as of late, can he solidify himself as the team's closer this season?

SF Giants: Can Camilo Doval establish himself as the closer

If we are looking at the SF Giants closer situation in terms of raw stuff, then Camilo Doval is clearly the man best equipped to hold down the 9th inning. With an electric fastball that regularly touches triple digits and has nasty two-seam movement coupled with a nasty slider when he is on, he has the stuff one would expect from a closing pitcher in this day and age.

Of course, to paraphrase Uncle Ben from Spider-Man, with great stuff often comes great wildness. We know that Doval can struggle to find the strike zone at times. In 15 and 2/3 innings pitched this year he has issued nine free passes which is as many as he allowed in 27 innings of work last season. If Doval is to establish himself as the team's long-term closer then he must cut down on those walks.

But given the other options the Giants have at closer, Doval is still arguably the best option. Jake McGee is currently on the IL and sports a 9.58 ERA albeit only through 10 innings of work. Tyler Rogers and Dominic Leone have looked like the same versions of themselves from last year but both seem better suited for a setup role and occasional closing duties.

Rarely is it boring when Doval is on the mound to close out the game. There seems to be at least one walk and the tying run seems to always get to the plate. Giants fans can interpret this as Doval paying homage to other closers in the team's history who have made fans collectively bite their nails like Rob "Heart Attack" Nen and Brian Wilson, but it would be a lot more confidence-inspiring if Doval could record some drama-less saves.

In short, Doval certainly has the electric stuff one expects from a closer and has been solid for the Giants in that role this year. But in order for him to lock down ninth-inning duties for the long term he needs to find away to avoid excessive walks. If he can do that, he may be the team's closer for a long time.

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