Monday, April 11, 2011

Early Closer Report

With nearly 10 games in the book after tonight, it’s time to look at the Closer situations for the league. Some teams have made changes, some teams stated they would use a committee but have reverted back to having just “the man” in the Closer role, and others may still be looking for someone to send out there in the 9th.
Did any of you use my Closer Strategy I posted back in March? If you did you should be leading your league in saves. For me; six teams with five 1st or tied for 1st and one with 3rd place in leagues for saves. Easy points boys.
So far this year we only have only 3 true vulture RP with saves. One each from Marshal CHC, Boyer NYM (who was just designated for assignment), and Lindrstom COL. Sale CHW got one in an extra inning game, Ramirez SFG picked one up while the bearded one was on the DL and Rodney LAA had one before being demoted, then picked up one last night after that 14 inning marathon.  The only two Closers without a Save would be Wilson SFG and Thornton CWS. Here is what the league situation looks like at the moment.
Yankees - Mariano Rivera  - 4 Saves-No competition.
Red Sox - Jonathan Papelbon – 1 Save-No competition but no chances either.
Rays –Kyle Farnsworth- 1 Save -Jake McGee has the promise to eventually take the job but has not been all that impressive so far. At one time this was supposed to be a committee in TB but the team is so bad Saves are going to be few and far between.

Orioles - Kevin Gregg – 1 Save- Koji Uehara could still get chances every week and probably is the better pitcher. With the O’s actually playing good ball, either RP can be of value in the near future.
Blue Jays – Jon Rauch -2 Saves- Frank Francisco got roughed up in his rehab start so not sure what to make of this when he returns. Stick with Rauch going forward.
White Sox - Matt Thornton - 0 Saves-It's clear that both Sale and Thornton have the skills to close but with Thornton’s new 12M contract I think the decision has been made for the next 2 years. But with Ozzie who knows plus Chris Sale has the only White Sox save.
Indians - Chris Perez – 4 Saves-No competition.
Royals - Joakim Soria  – 3 Saves- No competition but has an ERA over a touchdown and a WHIP at a buck and a half.
Twins - Joe Nathan -3 Saves-He’s healthy so Matt Capps is nothing more than a vulture guy at this point.
Tigers - José Valverde – 2 Saves- No competition but will be on a pitch limit this year. After a 60 pitch outing post All-Star break Valverde went downhill.  Joaquín Benoit is a fantastic Holds pick-up and may get a chance or two every month.
Angels - Jordan Walden – 1 Save- He was lurking and is now the man for the Halos.  Fernando Rodney must pitch lights out to even be considered again as the Closer. Rod

A’s – Brian Fuentes – 3 Saves- has done a solid job in place of Andrew Bailey.  Don’t look to see Bailey back for another 2 weeks.
Mariners - Brandon League 1 Save- David Aardsma is expected to return to the Seattle bullpen in late May now. No rush on his return so stay with League for the time being.
Rangers - Neftali Feliz – 3 Saves- He was the closer, is the closer and will be the closer all year.
Nationals - Sean Burnett – 2 Saves- Finally emerged as the one to close out the few and far between Nationals games.
Phillies –Jose Contreras – 2 Saves- Brad Lidge is out for 3 months…drop him now he will be useless going forward.
Mets - Francisco Rodríguez – 1 Save- No completion but still completing anger management classes.
Marlins - Leo Nunez – 3 Saves- lost it to Clay Hensley late last year and may do so again after a couple of Blown Saves.
Braves –Craig Kimbrel – 3 Saves- Jonny Venters was thought of as half the combo to close in Atlanta but the decision has been made to keep Kimbrel full time in the 9th.
Cubs - Carlos Marmol – 3 Saves- No competition but will not pitch 3 consecutive days it looks like.
Reds - Francisco Cordero  - 1 Save- No competition.
Brewers - John Axford – 3 Saves- No competition but an early season shellacking gave owners worries. He still has a ERA over 10 but has pitched better lately.
Astros - Brandon Lyon –1 Save- No competition and I mean NONE. Their bullpen is that bad even with Lyon having an ERA above 12.
Pirates - Joel Hanrahan – 4 Saves - He also leads all RP in Ks so far this year. I own this guy in 5 of 6 leagues…thanks me…you drafted well.
Cardinals - Ryan Franklin – 1 Save- Has blown 3 Saves now and will be the next to get demoted. Be ready to pick up Jason Motte this time next week.
D’Backs - J.J. Putz – 3 Saves- No competition.
Dodgers - Jonathan Broxton - 5 Saves - Leads all Closers with 5 Saves. Pitching well and has no competition unless he completely implodes.
Giants - Brian Wilson – 0 Saves- Came back shaky in both appearances but will be the man all year, sink or swim. You have to read his tweets on Twitter.
Padres - Heath Bell –2 Saves- No competition. Keep in mind he might get traded if the Pads fall out early.
Rockies – Huston Street – 4 Saves- Thanks to Kris "Conehead" Neisen for pointing out my omission of Street in the past. Street had a beautiful 3 inning outing this week. Just a solid pitcher so far with no competition.

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