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I blame the media: every manager has an itchy trigger finger early in the season when it comes to the bullpen. Or I blame myself and everyone else who obsesses over fantasy as we’ve created a culture where 5.2 IPs are something that need to be dissected and reacted to as if a reliever is only going to throw 10 innings, not 60-80 innings, in a season.

That said, that’s the culture we’re in. Fantasy baseball owners need to be nimble and react and jump on potential closers. With that in mind, let’s get bold and look down the line at which RPs will emerge as saviors.

As always, check the bottom of the column for the BS meter, which will track blown saves for relevant relievers all season long. As you’ll note in the nifty third-grade-level chart, only 16 subjectively “relevant” relievers have blown 2 or more saves. Of those, nine were closers to start the year. Oddly, Scott Downs has two blown saves and the pitcher he replaced, Jordan Walden, has only blown one.

Oakland Athletics: In two of his last four outings, Grant Balfour has blown saves. It has actually been worse than that, as Balfour has pitched 2.1 IPs, allowed six hits, six runs and walked three batters during that span. His ERA rose from 1.50 to 4.72. That said, he’s getting hurt by more HRs than should be expected and he’s walking a few more batters. While there’s a small decline in his fastball velocity, his swinging strike percentage remains constant. The Athletics need Balfour to close to trade him, so he is in no immediate danger of losing the chance at saves. His manager said as much after Tuesday’s debacle. However, he will likely get traded or demoted after the trade deadline if the A’s can’t move him, which would give Ryan Cook save chances. A lot can happen between now and then, but he’s worth a stash. Cook, just 24, came over in the Trevor Cahill trade. He has always walked a ton of people, but, at least, he’s posted great K-rates along the way, and, so far, a hot-air balloon-sized walk rate hasn’t hampered him. At the end of the year, Cook will have 65 K’s, a 3.90 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. Update: Fuentes got the save opportunity against Boston in a cushy three-run game last night. He gave up a hit on a weak grounder, an RBI double to Dustin Pedroia but otherwise perfect. Cook pitched the 8th and, until the trade deadline, might be behind Fuentes for save chances. I’d still prefer Cook as the handcuff/speculative add as Fuentes is nothing but a slightly better LOOGY.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: As noted, Scott Downs is now the closer for the Angels. However, everything coming from the Angels seems to suggest this is a temporary move. Downs is doing his best to keep the job and is a short term stash, however the chances he stays the closer all year are probably under 50%. Recently Mike Scioscia said it wouldn’t take long for Walden to rediscover his “mojo” (the media didn’t ask how that 2011 form, which included 10 blown saves, differed from his 2012 form). Walden is also the “future” at closer, so he’ll get some shots unless Downs is just amazing (which he isn’t). In addition, word is the Angels have kicked the tires on a variety of RPs: Joel Hanrahan, Brandon League, Balfour and Huston Street. If the Angels continue to scuffle and the bullpen gets painted as the culprit, expect the Angels to make a cosmetic move to make up for it. If you can trade Walden or Downs, that makes sense. If not, hold them and hope Albert Pujols decides to be El Hombre.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Sometimes actions speak louder than words and sometimes they don’t. Don Mattingly gave Kenley Jansen all the save chances over the weekend, while a seemingly rested Javy Guerra was available. Jansen, because he’s one of the best relievers in baseball, acquitted himself quite well. Then, of course, in a tight game in the ninth against the Rockies, Mattingly went to Guerra who pitched a decent frame. Guerra has allowed 10 hits over his last 3 innings and has a 5.56 ERA. Still, Guerra will get most of the easy saves and a few of the toughies. Given Jansen’s ability and decent shot at double digit saves, he’s worth owning everywhere. In addition, I’d try to work a trade for Jansen based on Guerra’s latest save.

Chicago White Sox: Robin Ventura has put himself in a corner with this Hector Santiago business. While he maintains Santiago is the closer, Matt Thornton recently got save opportunities against lefty-heavy/tough line-ups. Santiago was then given an inning of work on Tuesday, put three batters on base and narrowly escaped without allowing a run. He hasn’t pitched in a high leverage spot since April 25. At the moment, the rosiest glasses picture Santiago on the good side of a platoon with Thornton. Of course, Thornton gave up a couple of runs, including a HR to lefty Travis Hafner last night. Meanwhile, Addison Reed is straight killing it. Go all in on Reed, as he’ll emerge quickly as the guy who gets 80% of the save chances during the season. For those of you in dynasty leagues or intense save formats, check out Dylan Axelrod. From my Wikipedia research, that is not a made-up name. Axelrod has been a starter in recent history and has shown he can control the strike-zone.Ventura first chose his fourth best reliever to close, so stranger things have already happened.

New York Mets: I continue to maintain that the only thing that will stop Frank Francisco from closing all year is his health. Of course, he now has a bizarre hamstring issue that the Mets are claiming is a result of dehydration because of their trip to Colorado. That sounds fishy, but, according to Terry Collins, Francisco was available on Tuesday. Frank Franc hasn’t pitched since April 29 when he got the awesome blown save-win, and, before that, he converted two saves in a row. Since the 29th, the Mets haven’t won a game, but Jon Rauch and Bobby Parnell have pitched well. Given how bad the Mets are, speculation on this bullpen is near fruitless. I wouldn’t mind betting on Parnell in a league where most middle relievers are owned.

Minnesota Twins: Has there been more ink wasted on anything as useless as the Twins closer situation? Matt Capps has been horrible but hasn’t pitched in a high leverage spot since April 23 and hasn’t had a save opportunity since April 20. Startlingly, Capps hasn’t actually blown a save this season and is a perfect 4/4. Meanwhile, popular handcuff Glen Perkins is off to a tough start as well. If you’re in a dynasty league that can stash minor leaguers, check out Deolis Guerra. I know, “another Guerra,” but who doesn’t love war? Besides pacifists, I mean. Guerra earned a quick promotion from AA to AAA and could be in the majors later this year. If there’s a true future closer in the Twins organization, my money is on Guerra.

Miami Marlins: Holy crap, Heath Bell pitched a clean inning in a save opportunity. It should be noted that Edward Mujica got the hold in the game, while the younger Steve Cishek sat on the bench. Bell has a long leash, so if you’re going to burn a roster spot on a pitcher, take the better guy: Cishek.

Pittsburgh Pirates: With the Pirates going nowhere fast, Joel Hanrahan could very well be traded. While Juan Cruz seems like the add, I’d actually bet on Jason Grilli. Grilli has recorded a hold in each of Hanrahan’s saves. In addition, he has been fantastic: posting a 15.0 K:BB rate. He’s not that good (no one is), but he could finish with a 3.30 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 70 K’s. If you’re stashing grab Grilli.

San Diego Padres: Huston Street should be traded this year. If he gets moved, Andrew Cashner and Ernesto Frieri are the likeliest to step in a close. I prefer Frieri, who has paired great K-rates with dangerous walk rates. However, you can succeed with high walk rates in Petco (just ask Heath Bell). At the end of the year, I expect a 3.05 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 85 K’s for Frieri. As for Cashner, if you thought Frieri walked a ton of batters, just wait. So far, Cashner has been walking the tight rope with a 6.39 BB/9 rate. At the end of the year, he’ll have a 3.60 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 68 K’s. In addition, Cashner was acquired to start, not relieve. Consequently, there shouldn’t be much pressure on the Padres to put Cashner in that role, while Frieri could be the “closer of the future.”

Seattle Mariners: Tom Wilhelmsen is about nine months younger than Brandon League. You would think either would be available at the trade deadline. Naturally, if League is dealt, Wilhelmsen is the man. He is off to a good start, increasing his strike-outs and improving his command. He’ll be good for 75 K’s, a 3.50 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. Given his skill set and K potential, he’s worth owning right now.

