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Chicago White Sox – Last Thursday, I told people to go all in on Addison Reed. Not long afterward, Chris Sale was removed from the rotation, placed in the bullpen and anointed the closer. Since the proclamation, Sale appeared in the 8th inning, blew the lead and Reed got the save chance in extra innings. Now it seems like Ventura prefers to use Sale in high leverage spots in the eighth. In addition, Sale wants to go back to starting, with the only thing stopping that being his health. And, if he’s not healthy, maybe he won’t hold up in the pen. So, for the second time in a week I’m going all in on Reed. If he’s somehow available, grab him. If you can trade for him at below market value, do so.

Chicago Cubs: Apparently something had to be done, given how precious wins are to the floundering Cubs, so Carlos Marmol was removed from the closer nest. In his place, the Cubs are platooning Rafael Dolis (who I mentioned awhile ago) and James Russell. Of course, I also said that Dolis was a more long-term than immediate option and that he sort of sucks. I still see nothing in Dolis that screams solid reliever. Aside from rookie ball, Dolis hasn’t posted a K:BB rate above 2.00. He’s benefiting from a .193 BABIP despite a huge LD rate. In addition, his swinging strike rate is miniscule. Meanwhile, Russell is a fine reliever, but he probably shouldn’t pitch to righties, as they own a .308/.361/.532 line on him. So he’s not going to see a ton of save opportunities. If I was stuck investing in this situation, I’d do whatever I could to trade Dolis. I want no part of him. This is a situation where you’re better off on the second round of speculation, i.e. a return to Marmol or Kerry Wood.

Miami Marlins: You’d think by now, we’d know who was stepping in for Heath Bell. However, while Edward Mujica has gotten and converted the save opportunities, Steve Cishek hasn’t pitched in five days after he threw five innings over a three day span. There is very little debate that Cishek is the better pitcher and it’s certainly possible he’ll get the save opportunities when he can pitch. However, I’m still backing Mujica. He was 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. From an organizational perspective, Mujica was acquired more as a closer and Cishek as an arm. I must give made respect for @Jack as he almost got me to flip my position. Let’s just say I’m 51% in support of Mujica. UPDATE: Of course the above was written before the Marlins had a hold situation in the 8th and Mujica came in. Clearly, @Jack was right, I was wrong and Cishek is the guy to own for the time being. And, of course, because it’s the Marlins, Cishek blew the save. He got a lot of help from Giancarlo Stanton who misplayed a bloop single into a triple for Carlos Lee. However, Cishek did manage to walk Chris Johnson, somehow, and gave up a solid single to Brian Bogusevic. Going forward, Cishek will have some issues against lefties, but should remain the front runner in the pen…for now. I’d still like to own both or neither.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Scott Downs is feeling no ill-effects of the ball J.P. Arencibia careened off his knee. He should be ready to go. While the Angels went out and traded for Ernesto Frieri and some idiot thought he was the Padres closer of the future, he’s likely behind Jordan Walden in saves. Frieri has stuff well suited for Petco, as he is a huge fly ball pitcher and walks a healthy amount of batters. With him putting a lot of guys on base and a few more fly balls leaving the park, he’ll see a worse ERA in the American League. For the rest of the season, Frieri looks like a 3.65 ERA and 1.33 WHIP guy with 68 K’s.

San Diego Padres: The reason I was so high on Frieri was Andrew Cashner’s inability to throw strikes and how the Padres seem to prefer using Luke Gregerson in the seventh. So, hello Dale Thayer, who was originally signed by the Padres in 2002, but made his debut seven years after that for the Rays. He made his way back to the Padres after the New York Mets found no use for him. Seriously. Exclusively a reliever in the minors, Thayer has a 2.70 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 3.01 K:BB rate at AAA. Of course a significant amount of those innings came after he turned 28. Thayer isn’t a K guy but a ground ball pitcher in a Jim Johnson mold. So far, his control seems a bit above average. It looks like there is no reason to carry Cashner or Gregerson on your team as Thayer is the handcuff for Huston Street.

