ST. LOUIS -- Blake Parker totaled seven saves at Triple-A Iowa before he was called up to the Cubs. Although the right-hander doesn't have a save opportunity this season with the big league team, that experience at Iowa may pay off down the road.
"It's a funny business, closing [games]," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "First of all, you have to find somebody who can handle the last three outs. You hear me talk about that a lot, the makeup of somebody. Not to take away from [Edward] Mujica, but it's not like he has overwhelming or overpowering stuff. He doesn't walk anybody, he throws a split and a fastball. Over the years, you find [closers]."
Sometimes they come out of nowhere, like Joe Borowski, who saved 33 games in 2003 with the Cubs.
"It's not that easy, but you do find guys without paying big money," Sveum said.
Parker's Minor League saves could help.
"That's the process of how you do it," Sveum said. "You have to evaluate a guy's heart rate sometimes. The unfortunate part of it in the big leagues is that you have to experiment, and it's the last three outs of the game with a save on the line."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less