Colorado Rockies: Rafael Betancourt blew a save in rather spectacular fashion yesterday: he allowed two runs on two hits and two walks. He did strike-out the side, so there’s that. His ERA sits at 2.45 after the disastrous outing, so there’s not much to be seen here.  Both Matt Belilse and Rex Brothers had their problems as well.

Tampa Bay Rays: Kyle Farnsworth is on the 60 day DL and Fernando Rodney is dealing. What is the world coming to?

Name BS Name BS
Heath Bell

3

Francisco Rodriguez

1

Alfredo Aceves

2

Frank Francisco

1

Brad Lidge (DL)

2

Glen Perkins

1

Brandon League

2

Greg Holland (DL)

1

Carlos Marmol

2

Henry Rodriguez

1

David Hernandez

2

J.J. Putz

1

Francisco Cordero

2

Jason Motte

1

Grant Balfour

2

Joaquin Benoit

1

Hector Santiago

2

Joe Nathan

1

Javier Lopez

2

Joel Peralta

1

Javy Guerra

2

Jon Rauch

1

Kevin Jepsen

2

Jonathan Broxton

1

Matt Belisle

2

Jordan Walden

1

Rex Brothers

2

Jose Valverde

1

Scott Downs

2

Kenley Jansen

1

Sergio Santos (DL)

2

Marc Rzepczynski

1

Andrew Cashner

1

Mariano Rivera

1

Brian Fuentes

1

Matt Lindstrom

1

Chris Perez

1

Pedro Strop

1

Clay Hensley

1

Ramon Ramirez

1

Darren Oliver

1

Sean Marshall

1

Edward Mujica

1

Tyler Clippard

1

Wilton Lopez

1

Vinnie Pestano

1

187 Responses

  1. DasPeck says:
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    Grey,

    My panda is was put on the endangered species list!

    What do you think of potential replacements?
    Middlebrooks
    Lowrie

    wow… I guess those are my most viable options. FML.

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
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      @DasPeck, I’d take Lowrie while he is healthy. what about Chris Davis?

  2. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    Apropos of nothing:

    The current 2nd ranked pitcher and 6th ranked *player* in Yahoo!

    Lance Lynn.

    It’s a funny world.

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
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      @Baron Von Vulturewins, the world is slowly getting crazier and crazier….actually like Lynn this year. Wrote as much a few weeks ago. but he’s obviously no this good.

      • Baron Von Vulturewins

        Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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        @Albert Lang, The funniest part is I have him, and I doubt I could trade him for Dunn straight up right now. Aboslutely no believers out there, or at least no one willing to take a chance that midnight isn’t about to strike for this Cinderella.

        Which is fine, since I keep racking up the W/QS…

        • Albert Lang

          Albert Lang says:
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          @Baron Von Vulturewins, Wow, he seems to equal Dunn very easily actually.

          I guess people can be distrusting, especially given Lynn’s minor league numbers, but those were in the PCL. You post half-way decent #s in the PCL as a pitcher and you deserve some credit!

    • RK says:
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      @Baron Von Vulturewins, about time the Cards got a real pitching coach!

  3. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:
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    My lame East Coast body can’t stay up for those lame West Coast games. Clearly, Bell was replaced in the ninth by Cishek. Edward Mujica got the hold and looks like he might be first in line for saves if Bell goes on the DL/is banished to blow-out relief. That said, between Bell having a lot of money and Cishek being nasty, it’s doubtful Mujica gets 10+ saves. Of course Ozzie started to walk away from Bell as the closer. Mujica will finish the year with a 3.85 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 58 K’s. Cishek will post a 3.25 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 65 K’s. You have to grab Mujica first, but rostering Cishek makes a lot of sense as well, he’s just better.

    • AbNormal says:
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      @Albert Lang, what’s this I read earlier today of Ryan Webb possibly being available for the save if the opportunity arises today? Besides in the deepest of leagues, he any kind of option going forward?

      • Albert Lang

        Albert Lang says:
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        @AbNormal, thought I responded to this. Ozzie said that Bell and Cishek were unavailable. Apparently Mujica is as well. Webb doesnt matter unless it’s a real deep NL-only league

    • jack says:
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      @Albert Lang, why in the world are you advising a Mujica pickup? He is CLEARLY the 8th innning set up guy. Last two times Bell has come up, Ozzie had Cishek waiting to clean up for him, which he did last night. Think you are misreading this situation and giving out bad advice (sounding like CBS “analysts” to be honest)

      • Albert Lang

        Albert Lang says:
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        @jack, So, you are basing your analysis on the fact that Ozzie is saving his best reliever in case he might be needed if his other two relievers dont do well? What makes you think Cishek is so the guy?

        In addition, did I not say that Mujica isnt that good and wont get 10+ saves and that Cishek is the better pitcher? I think Mujica gets first crack because that’s what ozzie has intimated.

        You sound like a Yahoo commenter, to be honest.

        • jack says:
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          @Albert Lang, Traditionally, You have a set-up guy who owns the 8th inning and you have a closer. Ozzie abides by that tradition. Mujica is the set-up 8th inning guy. Guillen’s moves have made that crystal clear. Fact that he got a hold has no bearing, in fact you would really make the opposite conclusion from the fact that he got an 8th innning hold than you did — he is the 8th inning hold guy, not the 9th inning save guy. Cishek was preserved for closing duties (proven again by Guillen’s moves). Nice on the yahoo comment, but you will lose any flame war, in fact you, as the moderater lighting your little Bic, have already lost. Admitting your observation was kind of ignorant is the first step towards professionalism.

          • Albert Lang

            Albert Lang says:
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            @jack, I didnt realize we came to the Razzball comments section for professionalism.

            So, when Cordero is the 8th inning guy in Toronto and then becomes the closer when Santos goes down, that’s just atypical?

            When Pedro Strop stepped in for Jim Johnson that was also atypical? When Scott Downs took over for Walden that was atypical?

            Will Vinnie Pestano not be the appropriate handcuff to Chris Perez? What about Kenley Jansen?

            Did mark Melancon not get teh first opportunity in Boston?

            Seems like a lot of instance of a guy who was teh 8th pitcher graduating to full time closing….

            • jack says:
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              @Albert Lang, @Albert Lang, All those guys are explicitly temporary fill ins, all of them and 2) Strop was NOT the setup guy prior to closing those games, Gregg was and 3) did you know Cishek not Mujica filled in for Nunez? Melancon is a great parallel to what is really going on, peering through the fog, actually. Last year Lopez was 8th inning guy, but Melancon got the job. Being the 8th inning set up guy doesn’t mean you are the closer in waiting. I can list countless examples of 8th inning guys not ascending, but this is not my job, you can marinate on Melancon and Stop and Cishek for now. You cannot argue the fact that Ozzie has made it quite clear by his moves that he wants Mujica to continue in his set up duties. Sometimes you have to quit when you are behind Mr Lang. If you aren’t going to be professional, you have to actually show some verve and wit and unorthodox perspicacity . That’s the Razzball way IMO.

              • @jack, Strop worked the 8th on 4/19, got the save 5 days later. He blew a save on 4/22 in the eighth, in a hold chance. He worked the 8th on 4/13. He was the 8th inning guy at that point.

                I never said being the 8th inning guy meant you always got the save opportunities. You said that ” You have a set-up guy who owns the 8th inning and you have a closer.” implying that 8th inning guys never become closers.

                Furthermore, who is to say that the hypothetical replacement of Bell isnt viewed as temporary. If the Marlins view it as a temporary replacement, judging by your logic, that means the 8th inning guy is more likely to be the temporary fill-in. We’re not talking about Bell being removed indefinitely, just removed for awhile…meaning it’d be a Downs-Walden-type of situation.

                You certainly picked your straw man carefully, ignoring Jansen and Pestano

                So, are you telling me that if Guerra, Perez and Jim Johnson are removed from closing, Jansen, Pestano and Strop are not the guys?

