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Closer Report

Next thing we here is he will be dating Pinky Tuscadero, making the "Farns" completely useless.
Next thing we here is he will be dating Pinky Tuscadero, making the "Farns" completely useless.

It has gone from ridiculous to obscene. Being the closer of a team is like having a hex. You get put there and you are either demoted from the role or injured in a week. It's like the plot of the Ring basically. Except no little girl is going to jump out of your TV and get your carpet all wet. It's definitely turning into the year of the handcuff, in hindsight if you punted saves this year congrats. So here is the latest goings on in the closer roles and the guys who set them up.

  • It's never great when the "GOAT" goes down but hey this year anything goes. Mariano Rivera is done for the year. Thank god they have some capable replacements. David Robertson is the guy you want here and will gradually be climbing up the closer ranking list in no time. He is buoyed by an obnoxious K rate and the ability to limit baserunners. Rafael Soriano will be used sporadically and would be a good bet to get between 8-10 saves.
  • Robin Ventura does it again, sort of. Chris Sale was slotted in as a starting pitcher in the rotation, and has been effective to boot. But since his elbow is getting a little tender a move to the closers role for the 2012 season is a move that will help the team now. There are now 4 rosterable guys in the Pale Hose bullpen, unfun.
  • Carlos Marmol as previously predicted about here last week has been formally replaced and it is none to soon. He is not finding the plate with any kind of consistency and relying far too much on his slider. James Russell and Rafael Dolis are the guys to man down the closer role for the Cubbies for the time being. I can see a return from Marmol in a couple weeks to establish trade value and then a kick to the curb for some middle of the road prospects.
  • The attention may finally be off of Pujols now in Anaheim, but the bullpen is still in full shuffle mode. Jordan Walden was there and now replaced by Scott Downs. Now Downs goes down with a knee injury and a great waste to FAAB dollars for multiple owners I am sure. LaTroy Hawkins got the save after Downs got hurt. Hawkins, then in typical 2012 fashion, got injured himself. I see a return of Walden to the role if Downs misses anytime. Sleeper here is recently acquired Ernesto Frieri.
  • Heath Bell was formally shown the door for the closer of the Marlins. If you have watched him all year then you are probably blind now from the pitiful display of pitching or lack there of that he has displayed. Steve Cishek takes over in the role for Ozzie. Edward Mujica could also be in the mix, but who knows, it is after all Ozzie. Bell makes way too much money to not return to the role eventually.
  • In San Diego, Huston Street pulled up lame on Friday with a lat injury. It doesn't seem to be a long term DL thing but will definitely require a stint on it. Andrew Cashner and relief stalwart Luke Gregerson are now in line to get some save chances. A good sleeper here for deeper leagues is Brad Brach, more a NL-only guy but someone to keep an eye on.
More news and ranking after the jump

1. Craig Kimbrel

2.John Axford

3. Jonathan Papelbon
  • Clear top 3 in the closer rankings now. Play with confidence and trade for if necessary for save stability

4. Jason Motte

5. J.J. Putz

6. Jose Valverde

7. Joel Hanrahan

8. Rafael Betancourt

9. Sean Marshall

10. Brandon League

11. Chris Perez

12. Fernando Rodney

13. Jim Johnson

14. Kenley Jansen

  • Jim Johnson and Fernando Rodney keep climbing up the ranks. Both have showed effectiveness and when healthy are their teams go to guys when the game needs to be closed out.
  • Chris Perez is getting it done period. After the ST injury and the "Root for Vinnie" chants he has rebounded into the MLB leader in saves with 11. An adjustment in the top 10 is coming in the next week as the budding group is pitching way too effective to notice.

16. Joe Nathan

17. Grant Balfour

18. David Robertson

19. Santiago Casilla

20. Jonathan Broxton

21. Chris Sale

22. Frank Francisco

23. Brett Myers

  • Lots of potential to climb the list in this group. Sale and K-Rob will be given most opportunites and offer elite K numbers that will make them fantasy gold.
  • Santiago Casilla is the unquestioned closer and gets a bump this week. Lots of close games as the Giants still struggle to score.
  • Brett Myers has shown to be really really unheralded as he is getting the job done for the semi-overachieving Astros. If wasn't getting paid like a SP he would have a lot of value on the trade market.

23. Henry Rodriguez

24. Matt Capps

25. Steve Cishek

26. Francisco Cordero

27. Alfredo Aceves / Daniel Bard

28. Andrew Cashner / Luke Gregerson

29. Scott Downs / Jordan Walden / Ernesto Frieri

30. Rafael Dolis / James Russell

  • All these replacements need to prove themselves first in order to be higher. Most wont be in the role very much longer or haven't even done anything yet.
  • Matt Capps is the odd man in this group and surprisingly is 5/5 in save chances. Yea you had too look it up to.

Tier 1.

Jonny Venters ATL

Mike Adams TEX

Sergio Romo SF

Tyler Clippard WAS

Vinnie Pestano CLE

Aroldis Chapman CIN

Joaqiun Benoit DET

Alexei Ogando TEX

Ryan Cook OAK

Tier 2:

Sean Burnett WAS

Joel Peralta TB

Mitchell Boggs STL

David Hernandez ARI

Edward Mujica MIA

Antonio Bastardo PHI

Francisco Rodriguez MIL

Addison Reed CHW

Tom Wilhelmsen SEA

Pedro Strop BAL

Ernesto Frieri LAA

Jason Grilli PIT

Eric O'Flaherty ATL

Tier 3:

Matt Thornton CHW

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

Hector Santiago CHW