MLB Closers & Saves: Week 1 Updates
Before the season gets into full swing on Monday, I’d like to briefly examine the updated closer news or perhaps give you a closer recap around the league. There has been a decent amount of news, injuries and updates that need to be mentioned before the season gets underway. It’s kind of like of while your at work, daydreaming about beer as a stress relief, but not actually knowing how many beers you have stashed.
The question becomes which pitcher I draft without knowing the full details. Should I stop for a sixer after work, splurge and buy a case or simply go home in case the wifey is in a bad mood and you have to listen to that, naaaaannnaannnnaannnnnannnnannnannnnaaaaaaaaaaaaaa bull crap. One quick hit before I get to it:
I wish I was little bit taller
I wish I was a RotoBaller
I wish I had a girl who looked good
I would call her
I wish I had a Trout in a hat with a bat
And a six four curve balla
I wish I was a little bit taller but at least I’m already a RotoBaller. Here is a quick “closing” trip around the league. My objective is to list the closer, setup guyer and sleeper with possibly some quick notes if warranted. You can always reference RotoBaller's awesome MLB Closer and Saves Depth Charts for up-to-date closer statuses.
AL East Closers & Saves
Closer: Tommy Hunter. I am a little worried because he had a terrible spring, and he can't get lefties out, but hopefully he was just working on some pitches.
Setup Guyer: Darren O’Day
iSleeper: Evan Meek. If Hunter cannot get the job done, many will think that O’Day or Ryan Webb gets a shot. O’Day is not a closer, Webb is a ground ball pitcher, so Meek might be their best option. He once was dubbed the “future closer” when he was in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
Boston Red Sox:
Closer: Koji Uehara
Setup Guyer: Edward Mujica
iSleeper: Junichi Tazawa. Edward Mujica is owned in roughly 46% of the leagues with Tazawa only owned in 10% of the leagues. Most people would think that Mujica would be the logical choice to replace Uehara if he were to falter or get injured. I personally would take a gamble with Tazawa.
New York Yankees:
Closer: David Robertson
Setup Guyer: Shawn Kelley
iSleeper: My first choice here would be Preston Claiborne but since he got sent to the minors, my iSleeper pick is Andrew Bailey. Bailey is only contracted through this season so I’m sure he will do everything in his power to stay healthy in order to get paid like a baller.
Tampa Bay Rays:
Closer: Grant Balfour
Setup Guyer: Heath Bell
iSleeper: Jake McGee. McGee has had a great spring with 8 Ks in 7.2 innings. Yeah I know that we are not supposed to pay attention to player’s spring numbers but I do when it comes to closers because they live in small sample sizes.
Toronto Blue Jays:
Closer: Sergio Santos. What I had previously written about Casey Jansen: "Really how long can his shoulder hold up, something has to give? For his sake I hope he stays healthy but I’m not sure how he will with continued shoulder soreness". And BAM! Predicting the future, all day errr day.
Setup Guyer: Steve Delabar
iSleeper: Steve Delabar would be the fallback option if Santos also gets injured.
AL Central Closers & Saves
Chicago White Sox:
Closer: Matt Lindstrom - update as of 3/31
Setup Guyer: Nate Jones
iSleeper: Daniel Webb. As of right now manager Robin Ventura has not named a closer but with my luck Daniel Webb wins this job outright (I dropped him a week ago).
Closer: John Axford
Setup Guyer: Cody Allen
Closer: Joe Nathan
Setup Guyer: Joba Chamberlain
iSleeper: Al Alburquerque. Two reasons: the made-up name and his ability to strike out batters in bunches.
Kansas City Royals:
Closer: Greg Holland
Setup Guyer: Aaron Crow
iSleeper: Kelvin Herrera. I wish I could throw the ball much harder. Oh wait he does, yeah okay, so that is why he's the sleeper here, next question.
Minnesota “Basil” Twins:
Closer: Glen Perkins
Setup Guyer: Jared Burton, dope Splangeup. This pitcher is nailz, check it out on fangraphs.com: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/jared-burtons-splangeup/
AL West Closers & Saves
Closer: Jim Johnson. Meh!
Setup Guyer: Luke Gregerson
iSleeper: Sean Doolittle, he is far from little and I doubt that he wishes he was a bit taller.