                What about if Fernando Rodney gets removed, you dont think it will be Joel Peralta?

                • jack says:
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                  @Albert, Talk about creating straw men! That’s exactly what you are trying to do to my argument. If you keep what I wrote in context, you will see I did not say an eigth inning guy never closes, that would be absurd, I said IF a closer is about to be replaced, the guy who goes out in the 8th is likely the guy who will continue to go out in the 8th. His role has solidified. Guillen made it quite clear by his moves that he wants Mujica in the 8th, Cishek in the ninth (or tenth). If when Guerra faltered, Jansen went out in the 8th and some other guy with closing experience was held back and warming up … you would be dumb to insist Jansen is the imminent closer. And on to straw men, you can’t possibly accuse me of that when I was providing counter examples to your universalizing statement. You’ve lost this one Mr Lang, warping my argument, refusing to let go, spurring tangents … but you don’t want to admit your comment that Mujica got the hold so must be in play for the closer role was ignorant.

                  • Albert Lang

                    Albert Lang says:
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                    @jack, Hey, could do without the insults…we can debate without insulting each other…

                    If i misinterpreted your original argument, I’m sorry. You wrote “he is the 8th inning hold guy, not the 9th inning save guy. Cishek was preserved for closing duties (proven again by Guillen’s moves).” I thought you were implying that 8th inning guys rarely take over closing duties. Sorry if i put too much meaning.

                    That said, even following your argument, you have to assume that Ozzie thinks Cishek is a better pitcher than Mujica. I think it’s a 51% chance Mujica gets te save opportunity and nothing you’ve said has changed my mind.

                    What was my universalizing statement?

                    Here’s the problem, you’re assuming that the manager assumes the closer will falter and thereby saves his best reliever for mop up/replacement duties. In the Jansen example, there’s no way Mattingly is keeping Jansen out of a game and pitching someone else in the 8th if he’s worried about Guerra.

                    Ozzie might prefer Cishek, no one knows. I think there’s a fair argument that Ozzie using Mujica in a close game means he prefers Mujica to Cishek. Saving Cishek for what could be nothing seems like a pointless thing to me….

                    I think any reliever that is pitching high leverage innings (as noted by consistent holds) is in play for replacing a closer….

                    • jack says:
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                      @Albert Lang, Insults … it started with me saying you sound like the CBS “analysts”, and you still IMO do. When there’s a closer on the hot seat they always reflexively recommend grabbing the 8th inning set up guy. It’s “established roto wisdom” but it is frequently wrong (40% of the time I would hazard) and frustrates me because it seems lazy and lacks genuine insight into the real dynamics at hand. An example from earlier this year: Nationals, they were endorsing Clippard when it was obvious Davey wanted him to remain the 8th inning guy. And they and many others couldn’t and still don’t understand why Robin wants Thornton in the 8th, not the 9th. Many managers want dedicated 8th inning guys and would only use them in the 9th if they absolutely have to. We saw that tonight with Cishek and Bell both unavailable … guillen used Mujica out of his normal role. This is my frustration with you — you don’t seem to want to accept that many managers stick with a set up 8th inning guy and for many reasons won’t let him close unless his closer arms aren’t avail. Managers don’t always do the rational sabre-correct thing … they go by feel, and certainly guillen is a believer in the “closers mentality”. Some guys are setup and some are closers. Mouse and Men.

                      Now, do you think 8th inning duties involve the highest leverage? Take a look at the leverage index at Fangraphs. 16 of the top 20 high leverage guys are 9th inning closers (one is a 7th inning guy, the rest are set up). Cishek is slightly ahead of Mujica so far this year btw.

                      So with the last two Marlins games, Guillen knew Bell was shaky and might need to be relieved. He let Mujica run out in the low leverage clean 8th and kept Cishek warm for the high leverage save the game situation if Bell faltered … and he did, and Guillens tactics paid off handsomely with Cishek cleaning up.

                      I really don’t know how you can see what transpired basically backwards from how I see it … quite clear in my eyes.

                      Generally it’s my opinion that you are doing a disservice to the community by always recommending the 8th inning guy as closer in waiting without taking the time to look into the situation at hand (managers philosophy and tendency, how he views his players, how those players profile psychologically and with their stuff) and trying to determine which guy is seen by the mgr as the mouse and which one the man.

                    • Albert Lang

                      Albert Lang says:
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                      @jack, What a novel. So every time there’s a closer on the hot seat, I recommend the 8th inning guy? I just recommended Addison Reed. I dont think he’s the de facto 8th inning guy. I also advocated for Henry Rodriguez all along. I also specifically said I’d rather have Bobby Parnell than Jon Rauch. With Tampa I thought it’d be Wade Davis, but I was wrong…..just because, in a few instances, I go with the 8th inning guy doesnt mean I’m lazy and default to box score hold checking. So, for you to insinuate that I just lackadaisically take the 8th is disingenuous and flat out wrong.

                      It’s my opinion that Ozzie trusts Mujica more. I understand where you are coming from, but we differ. Only time will tell who is right, there’s no way of knowing. You dont know Guillen and his decision making, no matter how much you think you do. Unless you’re Oney, which would make some sense. If Guillen is a believer in closers mentality, what has Cishek done to establish that? Wouldn’t Mujica be ahead of him now that he’s proven he can close?How do you establish this line between setup and closers?

                      Also, something isn’t frequently wrong that is only wrong 40% of the time. In reality, that established wisdom (which I’m not defending, which you created and ascribed to me) is right 60% of the time according to your “hazardings.”

                      I know and understand that many managers stick with 8th inning guys because they are comfortable with it. That’s why it’s taken this long for Rafael Betancourt to get saves. It’s why Mike Adams was worth way more in San Deigo. It’s why I thought there was no chance Clippard would get saves in Washington. However, just because some teams think like that doesn’t mean all do.

                      I wasn’t using leverage in the fangraphs sense. I was using leverage in the layman’s sense, that the 8th inning is the second most difficult mental inning. Sorry for not being clear.

                      How about you do a service to everyone: go through all my recommendations and show them that, unequivocally, I recommend the 8th inning guy. if that’s the case, I can just stop writing now.

                      Also, if you want to go ahead and start writing the closer column full of psychology, I’m sure you’ll get a ton of readers…until then, please stop taking one comment I wrote on one of my articles and making it an overarching statement on my entire history of writing. it’s lazy.

                    • jack says:
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                      @Albert Lang, So sensitive Mr Lang. Ever hear of the hypothetical universal use of “you”? Should have been clear I was using that sense when I began the sentence with “generally it’s my opinion that you”, but your snark about “novel” writing leads me to believe you don’t really read much literature. You would learn a lot about the art of subtlety if you did … take that as a hint. 40% is frequent by any measure, silly to insist otherwise. Your spurned ego kind of takes over and you get all Hulk like and stop making sense … if you are wondering why I am being snarky, re-read what you wrote, it bristles with a little too much guy in the basement “I will destroy you under the cloak of anonymity” nastiness.

                      Let me ask you one final question, why in the world do you think Ozzie sees Mujica as a closer? As I mentioned, cishek has closing experience, Mujica does not. You seemed to be deducing that Mujica is next in line solely from Mujica’s 8th inning appearances. Sure seems to me that you are applying that “set up man is closer in waiting roto wisdom” as a universal precept in this case, because what else is behind the deduction?? Is there any other evidence (before todays game) that supports that deduction? Mujica Ks 7 per 9, cishek over 9 per 9. Cishek never gives up HRS, Mujica has and always has had gopheritis.

                      Like I said, I’d like to see some more thought behind the recommendations … I come here for the anti-CBS stuff, not the CBS stuff

                    • wilsomiam says:
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                      @jack, why do you care so much about the internet?

