Welcome back to The Fantasy Fix’s Closer Report for Week 10. As I write this first paragraph, I think we’re going to have a pretty short report. We may finally be seeing bullpen’s settling down across baseball. There are still a few hot spots that we’ll discuss, but there are a lot of pens right now where the closer is pretty well set. Follow along to see where we are today.
Remember, we’ve moved the Fantasy Fix Closer Report Chart to its full time home right here.
As always, feel free to ask a question in the comments below or shoot me a note on Twitter.
Jordan Walden is scheduled for his second rehab appearance on Saturday night and if he checks out OK, he should be back in Atlanta on Monday. He’ll slot back into the setup role behind closer Craig Kimbrel.
Hector Rondon imploded on Friday night blowing a three run lead to the Marlins in the ninth. The Cubs went to win the game, but Rondon’s leash got just a bit shorter. He’s been solid in the closer’s role (this is only his second blown save in nine chances), but Neil Ramirez is nipping at his heels. Rondon should be safe for now, but another couple of poor outings could vault Ramirez into the role.
One thing of note though is that Rondon didn’t pitch from May 25 until getting into a game on June 3 which is a long time for any reliever – one wonders if the Cubs were attempting to nurse him thorugh an injury. It is something worth watching.
Finally, Jose Veras was designated for assignment this week and won’t be bothering us any time soon.
Chicago White Sox
Don’t look now, but Ronald Belisario had back to back saves this week. I’ll say it again – he’s the best pitcher in that pen (thought that’s not saying a lot). And Robin Ventura seems loathe to make changes unless his hand is forced.
Cody Allen picked up four saves over five days and clearly looks to be the head of the committee as former captain of the SS Indians Bullpen Bryan Shaw has faltered as of late. I didn’t think Allen would take the gig and run with it after his one save Friday night, but he’s taken advantage of the opportunity.
Rex Brothers is slowly pitching his way off of the Closer Chart. He’s given up runs in four of his last six appearances. His most recent appearance on Wednesday had him giving up four hits, a walk and five earned runs while recording zero outs. Not good. Not good at all. He isn’t worth owning in keeper or dynasty leagues at this point until he can put some clean appearances together.
Prior to his appearance on Friday night, Joe Nathan had given up eight runs over his last 1 1 / 3 innings pitched spanning just three appearances. Nathan got a vote of confidence after his last implosion from manager Brad Ausmus. And the Tigers didn’t pay big bucks ($9M this year) for Nathan to be the setup man. He did have a clean appearance Friday night against the Red Sox in a non-save situation (the Tigers scored twice in the eighth to turn it into a non-save situation, but Nathan was warming in the pen for the save chance).
Meanwhile, Joba Chamberlain has pitched quite well this year (2.59 ERA, 1.67 FIP, 2.48 xFIP, 2.25 SIERA) with a 29.3% K% and 7.1% BB% (career 23.5% and 9.3% respectively). He’s a must own for Nathan owners though is upside as the closer next year is limited by Joe Nathan’s $10M contract next season.
Los Angeles Angels
Cam Bedrosian has made his way to the major leagues after tearing up AA and AAA. He probably won’t have value this season, but dynasty players should have him on their radar as Ernesto Frieri will only get more expensive via arbitration.
Rafael Soriano home run update? Still no homers given up in 23 innings pitched this season. It’s coming.
2014 Closer – 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. And to clarify – this may be the lefty specialist who steps in for match up saves along the way.
Dark Horse Option – If all hell breaks loose in the pen, this guy could get a shot this year.
2015 Closer – This guy should be in the closer’s role on Opening Day 2014.
And if you are looking for the chart, we’ve moved it to its permanent home right here. Updates will be made daily so be sure to check back each day to see any movement.
Thanks as always for reading.