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Closer Report for Week 9

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News and Notes From Around the Bullpen

  • Kameron Loe got a save this week for Milwaukee after John Axford had pitched in 4 of 5 games. I don't think Loe's likely to get too many save chances, but I would want him if I were looking for Axford's handcuff.
  • Andrew Bailey was activated from the disabled list on  Sunday, which probably can't come soon enough for the A's. Grant Balfour was given the job at one point this week, but he nearly lost the appearance he had after that as well. Bailey may not close immediately, but should be back in that role very soon.
  • Mike Adams was given the opportunity to pitch in the 9th on Friday after Heath Bell had pitched in 3 straight games, and promptly gave up a game losing home run. He could be the guy if Bell is traded.
  • The Dodgers continue to have a mess at the back end of their bullpen, as Matt Guerrier was called upon to get a save this week and blew the game. Javy Guerra recorded a save this week, but was used in the 7th inning later in the week. Someone should be able to seize control of the job, but it's anyone's guess as to who.
  • Brandon League has recovered nicely from that horrendous string of outings, recording his last 3 save chances this week.
  • The Cardinals' pen is slightly clearer, as Fernando Salas recorded 3 saves this week. Eduardo Sanchez did also record a save, but did so in extra innings.
  • Neftali Feliz blew a save on Friday, and there appears to be some concern about the pitch selection for him. He has been relying more on his fastball than before (41 of 42 on Tuesday according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Something to keep an eye on.
  • Joakim Soria's value continues to drop as he blew another save on Sunday afternoon. I'm not ready to give up on him yet (as referenced in my rankings), as I think he is a buy-low candidate at this point. I also wouldn't be surprised if he ended up on the disabled list at some point either, simply to give him a chance to work on some things.
  • Toronto's pen seems a bit murky, as Francisco blew two saves this week, and Rauch was called on to get a save despite Francisco not having pitched the night before. There's a lot of closers and former closers in that pen, and I'm not sold any of them are going to get even 20 saves this year.
My Rankings After the Drop...


Closer Rankings from Today Forward [Change from Last Week]

  1. Brian Wilson (Giants)
  2. Heath Bell (Padres) [+1]
  3. Mariano Rivera (Yankees) [-1]
  4. Joakim Soria (Royals)
  5. Carlos Marmol (Cubs) [+1]
  6. Leo Nunez (Marlins) [-1]
  7. Huston Street (Rockies) [+1]
  8. Jonathan Papelbon (Red Sox) [+1]
  9. Ryan Madson (Phillies) [+3]
  10. Francisco Rodriguez (Mets) [-4]
  11. Neftali Feliz (Rangers) [-1]
  12. J.J. Putz (Diamondbacks) [-1]
  13. Drew Storen (Nationals) [+4]
  14. Jose Valverde (Tigers) [-1]
  15. Francisco Cordero (Reds) [-1]
  16. Craig Kimbrel (Braves) [-1]
  17. John Axford (Brewers) [-2]
  18. Chris Perez (Indians) [+1]
  19. Joel Hanrahan (Pirates) [+1]
  20. Grant Balfour/Andrew Bailey (Athletics) [+6]
  21. Brandon League (Mariners) [+5]
  22. Jordan Walden (Angels)
  23. Kyle Farnsworth (Rays) [-4]
  24. Fernando Salas (Cardinals) [+5]
  25. Sergio Santos (White Sox) [-5]
  26. Kevin Gregg (Orioles) [-3]
  27. Matt Capps (Twins) [-3]
  28. Mark Melancon (Astros)
  29. Frank Francisco/Octavio Dotel (Blue Jays) [-4]
  30. Matt Guerrier/Javy Guerra (Dodgers) 
Top Non-Closing Relievers Most Likely to Get the Chance
  1. Jonny Venters (Braves)
  2. Octavio Dotel (Blue Jays)
  3. Eduardo Sanchez (Cardinals)
  4. Mike Adams (Padres)
  5. Jason Isringhausen (Mets)
Trade Candidates Before July 31st
  1. Heath Bell
  2. Francisco Rodriguez
  3. Joakim Soria
  4. Joel Hanrahan
  5. Matt Capps