                    • @jack, I am sensitive, I’m a human being. I spend considerable amount of time writing, editing, reading and watching baseball. I enjoy writing these to interact with folks. However, if you’re going to start off by insulting me without much facts to back it up, I’ll get defensive. It’s just my (and most of humanity’s) nature.

                      I also apologize for not realizing that in a post directed to me I didn’t understand that when you (not the universal you, I mean @jack) said you, you meant every person who writes about closers. But, if the “universal you” always writes that the 8th inning guy will take over the closer role, how do you account for me arguing for Parnell or Addison Reed, or Wade Davis or Henry Rodriguez? If something is universal it happens all the time….again, I’ll posit that I do not simply anoint the 8th inning guy as the future closer, which you seem (without evidence) to suggest.

                      On the contrary, I’m pretty well read. I like to read. I even went to college, have a steady job, etc. etc.

                      Re: 40%. Maybe I’m mistaken but we’re talking about whether an 8th inning guy becomes the closer when the closer is demoted/injured. It’s an A or B situation, either the 8th inning guy does or doesn’t. If established roto wisdom (which is that the 8th inning guys get first crack at saves) is wrong 40% of the time, that means it is right 60% of the time. When it’s a one or the other, 40% isn’t a great measure of success.

                      What anonymity am I hiding behind? I’ve responded to every post, you know my name, have a link to my blog, can easily find out who I am. I live in an apartment building, we dont have a basement.

                      Cishek has three saves in his career. Mujica has three saves for his career (2 before last night). How does one have experience and the other doesn’t? I’ve always said that Mujica wont get double digit saves and that Cishek is the better pitcher. In my opinion, the fact that Ozzie kept Mujica in his role in a tight game and saved Cishek means that he trusts Mujica more. I don’t think Ozzie is assuming Bell will fail and then, in the event the he somehow removes Bell before the Marlins lose he can go to his best reliever. Basically if Cishek is his best reliever, he’s waiting to use him until the game is pretty much lost. We simply disagree on Ozzie’s philosophy.

                      I wonder if you questioned Grey yesterday when he said it would be Cishek or Mujica? Would it have been better if I just said “I have no clue, few people do.” Is that what you want? I have a slight leaning toward Mujica, I’ve thought about it for days and that’s where I went. I certainly could be wrong, but I’m giving opinion with some evidence behind it. I’m not infallible.

                    • jack says:
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                      @Albert, Here’s to an insult free day! You’re very knowledgable obviously and you write in a clear and concise way. This is Razzball, expect to be razzed. We got off on the wrong foot because I razzed you and you did a no I’m not you’re something far worse … I don’t think you are a basement loser, but some of the angry escalation was unnecessary and IMO needed to be pointed out (as painfully as possible). Ignoring the needless verbal arm wrestling we both engaged in, there were some decent points made. I would have stopped responding if the debate wasn’t forcing me to re-think and re-search.

                      Really my main point was made in my last response. What about Mujica BEYOND his 8th inning role leads you to believe he has as good if not better chance than Cishek? He’s a gopher slut (huge HR rate) and his K rate is not ideal for the closing role. His 2 lifetime saves came a few years ago I believe, for a different team. Cishek saved games for the Marlins last year.

                      On to Guillen’s philosophy: you think Guillen is going to use his most trusted arm rather than keep him warm should Bell falter. I disagree. Reading Guillen’s recent quotes he fully expects Bell “to fail again”. Ozzie IMO knows he needs a closer for his closer, that’s the way he is playing it. But, this is opinion, and we are ipso facto at a deadlock. I do think you need to recognize that you maybe didn’t dig deep enough into comparable peripherals … K and HR rate make it very very clear that Cishek has the “closer stuff” while Mujica doesn’t.

                    • @jack, Wait, you’re accusing me of acting like a child now! that’s it!!!!! I demand satisfaction in the form of NHL 94 on sega genesis, you have to be the Kings. (this was all a joke).

                      Most of my reasoning for Mujica getting the first shot is in Guillen’s usage and the different interpretations we have. I think it’s odd that Guillen would be saving his best reliever for an instance that might not exist. Rather I think he prefers Mujica and got him into a tight game knowing his pitching would matter.

                      I’m also not sold that Mujica is a gopher slut (which is an awesome turn of phrase). And, even if he is, Marlins stadium should mask that pretty well. Mujica has had fairly reasonable FB rates and league average-ish HR/FB rates for the Marlins. In reality, his only true bad gopher year was when he had a ridiculously untenable 17% HR/FB rate. I also project similar K/9 rates for both relievers (although Cishek’s will be better).

                      True Mujica’s saves came for the Padres, but he was also acquired in the Maybin trade as a back of the bullpen type. Meanwhile Cishek was a fifth round pick in 2007 and hasn’t closed much in the minors, 19 saves in 175 games. So, organizationally, it appears in my mind that Mujica was acquired more as a closer and Cishek as an arm.

                      Also, I never said that Mujica had closer stuff, just that he would get the first opportunity. I actually projected worse numbers and less K’s for Mujica than Cishek. In addition, I wrote that Mujica would not get 10+ saves. All I really said was that Mujica would get first crack, but that Cishek was better.

                      If only it were possible to read minds. Maybe I’m giving Guillen too much or too little credit. I just think it’s weird that he would wait for Bell to get in trouble (knowing it could cost them the game), while his hypothetical best reliever (Cishek) is waiting in the pen. of course, I’m applying my own rational thought to Ozzie Guillen. In fairness, I’m a huge Ozzie fan and believe he knows what he’s doing, while simultaneously looking like a nut.

                    • jack says:
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                      @Albert, I posted an insult free wrap up including my concluding thoughts from last nights action in the SAGNOF forum. Welcome to continue over there …

  4. Bob says:
    (link)

    Trade offer I got

    His Dempster for my Morneau and Headley.

    Fair or not? I could use the pitching.

  5. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:
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    FYI: Ozzie just said Bell is still the closer, but he and Cishek arent available today.

  6. Ralph says:
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    Who do you think is next in line for saves in Toronto, if Cordero continues to suck? I’m thinking Perez, Janssen, Oliver, in that order.

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
      (link)

      @Ralph, I hadnt actually considered that nuclear scenario….I think they might platoon it. Give Oliver the lefty-heavy line-ups, and Janssen the others. While Janssen’s numbers look superficially bad, it’s really just the product of two bad outings. Santos should be back in 2.5-3 weeks.

  7. dingbat says:
    (link)

    Just wanted to note that both of Betancourt’s walks last night were intentional. Can’t really find fault with the decision to walk Kemp and pitch to Gordon, but it didn’t work out too well in the end. Walking Ethier to pitch to Hairston (K) worked out better.

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
      (link)

      @dingbat, That’s true and probably should have been noted. I’m a Betancourt fan and backer. This was, as you suggest, a bit of a “hard luck” blown save. And he got the win!

      • dingbat says:
        (link)

        @Albert Lang, The bittersweet Conshellation Prize!

  8. RK says:
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    Not only did a stream in Jake Westbrook on both teams, but he also gets a steal!

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
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      @RK, Do you get credit for his steal? I streamed Blanton everywhere, was pretty happy with that.

      • RK says:
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        @Albert Lang, no…and now I wish Pedro Alvarez weren’t playing…

        • Albert Lang

          Albert Lang says:
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          @RK, Alvarez has been amazing, but all of his fly balls cant keep becoming HRs, can they?

  9. Ryan says:
    (link)

    Rank josh Johnson,billingsley,lohse,Worley ROS
    Need to keep only 2
    Standard league
    Thanks

    • Albert Lang

      albert says:
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      @Ryan, Billingsley and Johnson are keepers, easily

  10. Ryan says:
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    Thx
    Would u trade lohse and billingsley for shields??
    Have excess pitching..trying 2 for 1

    • Albert Lang

      albert says:
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      @Ryan, absolutely I make that deal.

  11. Chunk says:
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    Is Marmol really this bad?

    • Albert Lang

      albert says:
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      @Chunk, at the gym, did he do something offensive this afternoon?

