All-Star skipper: Team has capable closers

July, 1, 2012
7/01/12
2:17
PM CT


ARLINGTON, Texas -- It had become American League All-Star tradition to have New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera waiting in the bullpen to close the game in the ninth. But the 42-year-old Rivera isn't on the squad this year as he recovers from a torn ACL suffered in May.

AL manager Ron Washington said he feels good about the five closers he has on the team, including Baltimore's Jim Johnson, Cleveland's Chris Perez, Tampa Bay's Fernando Rodney, Oakland's Ryan Cook and the Rangers' Joe Nathan. Washington chose Nathan and Cook.

"I'm very pleased with it," Washington said. "I think I've got the best that the American League has to offer and there's probably a couple of more than didn't come. If we get to that point, I think we'll be able to shut the game down very easily."

Washington said he had an idea of the player he wanted to close the game if the AL has the lead in the ninth, but he wasn't ready to make that public.

"Rivera's not here," Washington said. "I have quality options. We'll just see how the game flows and the way it works."
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Martin Perez
WINS ERA SO IP
3 1.86 20 29
OTHER LEADERS
BAL. Martin .322
HRP. Fielder 2
RBIA. Rios 10
RE. Andrus 12
OPSS. Choo .891
ERAY. Darvish 0.82
SOY. Darvish 23