2013 Fantasy BaseballChris Garosi

2013 Fantasy Baseball: The Closer Report

veras land
Jose Veras
Source: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images North America

Well, we made it through the trading deadline not much really happened. Trades can still occur until August 31, but the player has to clear waivers.  The only trade involving a closer was Jose Veras moving to the Tigers. I covered that here and most of what I wrotestill holds true. Houston will have a committee and as such offer little value. And in the first showing from the committee, we had a blown save. Jose Cisnero entered in the top of the eighth and gave up three hits and a run in 1/3 of inning. He was followed by Wesley Wright who pitched 1/3 of inning an had a three pitch strikeout. Then Josh Fields got 2/3 of inning and gave up a run, walking one and striking out one. Chia-Jen Lo then took the hill and uncorked a wild pitch, walked a batter and then gave up the game-tying hit. Again, nothing to see here. However, we had a couple of other things happen this week that may move some closers around. And yes, Kevin Gregg is still with the Cubs.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Ernesto Frieri – the terrible version – is back in full force in the Angels’ bullpen. Mike Scioscia said that the Angels may need to “matchup a little bit more in the ninth inning.” But, what does that mean for us in the fantasy world? Frieri is still the closer and will likely regain the job later in the season, but he’s susceptible to bouts of wildness and homers so he’s always walking a tight rope.

Nick Maronde is the guy who will get lefty on lefty saves, if Scioscia is true to his word regarding matchups. The problem is Maronde has shown reverse splits in his short time in the majors. He’s been effective against lefties in his minor league career so the major leagues stats are probably an anomaly over a small sample.  Maronde’s 2013 season at all levels has been out of character for his minor league track record – his aforementioned splits are out of line and he’s struggled with his control. All that said, he’s not a guy I’d run out and get.

Dane De La Rosa has finished 14 games for the Angels this season, second only to Frieri. The 30-year old right hander seems to have finally found a calling with the Angels. He spent four years in independent ball and didn’t get the call to the majors until he was 28. He’s been a solid arm for the Angels this year iptcing to a 3.93 ERA (2.94 FIP, 3.30 xFIP) with a solid strikeout rates (8.2 K/9, 22.4 K%) and good control (2.9 BB/9 7.8 BB%). He’s just the kind of boring, down the middle type of reliever that the Angels might need to counter balance the Frieri Experience. If I were speculating, this is where I’d go.

Kevin Jepsen has also been relatively effective in the Angels’ pen this season with a 4.23 ERA (3.08 FIP, 3.95 xFIP) and better strikeout numbers but poorer control than de la Rosa. Jepsen has some closing experience in the minors (43 saves over his 11 years in the minors and two saves last season). Even with that experience I think he falls behind De La Rosa.

Robert Coello hasn’t been very good since his demotion to AAA and likely won’t be a factor this year.

Ryan Madson is still on the shelf and shouldn’t be counted on this year.

Seattle Mariners

The entire Mariners’ bullpen imploded on Thursday night with Tom Wilhelmsen giving up four runs and recording zero outs, Oliver Perez taking the loss and giving up two runs of his own, and Yoervis Medina giving up a walk and two hits (including the game winner).  What does it all mean? Likely not much – everyone was terrible (including interim manager Robby Thompson who had some issue with the difference between right and left) so everyone keeps their seats at the table.

As a result, Wilhelmsen is now out of a job. Medina has given up runs in two of his last four outings and in last night’s outing he allowed the winning runs to score so he may not be trusted in that role either. Perez has given up runs in four of his last five outings so he may not be trusted either. It’s as muddled a situation as there is in all of baseball. Thompson’s discussion of the bullpen situation offers no clues.

Carter Capps is still plugging away at AAA and has given up two earned runs in his nine innings there since his demotion. However, he’s got four walks against six strikeouts during that time as well, so the M’s will likely want to see better control before bringing him back.

An interesting story on dark horse Danny Farquhar may put him into the bullpen discussions. Farquhar has been the most effective bullpen arm for the Mariners over the last couple of weeks so he might get a shot.

Stephen Pryor has a 17.18 ERA in his first five appearances on the comeback trail from the DL. He’s not an option.

All of that to say I think Thompson will probably go with the veteran Perez first. If he struggles, it’s probably on to Medina. Farquhar would be a more inspired choice, but I’m not sure Thompson in his interim role is looking to rock the boat.

Close Calls

Jim Henderson continues to solidify his hold on the Brewers’ closer’s role for the remainder of the season. In 12 games in July, he had a 1.64 ERA over 11 innings striking out 16. He still has a bit of an issue with walks as he’s given up eight over those 11 innings. His competition, John Axford has a 5.40 ERA in July over 13 appearances and 10 innings. I don’t see the Brewers going away from Henderson unless he is injured.

Jason Grilli said he will return soon. I don’t see it unless the Pirates start sputtering due to issues in the bullpen. And there is a low probability that this bullpen will falter. In redraft leagues, Grilli is a candidate to be dropped. I can see the Pirates making sure he’s completely healthy for a playoff run.

