Jose Veras Out as Cubs Closer

Rick Renteria addressed his bullpen, and specifically the closer situation on Saturday morning. After Friday night’s game in which Jose Veras could not find the strike zone and was charged with his second blown save of the season, Renteria said he was going to stick with Veras as his closer.

Rick Renteria changed his mind on Saturday, a decision that was discussed with Jed Hoyer in length following Friday’s game. Renteria told the beat writers he spoke with Jose Veras and informed him of his decision.

For now, Jose Veras will not be used to close games for the Cubs.

Rick Renteria will use different relievers in the role, play matchups and see which one emerges as the best option to close games. Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon and Justin Grimm are the top three candidates with Brian Schlitter no longer part of the pen after being optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Saturday morning.

Jose Veras spoke with the beat writers Saturday morning prior to Renteria’s announcement. Veras “wore his heart on his sleeve” according to ESPN Chicago and said, “For some reason I can’t get three outs right now.” Veras took responsibility for his performance according to the Tribune and is “grateful” for the Cubs support. Veras told Patrick Mooney he is not hurt and is 100 percent healthy.

The Cubs plan on using Veras in non-save, non-pressure situations in order to get him on track. Veras has struggled with his command since day one of Spring Training. And while spring numbers do not mean anything, a pitcher must show improvement with hitting his spots as spring progresses. Veras did not and his lack of command has carried into the season.

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  • SuzyS

    Good.

  • BigJonLilJon

    My vote goes to Rondon. Strop has had some troubles finding the strike zone him self. Grimm needs to stay stretched out as he will slot into the starting rotation when the annual flipping of pitchers start.

  • RynoTiger

    look at that..making a change already to try and find a way to win those games…and some silly people keep saying the Cubs are losing on purpose..just silly

    • Swish23

      silly-silly-silly-look at the options to close? Rondon?
      Strop?
      Grimm?
      Maybe i’m missing something, but none have had good MLB careers.
      If the FO is trying; they should be fired now.
      If they are just losing for the draft pick; so be it. Which they are.
      3rd in tix prices
      5th in revenues
      near the bottom in payroll.
      They ain’t trying; that losing. On purpose.
      Year 3 of the Plan or the (Tank) Plan.
      What’s silly is why waste monies on Veras to begin with. Just lose. It’s the Plan.
      (of course; attendance has seen 6 straight home games under 30K announced (much lower in reality; 10K as much or more).
      Last time that happened? early 1998.
      That’s the silly thing about sports; the fans sorta kinda want you to try to win.
      Just silly.

      • RynoTiger

        just silly how you can’t see the bigger plan of the future for consistent winning and championships. just silly.

        • Swish23

          Consistent winning? Has the team been .500 yet? Tanking.all.day.long. Ur argument is based on fairy tales.

          • JasonPen

            Stop with the negativity already. No one believes they are losing on purpose.

            I don’t really have the patience to type how stupid an idea it is to try and win as you rebuild. But it never ever has worked.

            If you’re not first, you might as well be last. You get a much better prospect out of it. Next, signing a bunch of big-name FAs to long-term big money contracts is a terrible idea. Most free agents are on the wrong side of 30 and gave been getting very long contracts. We have played that game before, remember Soriano? They have been signing low-risk veterans that have a chance to rebound and get flipped in July (see Feldman) for prospects. Flipping Veterans has gained us a solid core of young players to build around, led by CJ Edwards, Mike Olt, Vizcaino, and others.

            Once a few of these top prospects are Major League ready, you will see the FO start to spend money bringing in some ‘named’ veterans to fill the needed spots. Most likely starting pitchers.

            That is how you win. And win every year.

            Its really simple to see what they are doing. If youre not on board with doing it the right way, you’re welcome to go be a Yankee fan. We’ll welcome you back in a year or two once it starts being cool to be a Cubs fan again…

          • GaryLeeT

            In the future you may be able to point to those flipped guys as great pickups, but nobody has done anything yet. So you might want to hold onto those prognostications for a bit. Oh, and Feldman (whom any team could have had) has been lights out so far this year.

  • raymondrobertkoenig

    I give Ricketts a vote of confidence.

  • paulcatanese

    Ah, the joy of having a yes man for manager. If anyone thinks that Renteria made the choice to remove Veras as the closer and not Hoyer’s, there’s a bridge somewhere for sale.
    As confusing as his lineups are, the contradiction with Veras from last night tells it all. He does what he is told. That should have been a no-brainer from the end of the game.
    His decisions from calling a hit and run with 0 outs and runners on first and second with Castro up to leaving Veras in until the game was tied does it for me. The man follows instructions, I have seen nothing to say anything else this year.

    • Tony_H

      Did you ever thing that he didn’t want to announce to the media that he was removing Veras or thinking about doing it and wanted to sleep on it and talk to Veras in the morning? Hoyer was asked this morning if they met to discuss it, and he said the decision was all Renteria.

      • paulcatanese

        What else was Hoyer to say? No meaning that I don’t like Renteria, simply that I see things that should have been done a different way. Reality, Renteria seems to be a pretty good fit
        as a buffer between management and the players, this is not an easy thing to do the way the plan is constructed.

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