In Week 10, I am going to take another trip around the MLB and dig deeper into some more bullpens and their so-called “closers.” As savvy veteran fantasy owners, we get very upset when our closer (or any closer, really) blows a save. How can a starting pitcher throw 7-8 scoreless innings only to see his masterpiece, destroyed in less than 5 minutes? How can this be? How is a pitcher not able to get just 3 outs? Closing out games and the save category is and always will be a mystery to me. Some forward-thinking leagues have combined saves and holds into a single category, and while love this idea and wish more leagues would incorporate it, the fact is that saves continue to be a ubiquitous stat for fantasy leaguers, and as such, we've got to chase 'em anywhere we might find 'em. Anyways, enough with the rant; let’s get into it:
Rex “Step" Brothers: Step Brothers is probably one of my favorite comedies off all time well besides The Big Lebowski. (I'm not that any comedy will ever touch The Big Lebowski.) And when you think about it, Rex is like the step brother to Rafael Betancourt. Rex is not the "real" brother, but he is next in-line, so to speak, touted by the Rockies as the future closer for a couple of years now, and there is a strong chance that if he pitches well he may in fact keep the job. I like Brothers and believe he is worth a pickup in all leagues, but then there is that little stigma: he is a dreaded lefty. If Brothers struggles, I doubt the Rockies would turn to Matt Belisle, as they seem to like him pitching in the eighth. Some sites will probably name Wilton Lopez as next in-line, but I don't think he has the chops to close out games. I think the two dark horse sleepers here are Edgmer Escalona or Adam Ottavino. Edgmer’s fastball has increased 2 mph over the last year and he has some really nasty stuff. For now though, invest in Prestige Worldwide, Boats and Hoes!!
Luke “I am your father” Gregerson: Tell me if you have heard this one before: Huston Street is on the DL. This, of course, should come as no surprise, as the fragile Street has not pitched over 65 innings since 2008. Luke slides into the closer role and Dale Thayer moves into setup duties. Luke Gregerson becomes an immediate add in all leagues with Dale as a fallback option. I only see one dark horse sleeper for saves in this pen, and that is none other than Brad Boxberger. He was included in the trade that sent Matt Latos to the Reds and before being traded to the Padres he was labeled their future closer.
Miami Marlins Bullpen "Meh": Do the Marlins even have a closer? Most fantasy websites have Steve Cishek atop their depth charts, so I guess he is the closer. With regard to Mr. Cishek, though, let’s see... he blew a save Tuesday night (6/4), in Miami’s first save opportunity since May 10. According to most websites, Mike Dunn and Chad Qualls are next in-line. Ugh! This is almost as bad as Houston’s bullpen! Ryan Webb would have been one of my sleepers, but he does not have dominant stuff outside of the power sinker, and he's been marginal at best in 2013. I think the most interesting name in this bullpen is A.J. Ramos but he has been less than stellar this season, but his fastball reaches the mid-90s and he brings elite strikeout ability which is what everyone likes to see in their closers. If your team is absolutely desperate for saves, I would speculate and grab Ramos because I do not see Cishek keeping this job.
Expect Jim Henderson to be activated from the disabled list this Sunday; he should reclaim his job from the incumbent Francisco Rodriguez. In continuation from last week, I am going to list a few pitchers who are fantasy relevant in deeper leagues. These pitchers could help your team out in other categories but not necessarily saves:
Tom Wilhelmsen has a long leash but has struggled recently; keep Carter Capps in mind to vulture a few saves when Wilhelmsen is unavailable.
Here is an interesting name that not many people talk about: Robert Coello, he is sporting a nice 19/2 K/BB ratio over 13.3 innings and could work himself into late inning duties.
Sean Doolittle is supposedly next in-line in Oaktown but with his recent struggles Ryan Cook may also be in line. Ryan Cook is right handed and finished out some games for Athletics last year with Balfour on the shelf.
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