Brandon Dickson: Closer?
According to this story, Junichi Fukura is considering using Brandon Dickson as a closer. Fukura said that (regarding closer Yoshihisa Hirano) “you don’t know what might happen in WBC. I’m a little worried. I have to think about it. Just as a precaution.”
Sure, anything can happen. Hirano could get hurt. Hirano has admitted that he is struggling with the WBC ball, and that could lead to him not being fully prepared when the season begins. However, converting Dickson to the bullpen does not make sense. It’s not as if Orix has an abundance of starters, and Dickson is a fine no.3 starter. He posted a 2.7 WAR last season according to Deltagraphs, which was half-a-win better than staff-ace Chihiro Kaneko, for what it’s worth.
If Fukura wants to prepare someone just in case, fine, that’s a good thing, but I would suggest Tatsuya Sato, who despite having 2 consecutive down years if you look at his ERA (3.22 and 5.01, respectively), still recorded K% of 30.9 in 2015 and 28 in 2016.