John's Favorite Current Closer: Brad Lidge (Reuters photo)
My current favorite major league closer is Brad Lidge.
This is a guy with a terrific arm who had a bunch of injuries but never gave up. A first round pick in 1998, out of Notre Dame, he was limited to just six starts in 1999 due to arm problems, just eight starts in 2000, and just five starts in 2001. He pitched great when he took the mound, but he took the mound so seldom that everyone seemed to forget about him. His first healthy season was 2002, when he made 19 starts for Triple-A New Orleans and posted a 3.39 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 112 innings. The Astros converted him to relief in '03 to try and keep him healthy, and you can see the results for yourself the last two years.
Generally speaking, I like players who have overcome some sort of adversity before they have success, and Lidge fits the bill perfectly.