St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Jason Motte throws during the ninth inning of Game 2 of baseball's World Series against the Texas Rangers Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) By Matt Slocum
(BaseballStL) -- It was a position that the St. Louis Cardinals struggled with no matter who assumed the role...except when it came to one man.
Jason Motte was officially named the team’s closer as spring training began for pitchers and catchers this weekend. Motte was never labeled “closer” despite saving nine games in the regular season and another five games in the postseason last year.
“Jason (Motte) is our closer,” manager Mike Matheny said. “There is not a question about that right now and that is how we are setting this up this spring.”
There was also no question who to hand the ball to late into the game last September as the Cardinals were clawing its way back into the playoff race. In that magical month, Motte saved eight games in nine opportunities and was flawless in October.
With Tony La Russa now gone, there is no doubt what the 29-year-old flamethrower’s role will be.
“That is good to know that they have the confidence to say that and when it comes down to it,” Motte said. “It doesn’t change the way I look at it, it doesn’t change the way I work...just because someone says that I still have to go out there and get the job done.”