New York Yankees: Supposedly, David Robertson is sharing closing duties with Rafael Soriano, but Robertson is by far the one you want to own. He’s simply the best, better than all the rest. I’d bet on Robertson securing 95% of the Yankees saves ROTW. I’d hold Soriano if there aren’t any pressing roster matters for a week or so, but it’s Robertson’s job to run with. Sure, Robertson blew a save last night somewhat spectacularly, but the runs were the first ones he  allowed since September of last year. He’ll get a long rope; however don’t go dropping Soriano just yet.

Washington Nationals: Good thing Brad Lidge is, well, Brad Lidge because Henry Rodriguez has been ascending the BS meter. That said, Rodriguez still has impeccable numbers (2.84 ERA, 2.94 FIP, 3.11 xFIP) and has no real challenger in the Nats pen. His walk rate will continue to catch up to him and hurt his ratios, but not enough to cost him interim closing duties. The rest of the year, Rodriguez will post a 3.50 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 68 K’s.

Toronto Blue Jays – Until his injury, I continually thought Sergio Santos was in no danger of losing the role to Francisco Cordero. Cordero has been birding on a wire for some time now and a trip to the AL East was going to knock him off. Well, Cordero is now out of the interim seat and Casey Janssen is keeping it warm. Drop Cordero, pick up Janssen, who is better, anyway. Look for Janssen to be a 3.72 ERA and 1.22 WHIP guy the rest of the way with maybe 50 K’s. He’s basically Scott Downs for the next couple of weeks. It looks like Santos won’t be ready to go for about 14 days.

Los Angeles Dodgers: It seems if you approach Heath Bell territory on the BS meter (Cordero, Guerra), you lose your job. Kenley Jansen is filthy, capably of putting up a 2.50 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 80 K’s the rest of the way. Finally, you can drop Javy Guerra.

Cincinnati Reds: On Wednesday, after Sean Marshall gave up a lead-off homer to Ryan Braun in the ninth, Logan Ondrusek began warming in the bullpen. Marshall then fanned Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart hit a ball to the warning track in dead center. Jonathan Lucroy followed with a single on the 12th pitch of the at bat and then Aoki got a cheap bloop to left. So, Dusty Baker pulled Marshall for Ondrusek. What the what!?! Ondrusek immediately went 3-0 on the mighty Cesar Izturis and walked him two pitches later. Of course, Travis Ishikawa swung on the first pitch of the subsequent AB and hit a weak fly to left. Game over. Ondrusek is a fine, not special reliever, capable of finishing with a 3.15 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 55 K’s. He’s no Aroldis Chapman or Sean Marshall though. Marshall has been exceptional aside from one outing and I fully expect him to get the bulk of the saves for the Reds.

