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Closer Report

Wait we're in first place, let's celebrate and wear orange.
Wait we're in first place, let's celebrate and wear orange.

Every week I take a look at the going's on in the life of relief pitching in fake baseball. This week was kind of slow as it appears only 4 team situations are in flux as of today. Though that can always change in a blink of an eye this year. So have a perusal of what I have to say about the closers, how I rank them and even a tiered ranking of the guys who set them up for holds.

  • Heath Bell has continued to suck on fumes. Ozzie is going to probably have him thrown in the everglades soon or hope that Dexter finds out that he is a murder and takes his trash out for him. It's not the answer everyone wants to hear but... he is making way too much money to just become a set-up guy. So this is what's going to happen, he will be put on the DL for being crappy then return look great and then rinse and repeat. Mujica and Chisek are still the 'cuffs here.
  • Robin Ventura hates your fantasy team, it is just that simple. You could roster the whole White Sox bullpen and still would be wrong. Jesse Crain returns from the DL this week and if he brings Robin a present I can see him being put in for closer duty by weeks end. All 4 known guys(Santiago, Reed, Thornton, Crain) are all rosterable in some way shape or form.
  • Casey Janssen is in as the Blue Jays closer...for now. Sergio is getting closer and if all goes well he should be back in 3 weeks. Janssen isn't awesome and he looks as jittery and has as many moving parts in his delivery as Ryan Dempster does. Saves are saves and he is the favorite. Next in line I think is Dave Stieb.
  • The situation in Oakland is an interesting one and the quotes from it are pretty classic as anyone who loses their job is usually bitter about. Grant Balfour has been replaced by Brian Fuentes. I can see this being the beginning of the end in Oakland for the Aussie, they will use him in a set-up role then back to closing and after 1-2 saves back in that role he will be off to greener pastures. Fuentes is a must grab for the time being, but temper expectations he won't be there long and counting stats may be limited.
  • I have officially had it with Frank Francisco, and I have him as replaced on the list by Jon Rauch. Nothing is official but if you watched yesterday's game you will know my reasoning. He can't locate a fastball, is way too hittable and just plain looks awful. Just a hint to the Mets front office, your division is wide open as no one is running away with it... a trade for someone reliable is definitely in play for the Metropolitans.

1. Craig Kimbrel

2.John Axford

3. Jonathan Papelbon

  • Top 3 yadda yadda yadda.

4. Jason Motte

5. Chris Perez

6. Jose Valverde

7. Joel Hanrahan

8. Kenley Jansen

9. Jim Johnson

10. Rafael Betancourt

11. J.J. Putz

12. Fernando Rodney

  • Change was coming and I told you it was. Lots of movement in this tier as I am tired of looking at empty stat lines from some under performers... Putz, Betancourt
  • Chris Perez is shocking even me he has looked great on the bump and is 11-12 in save chances for your first place Cleveland Indians. Do I expect it to last, maybe but he does like to give up an ER here and there.
  • Jansen based on role, team success and propensity for great K rates is a top 10 guy.
  • Jim Johnson and Fernando Rodney, combined they are 21-21 in save opportunities. That type of success can not be ignored.

13. Sean Marshall

14.Brandon League

15. Santiago Casilla

16. Joe Nathan

17. David Robertson

18. Jonathan Broxton

19. Matt Capps

20. Brett Myers

21. Alfredo Aceves

22. Henry Rodriguez

23. Casey Janssen

  • Sean Marshall has shown flashes of being ok in the role and then everyone sees the guys that set-up for him and say "why can't you be more like them." No immediate change is coming as Dusty is well to be put plainly a pain in the caboose.
  • I am higher on Casilla then most for a couple good reasons. First the Giants don't score any runs and are usually ahead in a save situation. Second my favorite town in the world is Santiago,Chile. When in doubt always revert to my primary answer.
  • I am giving Matt Capps a bump. Although he officially doesn't have a blown save, he hasn't looked great at times. Still the clear cut guy for a 10 win team that has no one pushing him.

24. Brian Fuentes

25. Heath Bell

26. Jon Rauch

27. Matt Thornton / Addison Reed / Hector Santiago/ Jesse Crain

28. Dale Thayer

29. Scott Downs / Jordan Walden / Ernesto Frieri

30. Rafael Dolis / James Russell

  • This group looks like it's 3 days before prom and you aren't sure if you are going alone, asking one of them or bringing a cardboard cut-out of someone.
  • I wouldn't own anyone in this list unless forced to do so by either injury or AL/NL only standards. Heath Bell is a mess and the others are in no clear cut determination of who gets saves and when.


Tier 1.

Jonny Venters ATL

Mike Adams TEX

Sergio Romo SF

Tyler Clippard WAS

Vinnie Pestano CLE

Aroldis Chapman CIN

Joaqiun Benoit DET

Alexi Ogando TEX

Ryan Cook OAK

Rafael Soriano NYY

Tier 2:

Sean Burnett WAS

Andrew Cashner SD

Mitchell Boggs STL

David Hernandez ARI

Edward Mujica MIA

Antonio Bastardo PHI

Francisco Rodriguez MIL

Jesse Crain CHW

Tom Wilhelmsen SEA

Pedro Strop BAL

Ernesto Frieri LAA

Jason Grilli PIT

Kris Medlen ATL

Greg Holland KC

Tier 3:

Jared Burton MIN

Juan Cruz PIT

Jason Frasor TOR

Franklin Morales BOS

Bryan Shaw ARI

Matt Lindstrom BAL

Tim Byrdak NYM

Marc Rzeczypnski STL

Josh Lindblom LAD

Ryan Webb MIA

Luke Gregerson SD

Glen Perkins MIN

Eric O'Flaherty ATL

Rex Brothers COL

Ronald Belisario LAD