      • John says:
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        @albert, He just got pulled in the ninth after BB, BB, error, single, walk… no outs. Ugly

        • Albert Lang

          albert says:
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          @John, yikes. Dolis is the same crazy train but younger, Wood is off the DL but will be back soon. Marmol is relatively safe in terms of job security, but its scary to start him.

          • Albert Lang

            Albert Lang says:
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            @albert, I meant Wood will be back on the DL soon….

      • Chunk says:
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        @albert, But hey, he’s in line for the win!

        Always look on the brighter side of life….do do….do do, do do, do do

        • TheBravesWear Prado says:
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          @Chunk, He got taken out so Dolis would get the win if they take the lead.

  12. TheBravesWear Prado says:
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    First Balfour, then Putz and now Marmol. I can’t keep taking this abuse.

    • Albert Lang

      albert says:
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      @TheBravesWear Prado, if it makes you feel better, everyone is experiencing it..cool handle by the by

      • John says:
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        @albert, so Cishek is on waivers but I’m using a claim on Paul Goldschmidt… what’s a better speculative add Mujica or Dolis and I’d have to drop Mike Adams (I’m holding onto him for ratios… leagues does not count holds), or should I just forget the whole thing?

        • Albert Lang

          Albert Lang says:
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          @John, I want nothing to do with Dolis. I dont see Goldschmidt as antyhing special. If you desperately need saves, I’d go after both Cishek and Mujica, but it’s really going on a fishing trip with those two. Without holds, I’d only roster middle relievers that would have save opportunities. I dont think Adams fits that. What about Ernesto Frieri?

  13. TheBravesWear Prado says:
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    @Chunk, He has no confidence in his fastball. It’s just slider after slider. His jerky delivery reminds me of Ubaldo. They have zero control over where the ball is going.

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
      (link)

      @TheBravesWear Prado, I dont want to burst your bubble, but he’s actually throwing less sliders this year. Maybe Fangraphs is wrong, but it seems like he’s humming the fast ball a lot. His swinging strike rates are down which is a product of him not using the slider and also not locating anything.

      Silly, I thought he’d regain the velocity and be dominant, it’s a shame the velocity comes at teh expense of any sort of control.

  14. Jake Stone says:
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    Rafeal Betancourt didn’t have a disastrous outing in the blown save. The two walks were intentional to Kemp and Ethier and Tulo made a bad throw to home that would have bailed him out. U should try watching games instead of studying box scores.

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
      (link)

      @Jake Stone, I actually did watch the game as I have Betancourt and Pomeranz in an important league.

      A walk is a walk, an inning during which a relief pitcher blows a save and allows four base runners and two runs is disastrous.

      What if Betancourt had basically pitched around Kemp and Ethier, instead of just issuing intentionals? He clearly wasnt going to give either anything to hit. Furthermore, even if he was forced to do an intentional walk, he put himself that position.

      Lastly, I said Betancourt was in fine shape.

      Maybe you should try spelling out your words instead of crying foul over nothing…

      • kangaroo hops says:
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        @Albert Lang, You don’t take criticism well. For pete’s sake, if you are going to write a column and thereby open yourself up to criticism, part of the job is to address your mistakes that others “generously” point out. You often (see “jack” above) throw an insult at the very people who are trying to instruct and enlighten you/me/others. Are you a 7th grader? It is very annoying.

        A walk is not a walk, insofar as the closer keeping his job is concerned. An intentional walk is the manager’s call and responsibility. If you think they are all the same, and talk BS to support that, you probably don’t have much business writing baseball advice online.

        Accept criticism gracefully–it’s part of the job. Even if others aren’t so diplomatic or polite, it is your job to be so. Otherwise you are just a whining brat.

        • @kangaroo hops, I’ll own that I dont take unfounded criticism that comes with a side of insults very well. It is by no means by job to sit here and respond kindly to folks who take two seconds to type a comment that is insulting and misguided. If you’re going to insult me, I’ll insult you.

          I dont write these for money or fame. I enjoy writing them and talking fantasy baseball. if all i were doing is looking at box scores that’d make me the laziest person in the world.

          I have never and would never insult anyone who came at me with a constructive point that was well thought out and didnt insult me. For reference, see my response to Dingbat who originally pointed out that I didnt save the walks were intentional.

          I will add that I never said that Betancourts job was in danger. Further, typically an intentional walk is issued because the manager fears the outcome if the pitcher actually faces the batter. If a pitcher puts his manager in a place to order an intentional walk, that’s not good. Are you suggesting that an intentional walk has nothing to do with the pitcher and the situation he has created?

          90% of these comments are good give and take. there are folsk with different opinions to mine and we talk about them in a rational and adult way without insulting folks. Should I probably refrain from insulting people back? Maybe, but I also dont feel the need to just sit here after I’ve spent considerable hours writing, researching, editing, fighting a deadline and watching baseball. RAzzball commentators are the best in the world, certainly far better than other message boards. That’s why I love and feel privileged to write for Razball. However, if someone comes at me with a comment that is clearly aimed at insulting me, I’m going to respond in kind. I’m human….

  15. JTin says:
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    I’m short on Saves, and am targeting Heath Bell as a buy-low. Certainly there is risk after his horrendous start, but his $27M contract should buy him some more chances at the gig.

    I’ve got extra power, and was offered Bell for Morneau. A guy like Vernon Wells is on the wire, who projects to roughly the same amount of HR as Morneau. Make the move?

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
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      @JTin, Man, Bell should come cheaper than Morneau. Is he your worst hitter? That’s who you should be starting with…

  16. Pierre says:
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    Would you drop Bell for Reed, or just ride the tubby wave out? Words can not express how much I hate that man right now. Sat him 5/1, started him last night. Fuuuuuuu

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
      (link)

      @Pierre, I think you have to ride the tubby wave….let him float on your bench though.

      Is it a shallow-ish league? if it’s like a 10-team mix, maybe you make that move.

      • Pierre says:
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        @Albert Lang, 11t Roto 5×5 QS over W/OBP over AVG. Not the deepest of leagues, to be sure, but our league is closer crazy. Unfortunately all I have is Marshall and H-Rod. Looks like I’m stuck..

        • Albert Lang

          Albert Lang says:
          (link)

          @Pierre, Yep….at least you arent the one paying him millions…..

  17. Ryan says:
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    Stuck with AROD….do u think Seager or Alvarez can give similar numbers ROS?
    Standard league

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
      (link)

      @Ryan, What’s wrong with AROD? he’s far better than those other two.

      AROD: .270 with 23 HRs, 72 runs, 85 RBIs.

  18. Howie Met Your Mother says:
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    I traded Cueto + Haper for Beachy in a 12 team, H2H league that also includes K/9 as a 6th pitching category. Good or bad trade for me?

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
      (link)

      @Howie Met Your Mother, It’s a decent trade. I dont expect much from Harper this year and adding K/9 makes Beachy a far better pitcher than Cueto.

  19. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
    (link)

    PEDRO ALVAREZ.

    Another day, another donk.

    This is really happening, isn’t it.

    • @Baron Von Vulturewins, It’s happening, but I dont think it will continue.

      He has a 35% HR/FB rate. He’s swinging and missing a ton, striking out a ton. He’s a .240 hitter with 26-30 HRs.

      • Baron Von Vulturewins

        Baron Von Vulturewins says:
        (link)

        @Albert, I hear you. But his walk rate is up slightly, right? Maybe he’s learning?

        When I close my eyes and make a wish, I can see him at .275.

        Maybe .265.

        • Albert Lang

          Albert Lang says:
          (link)

          @Baron Von Vulturewins, His walk rate (5.7%) is actually a good bit lower than what he has done previously (9.1%) and his K-rate is up (34.3% v 31.1%)

  20. Word out is Cubs make make a closer switch soon.

    • @Elijah, Sveum said his only options were Dolis (who is really the same as Marmol) and James Russell. Russell isnt great, maybe a 4.45 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and 60 K’s. That bullpen is horrendous. Maybe a dark horse will emerge, but they are all just awful.

