Thursday, November 29, 2007

Closer Troy Percival Will Pitch Again

I've liked Troy Percival ever since I watched his career take off on the Anaheim Angels, so I'm glad to hear he will be returning to MLB. Assuming there are no unforeseen snags in negotiations, Percival and Maddon will be reunited in Tampa Bay next season. Sources say that Percival is close to completing a multiyear contract with the Rays. Percival, 38, retired after pitching in 26 games for Detroit in 2006. But he came back to pitch for St. Louis last year and threw well, compiling a 1.80 ERA in 40 innings over 34 games. Percival has a long history as a closer, with 324 career saves, but he probably will fill a variety of roles for Tampa Bay, which has retained closer Al Reyes.

In 1996, he became the regular closer for the Angels and had 36 saves with 100 strikeouts in 74 innings. He had a career-high 42 saves in 1998, and enjoyed his best season in 2002 with a 4-1 record, 40 saves, 68 strikeouts, and a 1.92 ERA. A four-time All-Star, Percival has compiled a 29-38 record with a 2.99 ERA in 586.2 innings. His 316 saves put him at 12th on the all-time list in Major League Baseball.

The Devil Rays consist of a young squad, so Percival's wisdom and mentality as a long-standing veteran could help guide this fresh talent.

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