Week 10 Closer Review
Clean Week Closers — Players who have little-to-nothing to discuss role wise, as well as got their team’s save Opportunities this week and converted flawlessly.
Roberto Osuna (Houston Astros), Hansel Robles (Los Angeles Angels), Kirby Yates (San Diego Padres), Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies), Shane Greene (Detroit Tigers), Brad Hand (Cleveland Indians), Sean Doolittle (Washington Nationals), Alex Colome (Chicago White Sox), Scott Oberg (Colorado Rockies), Steve Cishek (Chicago Cubs)***, Shawn Kelley (Texas Rangers), Sergio Romo (Miami Marlins), Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers), Will Smith (San Francisco Giants), Ian Kennedy (Kansas City Royals), Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees), Luke Jackson (Atlanta Braves)
***: I considered Cishek “the closer” when I initially wrote it because as long as Strop and Morrow were on IL, he was “the closer.” Now that Strop has been activated and IMMEDIATELY used in the 9th inning, it does seem for the time being that as of yesterday, Strop is again the favorite for the Chicago Cubs closing role, with Cishek moving around.
Teams / Closers With No Opportunity this Week
Blake Treinen (Oakland Athletics), Ken Giles (Toronto Blue Jays), Greg Holland (Arizona Diamondbacks), Raisel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds), Felipe Vazquez (Pittsburgh Pirates)
Clear Closers who “Struggled” — “Struggled” taken loosely. Simply the closer fails to live up to the criteria of the former category. Specifically, the world “Flawlessly.” But they are the clear closers with little to discuss.
Edwin Diaz (New York Mets), Josh Hader (Milwaukee Brewers)
Mr. Steal Yo’ Job: Craig Kimbrel
I don’t know at all where Craig Kimbrel ends up. What most do assume is that now that he is no longer attached to a compensatory draft pick, he will end up with a team fairly shortly. And it also seems fairly likely that he becomes the Closer as soon as he is ready to take the field, whatever team he goes to. There are few teams that this might not be the case for, but most likely the team who ultimately signs him will make him the closer right away. If he happens to be available, he is obviously an add. But perhaps more importantly, we’ll have to see where he goes, whose job he takes, and what other effects that could have on the Closer Market.
Jobs to Discuss, Week 5/28-6/3
Boston Red Sox — Boston has been one of the most frustrating Closer Roles in baseball to date in 2019. Ryan Brasier seemed to be the guy at the beginning to get the most “traditional” opportunities, but he’s also been lackluster compared to the rest of the bullpen, and has fallen out of favor. On the opposite side of things, Brandon Workman is the name on the rise. Workman only has 2 Saves so far this year, and he does give up a few walks, but the Sub-2.00 ERA and his ability to combine Ks and HR suppression make Workman’s profile work pretty well for a late inning role. Matt Barnes of course continues to get a ton of Ks, but still only has 3 Saves on the season. So it seems that Barnes may get some opportunities, but not regularly.
Minnesota Twins — While Taylor Rogers didn’t have the best week this week, I’m starting to wonder if he’s working his way into a more regular closing role. Blake Parker has struggled not necessarily in terms of ERA, but his K/9 has been nothing special. He’s had four consecutive appearances without a save as well. I think there’s still a very clear committee vibe here, but I do think it is worth keeping an eye on in case Parker surrenders his portion of the role either to Rogers or someone else.
Tampa Bay Rays — This is the same committee as it has been — with Alvarado, Castillo, and to an extent Pagan. The only real useful usage of this space is to mention that Alvarado is going to be missing a few games for a non-Injury related reason, so if you’re desperate and reaching for Saves, someone like Pagan may be available and more likely to get saves this week.
St. Louis Cardinals — Shoutout to fellow MLFS writer Kyle Amore, who during the preseason took flak for suggesting that Carlos Martinez would be a Closer as soon as this season. This week he got a Save, and it’s barely June. Jordan Hicks is clearly slipping, and his quick leash the last time out is telling. Plus, Martinez profiles well for the position, and is probably a better choice for how the economics of the Closer role considering he’s been in the league for a few more years. If not Martinez, Gant has been very impressive this year. His ERA to date is about two full runs lower than Hicks.
Seattle Mariners — This is a headache. Swarzak catapulted himself out of the job. Then Elias basically proved, as Dennis Green says, that he was who we thought he was. And now we have 31 Year Old Anthony Bass. Bass has been fairly impressive so far. His K/9 won’t overwhelm, but he pairs those Ks with 0 BBs and 0 HRs in his first 6.1 IP this year. The argument FOR Bass is not very strong yet. But the argument for any of these “Closers” is poor. So I’d lean towards adding Bass right now as the hot hand, but this is a messy situation.
Baltimore Orioles — We just have very little indication at this point that the Orioles are going to use a traditional Closer enough to make them very relevant in combination with their lack of SVOs. The “Closer” is of course Mychal Givens, who has 4 Saves. But that’s 4 of their 11 so far this year, with only one other RP having more than 1 (Richard Bleier with 2).
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Brian Roach, Jr, and Cole Freel live on Sunday June 2nd, 2019 from 8pm-9:30pm EST for episode #164 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. You can listen live on blogtalk, majorleaguefantasysports.com, or download the podcast on I-Tunes or any Android podcast app. We will discuss spot starters for the coming week, plus a weekend update, and look ahead to next week.