David Hernandez – “Master of Puppets” (1986)
Metallica’s third effort is by far their best. Each song hits exactly on the right note every time. Sure, there are some warts (“Disposable Heroes” is too long), but if you were to recommend a Metallica album to someone, this would have to be the one.
Much like that, if you had to name the pitcher from the currently available selections who fans would want to see trotting out in the ninth inning to start the season, Hernandez is probably the best option to close right away.
Prior to his going under the knife for elbow surgery, he had an above average fastball complemented by a slider that produced outs with regularity. He spent all last season getting himself back into pitching shape. Now that he is further removed from the surgery, the hope is that he’ll regain those lost ticks on his fastball and resume being a strong relief option.
Will he remain the closer all year? That depends on his health, and the competence and speed of development of some of the talented kids in the minors. But right now, he’s probably the best option that the team has to close.
There you have it. That’s how I feel the bullpen sets up at this moment. Will Hernandez actually close? Is there a hotshot rookie who seizes the job unexpectedly in Spring Training? Are these Metallica albums ranked as you think they should?