  21. Todd says:
    (link)

    10 Team 5×5 H2H

    My closers were Bell/Motte/Balfour/Marshall. I dropped Bell this morning because of DL injuries to Longoria/Hudson/Luebke, and his general suckiness.

    Do I drop Balfour for Jensen too? Myers is available as well, just not sure how many save situations he gerts.

    Thanks!

    • @Todd, Well, if Myers is available, it’s got to be a pretty shallow league, right?

      I think the Athletics and Astros are equally bad, and Myers is pitching well, so I’d take Myers for the time being, but be ready to drop him should he get traded. I like Jansen and he’s real good, but in this type of league, you need to get saves from your relievers

  22. jwalkerus says:
    (link)

    Simple question. 20 team dynasty keeper league.
    Who has a better carear.

    Hosmer or Brett lawrie

    I have hosmer. Offered lawrie for him.

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
      (link)

      @jwalkerus, Do you need a 1b or 3b? I think they’re about equal ROTW. If all things are even, I’d take Lawrie, he’ll be far easier to trade to fill a gap.

  23. EK says:
    (link)

    Pls rank for a spot start:

    Buehrle @ SD
    McDonald v CIN
    Dickey v ARI
    Milone @ TB
    J. Williams v TOR

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
      (link)

      @EK, Buehrle, Milone, dickey, McDonald, Williams

  24. bean says:
    (link)

    Romo out for the 8th and 9th behind by 1 so it seems Bochy still trusts Casilla for saves. Lopez coming out for the last of the 9th…….Ozzie is making sexy eyes at him and I think I saw a wink.

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
      (link)

      @bean, Wink, Wink…..thanks for the update. Saw it as well…..

  25. Prezii says:
    (link)

    Better outing?

    Buehrle @ SD
    or
    Cahill @ NYM

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
      (link)

      @Prezii, I’ll take Cahill

  26. Josh Yager says:
    (link)

    With an open roster spot, who is the better own: Grilli or Wilhelmsen?

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
      (link)

      @Josh Yager, Grilli

      • Josh Yager says:
        (link)

        @Albert Lang, Guess I was wrong. Thanks. Do you think Grilli has the better opportunity to snag the CL role.

    • Josh Yager says:
      (link)

      @Josh Yager, and which one is better both now, and second half. My instinct is Wilhelmsen? Just wanted some advice.

      • Albert Lang

        Albert Lang says:
        (link)

        @Josh Yager, I think it’s a toss up who gets a chance at saves. It will depend on League or Hanrahan getting traded.

        Grilli end of year: 3.30 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 70 K’s. If you’re stashing grab Grilli..

        Wilhelmsen: He’ll be good for 75 K’s, a 3.50 ERA and 1.25 WHIP.

        I think there’s a lot more trust in Grilli, especially in the NL

        • Josh Yager says:
          (link)

          @Albert Lang, Yeah and 18 K’s through 9IP can’t be ignored. You convinced me just made the add with Luebke to the DL. Thanks.

          • Albert Lang

            Albert Lang says:
            (link)

            @Josh Yager, You’re welcome! I like Grilli, amazing what he’s overcome (had something floating in his knee destroy his hamstring)

            • Josh Yager says:
              (link)

              @Albert Lang, I had Mo, so I just had to drop Hammel to add Soriano (Robertson was already owned since the beginning of the season, damn 18 team league). Also added Frieri with the trade to Angels (also own Downs). Hopefully I have the saves locked down in Anaheim to take away some of my MO Sadness. MO Money MO problems I guess. Off chance he is mildly injured and comes back, I take back my sad cocktail induced rambling.

              • @Josh Yager, I use to be Frieri’s biggest fan, but that was because Petco masked one of his biggest deficiencies: fly balls. I think the pecking order remains Downs, Walden, Frieri. If Downs scuffles, they’ll go back to Walden.

                It’s a bad day for baseball, this is how one of the all time greats is supposed to go out.

  27. Cross your fingers if you own Mariano. He just got hurt during BP before the game by running into wall.

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
      (link)

      @RambleOn, Rivera? Holy smokes. Guess the only thing that can stop him is an actual wall……

      • PunxsutawneyPhils says:
        (link)

        They were literally lifting him up and carting him off the field. Could of course be totally precautionary, but no good nonetheless.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @RambleOn, He put zero weight on his right leg and was seen visably wincing, looks like a lower leg injury.

    • @RambleOn,

      Mariano Rivera was carted off the field Thursday after suffering an apparent injury to his right knee during batting practice.

      • Albert Lang

        Albert Lang says:
        (link)

        @Elijah, Yeah it’s being reported as a knee issue and the Royals staff are checking him out….

  28. Black Beard says:
    (link)

    If Rivera is out, Robertson the pickup?

    • PunxsutawneyPhils says:
      (link)

      @Black Beard, I would think most likely Robertson gets the chance. I picked up Soriano since Robertson’s taken in my league. I dunno if he’s their definite setup man but Soriano has the most experience from Tampa.

      • Albert Lang

        Albert Lang says:
        (link)

        @PunxsutawneyPhils, I would have to guess it’s Robertson.

        It’s just so muc better and the heir apparent. Soriano isnt bad and Girardi makes some weird decisions, but I’d go for Robertson.

        • 3FingersBrown says:
          (link)

          @Albert Lang, I’m going to say Soriano due to the much heralded closer experience. Also Robertson’s the better pitcher, so Girardi might like having him available for high leverage situations.

          • @3FingersBrown, He’s the heir apparent though. Normally I’d agree with you on this…still, we shall see what happens

            • 3FingersBrown says:
              (link)

              @Albert, With the Yanks scuffling, Girardi’s gotta realize that having the flexibility to use Robertson whenever he’s needed gives him the best chance to win.

              Also assuming Mariano comes back, they might not want to toy with Robertson changing roles again.

              Just food for thought.

              In one 12 team H2H league where Soriano is available and Robertson’s already gone, I can only field 3 RP’s per day – I have Street, Motte and Downs. You wouldn’t drop Downs to speculate on Soriano would you?

              The other option is to shed a starter. Humber would be the first to go but he’s got 2 starts next week.

              • @3FingersBrown, Hey, its all speculation at this juncture and your points are valid.

                I would keep Downs around.

                What are the free agent-type SPs out there? WE’ll likely get clarity on the situation soon, so you could drop Soriano for another SP if it goes to Robertson or Mo is ok

                • 3FingersBrown says:
                  (link)

                  @Albert, Humber, Nicasio, The Shark… My starting pitching is pretty loaded but it’s 6×6 counting QS so there’s a premium on SP.

                  I’ve been using my last SP slot to stream, before I picked up Humber the week of his PG. My inclination is to hold, since my bullpen has been competitive as is.

                  I just hate to see anyone else get saves.

                  • 3FingersBrown says:
                    (link)

                    @3FingersBrown, …that’s the back end of my staff. The rest is Masterson, Cahill, Kennedy, Latos and Haren.

                    • @3FingersBrown, You’ve got enough pitching to make the move.

                      Are there comparable goes on the free agent wire?

                    • 3FingersBrown says:
                      (link)

                      @Albert, McDonald, Capuano and Arrieta are available.

                      I think I’ll pick him up. Worst comes to worst, I’ll grab one of those guys. Best case is I’ve got 4 closers and one becomes trade bait…

                    • @3FingersBrown, I agree with that. Not much difference between those guys and Humber. I love my boy Arrieta, although would probably go with Capuano

                    • 3FingersBrown says:
                      (link)

                      @Albert, To quote Usual Suspects, “…and just like that… he was gone.”

