We are now 6 full weeks into the season, and there may be more unsettled closing jobs than at any point thus far. It is becoming extremely clear that there are going to be some teams interested in acquiring closers before the July 31st deadline.
You Can Count Your Saves Now. They're Going to Be There.
These Guys Are Practically Money, but Something's Not Quite Right
(7) - Nunez recorded 3 more saves this week, bringing his season total to 13. He did have a rough outing on Wednesday, and my only real concern at this point is WHIP for Nunez. In his last 7 appearances, he has walked 5 batters.
Royals - Joakim Soria (7) - Soria blew the one save chance he had this week, but his offense was able to pick him up and get the win for him. Lewis Coleman got the save in the 11th inning of that game, but both Tim Collins and Aaron Crow had both pitched already in the game. I'm a bit concerned, as he hasn't recorded a save in May yet.
Angels - Jordan Walden (7) - Walden did record a save on Saturday, but blew another save opportunity on Wednesday with 2 walks and 2 earned runs. He remains a high strikeout pitcher, but still a bit risky.
Blue Jays - Frank Francisco (7) - Francisco was used exclusively as the closer this week, and looks like the Blue Jays plan to use him exclusively in the role. That said, he struck out 4 in 2 1/3 innings this week, and could be very valuable in that role, providing he keeps it.
They're Going to Get You Saves, And Not Destroy You in Other Categories
Phillies - Ryan Madson (7) - Madson had 3 saves this week, and pitched well in each outing. Jose Contreras looks like he will return by the end of the month, but based on the way that Madson has pitched, I'm not convinced that Contreras will take the job back immediately.
White Sox - Sergio Santos (7) - Thornton got a save on Wednesday, but he was called upon to pitch after Santos had already thrown two innings. Santos had 2 saves and a win this week, and appears pretty firmly entrenched in the job.
There's A Lot to Like Here, but You're Playing with Fire
He's Going to Get Saves This Week, But He May Not Next Week
Mariners - Brandon League (7) - Talk about a tough week. 3 losses this week, 3 blown saves. 7 runs, all earned. 1 strikeout, 10 hits. And yet, he still has a decent hold on the job because there really isn't a better option in the Mariners bullpen.
Dodgers - Vicente Padilla (7) - Padilla recorded a save and a hold this week, but Jansen had to come in and get the final out in a save opportunity on Friday. Padilla looks he still has the job, but it's definitely not a guarantee that he'll be called on when the next save opportunity comes up.
Cardinals - Anybody's Guess (7) - Sanchez was removed from the role earlier in the week, so it really isn't clear who's going to get the next save opportunity. It doesn't look like it is going to be Ryan Franklin, Jason Motte, or Mitchell Boggs. I wouldn't own any of the m besides maybe Sanchez or Fernando Salas in shallow leagues.