Name BS Opps Name BS Opps
Heath Bell

4

7

David Carpenter

1

2

Chad Qualls

3

9

Edward Mujica

1

9

Francisco Cordero

3

8

Francisco Rodriguez

1

8

Javy Guerra

3

11

Frank Francisco

1

10

Rex Brothers

3

6

Glen Perkins

1

3

Alfredo Aceves

2

7

Hisanori Takahashi

1

3

Brad Lidge

2

4

Jason Grilli

1

7

Brandon League

2

9

Jason Motte

1

6

Carlos Marmol

2

5

Joaquin Benoit

1

10

David Hernandez

2

8

Joe Nathan

1

8

Grant Balfour

2

9

Joel Hanrahan

1

6

Hector Santiago

2

7

Joel Peralta

1

9

Henry Rodriguez

2

8

Jonathan Broxton

1

7

J.J. Putz

2

8

Jordan Walden

1

3

Javier Lopez

2

5

Kenley Jansen

1

10

Jon Rauch

2

6

Kerry Wood

1

3

Jose Valverde

2

8

Luke Gregerson

1

5

Matt Belisle

2

4

Matt Thornton

1

6

Pedro Strop

2

6

Mike Adams

1

8

Scott Downs

2

9

Mike Dunn

1

3

Sergio Santos

2

4

Octavio Dotel

1

5

Aaron Crow

1

7

Rafael Betancourt

1

7

Alexi Ogando

1

8

Rafael Dolis

1

6

Andrew Cashner

1

4

Ramon Ramirez

1

3

Antonio Bastardo

1

5

Santiago Casilla

1

7

Brian Fuentes

1

4

Sean Marshall

1

6

Casey Janssen

1

2

Steve Cishek

1

4

Chris Perez

1

12

Tom Wilhelmsen

1

6

Chris Sale

1

1

Tyler Clippard

1

7

Clay Hensley

1

4

Vicente Padilla

1

5

Craig Kimbrel

1

11

Vinnie Pestano

1

9

Darren Oliver

1

5

Wilton Lopez

1

3

  1. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    Trade Marshall for Jhonny Peralta? I am first in saves w/ League/Marshall/Casillia/Janssen (and ex-Guerra), with an offer out for Robertson.

    Aybar at SS is killing me right now. Or could hold for waiver SS like Tyler Greene.

    • @Baron Von Vulturewins, I hate selling players like Marshall at what appears to be the low end of their value. I fully expect Marshall to be a top reliever this year.

      Aybar ROTW .270, with 16 SBs,
      Jhonny Peralta ROTW: .266 with 13 HRs.

      The batting average is a push, so do you need power or speed?

      I dont think it’s a bad deal, but I’d hope for a bit more if i were moving Marshall. Can understand, though, if you decide to make a move.

    • WhineSpritzer says:
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      @Baron Von Vulturewins, I wouldn’t sell Marshall for Peralta. You’re first in saves now, but you might end up with just Casilla and League. If you must, I’d try to get more for Marshall or hold until his value goes up, then sell. I also expect he’s going to have a very productive year.

  2. FD says:
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    Semisonic!!

    And Matchbox 20 meh

    • @FD, Did I make a Matchbox 20 reference?

      I always think Semisonic wrote Shimmer….not sure why i think that or why I felt like sharing…

      • FD says:
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        @Albert, ya, the title of your post is in the Semisonic song “Closing Time” later sung by Matchbox 20

        guess it’s from something else too?!

        • @FD, Oh, I knew I was making a Semisonic reference. I didn’t realize matchbox 20 covered it, blech.

  3. TualatinTwoStep says:
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    Thoughts on the trade I just pulled off in my 12 team 5×5 keeper league? I had 6 legit closers on my roster after Robertson inherited a job and the guy I traded with was the Rivera/Guerra owner and wanted Broxton bad.

    My Broxton and Brandon Morrow
    for his CJ Wilson and Michael Cuddyer (1B/OF on ESPN)

    I wanted to move Morrow while he was not pitching like Morrow and my OF is bad (Bautista,Stubbs, Schaefer, Capt. Kirk). Thoughts?

    • @TualatinTwoStep, A fine trade. Nice work pouncing on a guy who recently got closerbombed.

      • TualatinTwoStep says:
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        @Albert, thanks man!

        The topper is he was adamant he did not want Marshall under any circumstances. I was thinking cool I was not going to sell low on him anyways!

        My rotation is now
        Greinke, MadBum, CJ Wilson, D Hudson (DL), Vargas, Samardzija, Milone

        My bullpen
        J Johnson, Casilla, Marshall, HRod, Robertson, J Russell (I put him in at SP when I dont have starters going) Storen (DL)

        Liking my staff!

        • @TualatinTwoStep, Nice, got to love it when your trade partner(target) does the work for you!

          That’s a solid staff, cant imagine there being too many better.

  4. Ferris says:
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    betancourt or ian kennedy?

    nl only league so closers actually matter

    • @Ferris, Ian Kennedy will have a ton more value than Betancourt. Why not both though?

  5. EK says:
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    Pls rank for 5 x 5 roto:
    Worley
    Vargas
    Jimenez
    McCarthy
    McDonald
    Cahill

    • @EK, Cahill, McCarthy, McDonald, Jimenez, Vargas, Worley.

      Cahill ahead by a lot, I’ll go after potential this early in the year.

      • Sweeney says:
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        @Albert, Worley has potential too.

