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Gonzalez ain't no committee man

Fredi is hoping to come out of spring training with a designated center fielder and closer.

First up, his thoughts on the center field position and what he would prefer to do.

He said he'd like to use veteran utility player Alfredo Amezaga primarily as a backup infielder, leaving the competition in center field to candidates who are traditional outfielders.

So don't look for Alfredo to log a lot time in center field during the spring, if any.  While we would all love to have Amezaga spelling the infielders on a routine basis it doesn't mean he won't end up playing center.  He is still the default option.

But this season Fredi isn't worried so much about the offensive production from the position.

"Everything being equal and if our offense, which was pretty good last year, cranks it up again this year, we could just worry about a defensive guy in center field," Gonzalez said. "If you get a guy who can do both then that's great. For me, pitching and defense is what wins ballgames."

I agree completely with that statement and it was spoken like someone who was paying attention while he was in the Braves organization.  The good news is that if defense will be the most important attribute, all things equal, that pretty much kicks Alex Sanchez to the curb.  Personally I'm still hoping Brett Carroll will hit and find himself a role in the majors.  But if not, then either Cody, Joe, Reggie or Eric will step forward and fit the bill.  Though Joe is probably less in the running since he is such a good pinch hitter in pressure situations.  If Reggie or Eric are planning on being the team's center fielder, one of them is going to have to hit major league pitching better than last season.  Playing defense is one thing, but hitting worse than some random fan chosen from the stands, is another.

Fredi is also hopeful that one person will emerge as the closer.

Also, Gonzalez nixed the idea of opening the season with a closer-by-committee in the bullpen.

"I'd hope it would be just one guy,'' he said.

I hope so too.  Closer by committee rarely works out.  Now as to who that will be, is anyone's guess.