                      Someone just beat me to the punch. Oh well, there’s always the Miami roller-coaster…

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
      (link)

      @John C., I feel like every thursday there are a billion blown saves (maybe that’s because there are this year), but this is going too far! They dont even play a full slate of games on Thursday!

  29. PunxsutawneyPhils says:
    (link)

    Who would you rather have right now? Fuentes or Thornton?

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
      (link)

      @PunxsutawneyPhils, If you desperately need saves, Fuentes, otherwise i’d take Thornton

  30. J. Corzo says:
    (link)

    10 team H2H mixed league. Looking at possibly adding Henry Rdoriguez. Should I drop any of these closers to get him?

    Bell (MIA)
    Guerra (LAD)
    League (SEA)
    Valverde (DET)

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
      (link)

      @J. Corzo, No one else you can drop? I’d strongly consider ditching Bell…..it’s a gutsy move, but I’d probably drop Bell if there were no one else

      • J. Corzo says:
        (link)

        @Albert Lang,

        Position players I could drop:

        Wigginton (PHI)
        Peralta (DET)
        Altuve (HOU)
        Campana (CHC)

        Starters I could drop:

        Dettwiler (WAS)

        • @J. Corzo, Oh, drop Capmana, he’s not much better than a Jordan Schaffer

          • J. Corzo says:
            (link)

            @Albert,

            I just picked up Campana since I was losing steals this week and wanted to make up the gap since Michael Bourn, Matt Kemp, and Kinsler haven’t stolen a single base for me this week. The podcast guys seem high on him, but he’s merely a 1D player to me anyway(steals). And I am a Cubs fan. He’s also not necessarily guaranteed ABs w/ Reed Johnson as a platoon vs leftys (today) and a potential Brett Jackson call-up.

            I was thinking Wigginton since he’s backing up Prince Fielder.

            • @J. Corzo, ROTW Wiggington will be more valuable in a vacuum. HOwever, if you dont get to play him, might as well drop him…..

              • J. Corzo says:
                (link)

                @Albert,

                Rodriguez got another save tonight, so he’s definitely getting added tonight. My only worry about dropping Wiggington is the positional depth he provides. But I have a crap-ton of OFs and Krispie Young is a FA in this league. My current DL spot is taken up by Luebke.

                • @J. Corzo, drop wiggy, pick up Young, dl young, drop Luebke for Henry Rodriguez. you dont need depth really, what does it add? one start every couple of weeks?

                  • J. Corzo says:
                    (link)

                    @Albert,

                    I appreciate the recommendations.

  31. Shin-Soo Choo Choo says:
    (link)

    Drop Downs or Casilla for Robertson?

    • Albert Lang

      Albert Lang says:
      (link)

      @Shin-Soo Choo Choo, Not Casilla, tempted to ditch Downs here. It’s a gamble, you could lose 3-5 saves doing this at least. I’m a risk adverse guy so I wouldnt, but if you have bigger balls than I do, no one could fault you.

      • Shin-Soo Choo Choo says:
        (link)

        @Albert Lang, What would the loss of saves be based on?

        • Albert Lang

          Albert Lang says:
          (link)

          @Shin-Soo Choo Choo, If Rivera is fine or if the Yankees use Soriano instead, Robertson will get no saves. So, you’d be out a handful of saves. I dont think Downs is permanent, but should be good for 3-5 more saves at least.

  32. EK says:
    (link)

    Pls rank:

    Niese
    Duffy
    Holland
    Milone

    • @EK, Holland Niese, Milone, Duffy

  33. Jam405 says:
    (link)

    After last night’s catastrophic failure by Burnett, I need to pick up a new pitcher. Who would you grab? Thanks
    Colon
    Samardja
    Arrieta
    Volquez
    Capuano

    • @Jam405, Take Volquez. All are worth owning though….

  34. Phil from Belmar says:
    (link)

    Angels just traded for Ernesto Frieri.

    • @Phil from Belmar, Thats kind of surprising. Andrew Cashner gets a good boost from that. Cant see him supplanting anyone in the Angels pen though. Also his HR/FB rate wont benefit from Petco any longer

  35. Benny says:
    (link)

    Brennan Boesch was dropped in my league. He kind of got off to a slow start but he should be owned right? I would have to drop Laroche or Dunn. What would you do? Also, Do you see Gallardo shaking the early season stink off and ending up low-end fantasy Ace material?

    • @Benny, Look at Gallardo’s first month last year. I have no concerns with him.

      Boesch, LaRoche, Dunn are pretty much the same guy…..LaRoche is dinged up a bit so it wouldnt hurt to trop him for Boesch

  36. PunxsutawneyPhils says:
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    Soriano pitching in the 8th with Yanks 3 Royals 4.

    • @PunxsutawneyPhils, Thanks for the update, Phils! For some reason i dont get mention of these comments until hours after they are made. Sorry for my lag in responding.

  37. Ferris says:
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    you’re a good egg to put up with that cishek v. mujica argument

    yikes

    grey told me yesterday rauch would get more saves than mujica this year — he’s down one (1)

    • Albert Lang

      albert says:
      (link)

      @Ferris, that could be a close one. Rauch’s suspect health won’t help. And I like Parnell more. I say Mujica gets 7 saves, Rauch 4

  38. Matt says:
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    Screw closers, do i need to offer joyce or prado along with bonerfacio for asdrubal or chris davis and boni for assdrubal not TOO offensive

    • Albert Lang

      albert says:
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      @Matt, start with davis, bonifacio. I’m a big Joyce fan.

  39. Diamond Jim Gentile says:
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    Rivera has a torn ACL. Girardi will ‘sleep on’ who takes over as closer.

    • @Diamond Jim Gentile, Thanks for the update!

  40. Black Beard says:
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    Rivera torn ACL.

    Not a Yankees fan, this sucks.

    • bean says:
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      @Black Beard, Yankees have to be shopping now. No way they go a month without a solid bullpen since their SP are a mess. Wonder if they are looking at Huston Street now to beat the Sox to him.

      Myers, Street, Hanrahan all looking at Manhatten real estate.

      • @bean, I think Hanrahan would look the best there. It’ll be interesting to see how this goes as I cant envision Cashman trading any real prospects for a bull pen arm and there are sellers (Oakland, SD, Pitt, Houston, etc.).

  41. kangaroo hops says:
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    In a dynasty league, do you think David Aardsma has any value? Trade bait? Return to closing duties?

    • bean says:
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      @kangaroo hops, Hasn’t pitched since 2010 and there is nothing certain about his ability to close when he does return. Add to that the lack of an offer by the Mariners as he departed and the lack of knowledge the Yankees seem to have about pitching mechanics……….I say future looks cloudy.

      No, no and no……unless you are in a league with Brian Cashman.

    • @kangaroo hops, Stranger things have happened, but as @bean notes Aardsma has thrown just 4 IPs in AAA since 2010. The Yankees have far better options and even Joba might be healthy sooner than Aardsma

  42. Black Beard says:
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    It feels ridiculous asking this, but Pujols is scaring the shit out of me: Pence and LaHair for Pujols?

    • Albert Lang

      albert says:
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      @Black Beard, I have him in my most expensive league. I wouldn’t do that trade, would want more.

  43. as a yankee fan, this is devastating. goddamn. i also have him on my team. and been hanging on to Huston Street, though i can only use one closer a night.

    should i hang on to Street? or grab Robertson or HenRod, Soriano, League is out there, JimJohnson… or some other wire fodder? Street doesnt get many opportunities.

    thanks

    • Albert Lang

      albert says:
      (link)

      @anchovies, I’d stick with Street, the save opps will come and he’s the best of the bunch

    • @anchovies, Also, I dont know if I feel your pain, but I’m saddened by this. I’m an Orioles fan and have been on the wrong end of Rivera’s greatness for a long time. But damn if it wasnt amazing to watch him do what he did. I hope he comes back now, but that’s a tall ask of us fans.