Vinnie Pestano was demoted this week by the Cleveland Indians. He hasn’t been great, but hasn’t been terrible. It looks like the Indians wanted to get him some time in the minors to figure things out. Expect to see him back in September.

Pedro Strop blew up this week. But, that was to be expected. He’ll probably still get first crack at the closer’s job should Kevin Gregg be dealt in August. However, I don’t trust he has the skills to maintain the role long term.

Bobby Parnell has been unavailable since Tuesday due to a neck issue. The Mets had a save situation since Friday night and David Aardsma was called on for the save and promptly blew it LaTroy Hawkins pitched the eighth inning and is another possibility to close. The injury is assumed to be minor, but monitor the situation if you are a Parnell owner.

Definitions

2013 Closer – The guy who is  the current closer.
Handcuff Option – This is the guy who I believe will step into the closer role if the current closer loses his job.
Other Option – Another arm in the pen who could close if the manager chooses to go a different route.
Dark Horse Option – If all hell breaks loose in the pen, this guy could get a shot this year.
2014 Closer – This guy should be in the closer’s role on Opening Day 2014.

 

Team

2013 Closer

Handcuff option

Other option

Darkhorse Option

2014 Closer

Arizona

Brad Ziegler

J.J. Putz

Heath Bell

David Hernandez

J.J. Putz

Atlanta

Craig Kimbrel

Jordan Walden

Luis Avilan

Anthony Varvaro

Craig Kimbrel

Baltimore

Jim Johnson

Francisco
Rodriguez

Darren O’Day

Brian Matusz

Not on the team

Boston

Koji Uehara

Junichi Tazawa

Matt Thornton

Rubby de la Rosa

Andrew Bailey

Chicago (NL)

Kevin Gregg

Pedro Strop

Blake Parker

James Russell

Arodys Vizcaino

Chicago (AL)

Addison Reed

Nate Jones

Matt Lindstrom

Hector Santiago

Addison Reed

Cincinnati

Aroldis Chapman

J. J. Hoover

Alfredo Simon

Sean Marshall

Aroldis Chapman

Cleveland

Chris Perez

Joe Smith

Cody
Allen

Preston
Guilmet

Chris Perez

Colorado

Rex Brothers

Wilton Lopez

Rafael
Betancourt (DL)

Adam Ottavino

Rex Brothers

Detroit

Joaquin Benoit

Jose Veras

Drew Smyly

Jose Valverde

Not on the team

Houston

Jose Cisnero

Wesley
Wright

Josh Zeid

Josh Fields

Not on
the team

Kansas City

Greg Holland

Aaron Crow

Tim Collins

Luke Hochevar

Greg Holland

Los Angeles Angels

Ernesto Frieri

Dane de
la Rosa

Kevin Jepsen

Ryan Madson (DL)

Ernesto Frieri

Los Angeles Dodgers

Kenley Jansen

Paco Rodriguez

Brandon League

Ronald Belisario

Kenley Jansen

Miami

Steve Cishek

Mike Dunn

Chad Qualls

A. J. Ramos

Steve Cishek

Milwaukee

Jim Henderson

John Axford

Michael Gonzalez

Brandon Kintzler

Jim Henderson

Minnesota

Glen Perkins

Casey Fien

Jared Burton

Michael Tonkin

Glen Perkins

New York Mets

Bobby Parnell

LaTroy Hawkins

David Aardsma

Jeurys Familia

Bobby Parnell

New York Yankees

Mariano Rivera

David Robertson

Joba Chamberlain

Phil Hughes

David Robertson

Oakland

Grant Balfour

Ryan Cook

Jesse Chavez

Sean Doolittle

Ryan Cook

Philadelphia

Jonathan
Papelbon

Antonio Bastardo

Justin De Fratus

Joe Savery

Jonathan
Papelbon

Pittsburgh

Mark Melancon

Tony Watson

Justin Wilson

Vic Black

Jason Grilli (DL)

St. Louis

Edward Mujica

Trevor Rosenthal

Kevin Siegrest

Carlos Martinez

Trevor Rosenthal

San Diego

Huston Street

Luke Gregerson

Dale Thayer

Brad Boxberger

Huston Street

San Francisco

Sergio Romo

Santiago Casilla

Jeremy Affeldt

Jose Mijares

Sergio Romo

Seattle

Tom Wilhelmsen

Oliver Perez

Yoervis Medina

Carter Capps

Tom Wilhelmsen

Tampa Bay

Fernando Rodney

Jake McGee

Joel Peralta

Jamey Wright

Jake McGee

Texas

Joe Nathan

Joakim Soria

Jason Frasor

Neftali Feliz

Joe Nathan

Toronto

Casey Janssen

Steve Delabar

Brett Cecil

Sergio Santos

Casey Janssen

Washington

Rafael Soriano

Tyler Clippard

Fernando Abad

Erik Davis

Rafael Soriano

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