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Fantasy alert! Twins ditch committee idea, name Jon Rauch closer

Big League Stew

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I feel like Gomer Pyle shouting "Citizen's arrest!"

If your fantasy draft is the next few hours/this weekend, be warned that the Minnesota Twins will not use a bullpen-by-committee to close ballgames.

Joe Nathan's(notes) replacement will be one man (for now): Mr. Jon Rauch(notes), the major leagues' tallest pitcher at 6-foot-11.

Dave Schwartz, a reporter in the Twin Cities for KARE TV (who looks a little like SNL's Andy Samberg), broke the news on Twitter after talking to the Twins manager Saturday:

"Ron Gardenhire just told me Jon Rauch will be the Twins closer, not a committee as he said earlier this week."

It is so, Schwartz says, because Gardenhire likes that Rauch has experience saving games. In 2008, Rauch had 18 saves in 24 opportunities as a closer for Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks.

He's 26 for 44 (59 percent) over his career, which includes some opportunities as a setup man (you could blow a save in the eighth, seventh and sixth innings, too).

No other Twins reliever comes close to a closer's résumé. Also, Rauch's other career stats are more encouraging (1.23 WHIP), though he's not an overwhelming strikeout guy (7.4 per nine innings).

So, Matt Guerrier(notes) fans, Jose Mijares(notes) groupies, Pat Neshek(notes) devotees, Jesse Crain(notes)-iacs (or Clay Condrey(notes)-acs, for that matter) — sorry. But stand by. Same for you, Jason Frasor(notes)-philes and Heath Bell(notes)-ringers.

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