Let's take a look at some NL West closer situations.
National League West Bullpens and Closers
Los Angeles Dodgers
This bullpen has a blizzard of closer options. Kenley Jansen sits at the top as an elite closer with ice running through his veins. Take a look at these numbers, they are nailz: 1.88 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 111 K in 76 innings with a 13.02 K/9. Of course we have to at least take a look at the other possibilities in case Jansen gets injured or flounders. These guys are: Brian Wilson, Chris Perez, Chris Winthrop, Paco Rodriquez and an interesting young arm, Jose Dominguez.
Apparently the D-Backs are not ready to anoint Addison Reed as the closer yet. For real, is this a joke? You traded one of your top prospects for him, but we aren't sure they want him to close. I would just forget all of that noise and expect Reed to close out games for Arizona for the entire 2014 season. The reason I say this is, well, let’s take a look at this competition: J.J. Putz (can’t stay off the DL), Brad Ziegler (I don’t care how many games he saved last year, he's still not a closer) and David Hernandez (can’t be trusted in that role). Yeah I’ll take Reed, all-day-errday!
San Francisco Giants
Sergio Romo is the Giants closer, and he should remain their stopper. He is not an elite closer per se, but he is durable, consistent and has some sick stuff. He is not your prototypical closer, because he throws in the upper 80s, but his wicked slider is considered to be one of the best in baseball. If Romo suddenly becomes inept, then here a list of other options: Santiago Casilla (most likely next in line), Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez. Now, that is not an exciting bunch, so I going to give ya my dark snowman sleeper and he is (drum roll, please): Heath Hembree. Hembree had his first “cup of coffee” in the majors last year and pitched well in his limited time. Here are his numbers: 0.00 ERA, .83 WHIP, 12 K in 7.7 innings. Even with this small sample, he managed a 14.03 K/9, which points to him as the Giants “future closer.”
San Diego Padres
I’m calling it right now, mark the tape: Huston Street does not have a snowball’s chance in hell to keep the closer role all season. And here are four reasons why: injury prone, declining strike rate (7.3 K/9), the possibility of being traded and did I mention injury prone? If I’m wrong, then you can bust my chops with ice blocks. Here are his replacement options once the inevitable happens: Joaquin Benoit, Dale Thayer and Nick Vincent (sleeper).
I’m nearly left speechless when looking at this mind-boggling situation. For some reason unbeknownst to anyone, LaTroy Hawkins is listed as the Rockies closer. Yeah, that’s just a bunch of snow flurries to me. Rex Brothers earned and deserves this job, period, end of discussion. Once Rex unseats Mr. Hawkins, then the smart people who drafted Brothers will be extremely happy. If for some reason both of these dudes falter, here are some alternatives: Matt Belisle, Wilton Lopez, Adam Ottavino and Boone Logan.