Closer: Fernando Rodney, another complete Meh!
Setup Guyer: Danny Farquhar
iSleeper: Tom (I use to be a bartender but now I’m a good at baseball) Wilhelmsen. Danny Farquhar is my choice but Wilhelmsen’s curve ball is still nailz so we shall see.
Closer: Joakim Soria
Setup Guyer: Alexi Ogando
iSleeper: Neftali Feliz. Soria has not looked sharp at all this spring and he hasn’t even looked close to his former self. I know that Feliz is in the minors but I really do believe he is the guy to own long term (which means a month in closer-land).
Los Angeles Angels:
Closer: Ernesto Frieri
Setup Guyer: Joe Smith
iSleeper: Fernando Salas
Setup Guyer: This pitcher wishes he was a bit taller.
NL East Closers & Saves
Closer: Rafael Soriano
Setup Guyer: Tyler Clippard
iSleeper: Drew Storen. Here is another case of the dubbed “future closer” once upon a time. Clippard will most likely get the first shot at closing out games once Soriano fails but Storen is the guy to watch.
Closer: Jonathan Papelbon
Setup Guyer: Antonio Bastardo
iSleeper: I still believe in and wish that Phillippe Aumont was the top baller, maybe someday but still hoping. At this point the only reason that Papelbon is closing out games is because of his salary which makes no sense to me because he would get paid regardless. I wonder where Ugueth Urbina is at these days.
Closer: Craig Kimbrel, nuff said, no reason to go any further.
Closer: Steve Cishek
Setup Guyer: A.J. Ramos
iSleeper: Arquimedes Caminero
New York Mets:
Setup Guyer: Germen Gonzalez
iSleeper: Jeurys Familia. This dude might be the closer by the end of the season. He is nasty and throws the ball hard and could put up a nice k/9 ratio, which is what we like to see in a closer. My first choice would have been Vic Black but he is in the minors and was very erratic during the spring.
NL Central Closers & Saves
Closer: Jose Veras
Setup Guyer: Pedro Strop
iSleeper: Arodys Vizcaino. Jose Veras probably gets moved to another team by the trade deadline and Pedro Strop has similar stuff with some control issues. Don’t be surprised if Vizcaino or Kyuji Fujikawa is closing by seasons end.
Closer: Many Fantasy Experts think that J.J. Hoover is the closer, but I disagree.
iSleeper: Manny Parra. This situation reminds me of the same situation that the St. Louis Cardinals went through last year. Edward Mujica came out of nowhere and saved 37 games for the Red Birds. Now I am not saying that Manny Parra will save that many games, but I think he could be an option before Aroldis Chapman comes back within five weeks.
Closer: Jason Grilli
Setup Guyer: Mark Melancon
iSleeper: Duke Welker
St. Louis Cardinals:
Closer: Trevor Rosenthal
Setup Guyer: Carlos Martinez
iSleeper: Jason Motte. I think that Carlos Martinez could join the starting rotation at some point leaving Jason Motte as the main handcuff if healthy.
Closer: Francisco Rodriguez - update as of 3/31
Setup Guyer: Jim Henderson
NL West Closers & Saves
Los Angeles Dodgers:
Closer: Kenley Jansen = Nailz
Setup Guyer: Brian Wilson = The guy who brought beards back? Really? I’m sorry but not a fan at all. Before he started this was he like, I wish my beard was a bit longer, I wish I was a baller but he is definitely not a rotoballer.
iSleeper: Jose Dominquez
San Diego Padres: Ron Burgundy: “It's actually pronounced Sahn Dee-aaahh-go.”
Closer: Huston Street, uhm!!??
Setup Guyer: Joaquin Benoit
iSleeper: Nick Vincent, if the old guys cannot get it done.
San Francisco Giants:
Closer: Sergio Romo, not a fan this season.
Setup Guyer: Santiago Casilla
iSleeper: Heath Hembree or Derek Law. I would not be surprised if either one of these pitchers were closing for the Giants by the end of the season.
Closer: LaTroy Hawkins (Am I reading this correctly?)
Setup Guyer: Rex Brothers (The real closer but not yet because of money)
iSleeper: Chad Bettis
Closer: Addison Reed
iSleeper: Longshot – Jake Barrett
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