A 2017 Oakland A’s bullpen preview: Closer by Committee?

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Jul 27, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt (21) and relief pitcher Ryan Madson (44) celebrate the victory against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 27, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt (21) and relief pitcher Ryan Madson (44) celebrate the victory against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oakland Athletics
Sep 2, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Ryan Dull (66) pitches the ball against the Los Angeles Angels during the seventh inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

Ryan Dull is the pitcher you want in when there are runners on base.

It doesn’t matter what inning it is or which pitchers needs to be taken out of the game. Whether it’s a starter or a reliever there is just one guy that you want to bring in, often times there are more than one instance in a game in which you which he could come in.

Ryan Dull does not let inherited runners score. pulled off something incredible. He pitched into July and never let a runner left on base by the pitcher before him score.

He set a record stranding 36 runners, something that had not been done since at least 1961 (when complete records began being recorded) according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

“You knew it was going to eventually happen, and especially in that situation, I was going to do anything,” Dull said after the game. “A double play was going to help us more than that one run. I’d gladly sacrifice it to get the double play there.”

Not only did Dull make himself indispensable to the Athletics’ bullpen, he proved that he’s a good teammate to have.

He didn’t mind that his streak had ended. He was just glad that the team got out of the inning and eventually got the win against the Astros last July.

The 27-year-old right-hander isn’t the type you’d expect to be breaking big league records in his rookie season.

He was chosen in the 32nd round of the 2012 amateur draft by the Oakland Athletics and spent plenty of time in the minors.

Yet, he’s taken every opportunity that has come his way and made the most of it. From getting promoted from Double-A Midland to Triple-A Nashville to making the 25-man roster out of spring training last season.

And he certainly made the most of his opportunities to pitch last year. He finished 2016 with a 2.42 ERA and a 0.874 WHIP.

There’s every reason to consider Dull as a potential closer. He’ll likely finish out more than the nine he closed out in 2016, if the “closer by committee” plan stays in place.

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