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Chris Perez Could Close in St. Louis

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It's possible that there could be a new closer in St. Louis come next week following Jason Isringhausen blowing another save last night, and as he put it "[P]itched like a second grader." With a meeting today with members of the Cardinal brain trust it seems possible that minor leaguer Chris Perez will be called up and become the Cardinals closer for the time being.

Perez is a former closer at the University of Miami and was drafted in the first round of the 2006 draft by the Cards as one of the new line "ready made closers" in the breed of Ryan Wagner, Craig Hansen, and more successfully Chad Cordero and Huston Street. Per Kiley McDaniel of SaberScouting Perez features a great slider and a good fastball, and has good enough command to get by -- although it could use some work.

It's hard to assume that Tony LaRussa won't lean towards a veteran -- making Ryan Franklin likely to take the immediate role. In his 30th season as manager LaRussa's average closer age is 33 with the youngest being 25 year old Salome Barojas way back in his White Sox days; Perez is currently 22, and will turn 23 in July, but if the Cardinals are serious about supplanting Isringhausen, a free agent at the end of this season, Perez is undoubtedly the man.

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via www.valleyleaguebaseball.com