  44. BooBird says:
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    Fuentes or Cishek?

    • @BooBird, I’ll take Cishek. He’s simply better. If you are in dire need of saves, go Fuentes, but the few saves he gets will come with a hefty ratio cost

  45. PublicEnemy#1 says:
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    Would you trade Bautista and CJohnson for LaHair and CSantana?
    My starting roster would look like this offensively:

    Ramos
    LaHair
    Kipnis
    ARod
    Aviles
    Aybar
    CSantana
    CarGo
    McCutchen
    AJones
    Trout
    Boesch
    Butler

    *LaHair replaces Bautista, CSantana replaces YAlonso

    • @PublicEnemy#1, It’s close but I think too much value is tied up in Santana. I’m constantly worried about catchers and injuries. I’d stick it out with Bautista, His LD, FB, GB rates are all normal, his HR/Fb rate has tanked as has his BABIP

      • PublicEnemy#1 says:
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        @Albert, Thanks for tour time and thorough response. I still believe in Bautista, it was more of a way to replace the lack of production I’m getting from Alonso as my 1B.

        • @PublicEnemy#1, Yeah, it’s hard with Alonso there. But I also think it’s a waste of Santana’s value to plug him into 1b….

          Maybe try to go after a top tier 1b instead? Fielder?

          • PublicEnemy#1 says:
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            @Albert, That was my first move, which I’m glad you’re confirming was the right thing to do. I went after Votto, Pujols, Fielder and even Konerko, but got no bites. The guy with LaHair/Santana also has Konerko. He has Youkilis as well and I just picked up Middlebrooks, so maybe I can get him to throw in Youk if I added something on the back end as well.

            • @PublicEnemy#1, Yeah, you made the right first step. I’m just such a wuss when it comes to trading my studs for parts. Santana is really good, but by no means a lock to stay healthy and come close to whta i believe Bautista will do.

              that said, subtracting Alonso and adding two solid performers makes it close. it certainly isnt a panicky sell low situation.

            • PublicEnemy#1 says:
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              @PublicEnemy#1, Would it change anything knowing that LaHair can be kept for $1 in both 2013 and 2014? We keep 4 each year and players have to be released back to the pool after three years at a price. My current keeper possibilities are:

              Trout $1
              Bauer $1
              Boesch $2
              Aviles $8
              Kipnis $9

              We use a $250 cap. 16 team league.

              • @PublicEnemy#1, I think LaHair is more of a one and done kind of guy than anything that will last. Similar to Tyler Colvin.

                I think Kipnis, Trout, Bauer and you can find someone. Just dont think there’s long term success in LaHair.

                • PublicEnemy#1 says:
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                  @Albert, Thank you! Good day, sir!

  46. Ringo says:
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    Hey man can you rank these relievers for me? I am using H2H settings so I am thinking more long term with these guys.

    RP – Rafael Betancourt (COL)
    RP – Fernando Rodney (TB)
    RP – Frank Francisco (NYM)
    RP – Sean Marshall (CIN)
    RP – Kenley Janseon (LAD)
    RP – Jordan Walden (LAA)
    RP – Sergio Santos (TOR)

    THANK YOU.

    • @Ringo, Marshall, Betancourt stand above.

      Rodney, Francisco, Santos (if you have a DL), Jansen, Walden (Santos if no DL).

      • Ringo says:
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        @Albert, I got 1 DL Spot and Longo is on it for a while now.

        • Albert Lang

          albert says:
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          @Ringo, tough to hang with Santos but heard he’s trying to be back quikc….might bump him above Walden

  47. rivera’s career over? jesus christ. this is awful. what a way to go down. even at 42 he was a force. how could you not peel some hurt for the guy. i know im a delusional yankee fan, but damn…rivera was always a solid dude. always. this is no papplebum or a-rod character…real deal baller playing center during batting practice. i mean even if you hate the yankees, is that the guy you wanna see go down forever?

    pure devastation.

    • @anchovies, I never rooted for Rivera. I never wanted him to succeed (although I would have liked him to keep that Red Sox choke going). I can still appreciate and respect how phenomenal he was.

      I feel pain as a baseball fan. It’s just not the way it was supposed to happen, which is life, but man, life is fickle.

      • @Albert, you ain’t kidding.

  48. wynams says:
    (link)

    Holy shit!

    I don’t come here anymore, but when I saw Albert and one of my follows on twitter discussing this thread … geebus.

    Can’t police commenters, but could we get writers who did not feel compelled to be this effing defensive?

    As far as insults, is “you sound like a yahoo commenter” not setting that exchange up on the wrong foot?

    As far as whining on twitter that the razzball community assumes you just read the box scores, did you not say in this thread that you “cannot stay up to watch lame west coast games”?

    FFS, this place has gone to hell!

    • @wynams, But MLB.TV gives me access to all of the games a day later and I can watch the ninth inning in the morning while I’m at work….It means I cant write about it in time to get it into the column but can watch it before the column goes live. So, I’ve seen every ninth inning debacle by the time the column runs. Thanks for fact checking though.

      As for my comment, it was a direct response to his insult first. I’ll come at anyone who wants to start a conversation that way. It’s far easier to just be cordial but if someone doesnt want to be, I’m not going to either. I didnt set up the exchange on the wrong foot….he did.

      Also, I wasnt whining on twitter about the Razzball community. i was complaiing about one person. As you’ll note in the many comments I’ve made here, I’m greatly appreciative of the Razzball community. I enjoy the back and forth and the give and take. It doesnt need to devolve into insults though.

      If one or two people want to post comments insulting me and making false claims about my work I’m going to defend myself. I take anyone calling into question my work ethic pretty seriously. This isnt a game to me.

      So, wynams, what are my options here? Ignore the comment? I’m compelled to respond and a response will have to be defensive or it’d jsut be a lame. thanks for your comment, we disagree.

      thanks for returning, wynams, you’ve offered a ton of valid info…

  49. Ryan says:
    (link)

    Would u trade AROD, Cuddyer,and billingsley for Hanley?
    Trying to get Hanley at the bottom
    Thanks
    Standard league

    • @Ryan, It seems a little steep. Who would you be picking up for the two empty roster spots?

  50. Ryan says:
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    Already have 6 starters..cc,Lester,Kershaw,JJ,Lynn,Worley…
    And on waivers r guys like Matt Moore,detweiller,beard,demster etc
    Just think AROD is done
    Have guys like trumbo,jd Martinez, to replace Cuddyer.
    Would u do it?
    Thanks

    • @Ryan, I probably wouldnt. i dont think AROD is done.

      Hanley: .272 22 HRs, 80 runs, 90 RBIs, 25 SBs.
      AROD: .270 with 23 HRs, 72 runs, 85 RBIs.

      If you need 20+ steals, go for it, if not, i’d just stick it out.

  51. Scott says:
    (link)

    I like to be able to see the BS meter but I think it’d be much more informative if it also showed save opportunities. Seems like that would be pretty easy to add.

    At any rate, great column.

    • @Scott, That’s a good addition, great suggestion. It’s basically BS + S, i can do that easily for next time.

  52. KMO says:
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    Heyo, Should I drop Downs for Addison Reed–even with all thise Sale talk. I’ve already owned and dropped Santiago and Cordero. Capps and Downs remain on the squad–things aren’t going well.

    May bad if I posted this in the wrong spot.

    • @KMO, Hey KMO! How’s life bud?

      I’d play a longterm game here and drop Downs for Reed.

  53. KMO says:
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    Alrighty then. Thanks Albert. Addison Reed, welcome to the carousel of questionable closers.

    Same ole, same ole, attorney at law/fantasy baseball in beantown.

    I’ll have to check in here more often, my squad is rather questionable all around. Yes, I’m talking about you Alexei Ramirez and Clay Bucholz.

Comments are closed.