        • @Sweeney, Eh, he’s an unexciting pitcher, doesnt strike a ton of guys out (never did in the minors), wont get a lot of wins. he’s a fine guy, and safe, but dont sure where the potential comes in.

  6. Cahill, McCarthy, McDonald, Jimenez, Vargas, Worley.

    Cahill ahead by a lot, I’ll go after potential this early in the year.

  7. smegma says:
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    Should I drop Aceves for any of these:

    Capps
    Marshall (just dropped)
    Reed

    • @smegma, Yes. I’d get Marshall, but Reed is tempting. All of them should be owned…

  8. Charles says:
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    Drop Cashner for Reed? I was really hoping Cashner would be a high-K closer for me.

    • @Charles, Absolutely. I didnt think Cashner was going to stick there…

  9. zk says:
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    RE: Cishek: Runner on 3rd, 1 out, I’m guessing they walked Johnson to set up the double play. Even Ozzie Guillen can’t convince himself to move away from Cishek’s #s because of a “blown save” like that.

    • zk says:
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      @zk, Scratch that, two outs. Still, I’m guessing the walk there is more directed at Johnson’s hot hitting than Cishek’s inability to throw strikes, as his K/BB ratio suggests he doesn’t walk guys often.

      • @zk, I doubt it. Cishek owns righties and Johnson strikes out a ton. Cishek just couldnt find the plate. You dont pitch around a guy with a 24.8% k-rate to face a lefty.

        • zk says:
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          @Albert, You do when that guy is Brian Bogusevic. But point taken.

          • @zk, Yeah, hard to guess. Maybe you’re right, damn this inability to read minds!

            • zk says:
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              @Albert, I just really really really want Cishek to close. Please. Let him close.

  10. RiffRaff says:
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    Reed or Cishek?

    • @RiffRaff, Reed

  11. PunxsutawneyPhils says:
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    Thinking of trading Zack Greinke for Hanley Ramirez. Can my pitching sustain losing Greinke?

    Felix Hernandez
    (Zack Greinke)
    Tommy Hanson
    Colby Lewis
    Adam Wainwright
    Johan Santana
    Drew Smyly

    • Albert Lang

      albert says:
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      @PunxsutawneyPhils, a good deal and you pitching is solid without Greinke

  12. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    Just traded Billingsley for Jhonny Peralta instead. Kept Marshall. Thanks for the advice!

    As I said earlier, I’m off the Billingsley wagon, and when I fall off a wagon, I want it out of the wagon-house. Now.

    Wagon-haus?

    • Albert Lang

      albert says:
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      @Baron Von Vulturewins, I don’t mind Bills, ROTW: 3.90 ERS, 142 K’s, 1.34 WHIP

  13. Hunter says:
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    I offered Halladay for Shields/Latos and the other owner said he’d need a “throw in pitcher” to make the deal. The worst pitchers I have on my roster are Holland, Santana, and McCarthy. Am I right that including any of these guys would make the deal lopsided? I’m just looking to get and give fair value, not rip anyone off. Thoughts appreciated.

    • Albert Lang

      albert says:
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      @Hunter, I don’t think santana/halladay for shields/latos is unfair…prefer the halladay side though

  14. Ferris says:
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    is guerra an nl only drop too? or is he going to be the 8th inning guy?

    • Albert Lang

      albert says:
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      @Ferris, here’s the thing, most people thought Guerra would lose the job because he just isn’t that good. Sure he’ll probably pitch later in games, but I’m not confident he’ll be effecvtive. I’d rather have Jason Grilli, for perspective

      • Ferris says:
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        @albert, thanks for the perspective

        how about james russell or wilton lopez or javy guerra? i am a save chaser lol

        • Albert Lang

          albert says:
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          @Ferris, I’d grab Russell for the short term, and if that doesn’t pan out Lopez should get saves this year

  15. Zoot says:
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    Hey, should I drop Sale for Reed?

    Or sit tight?

    14 team, points league. We need two RP. Right now I have axford and sale

    • @Zoot, For some reason my responses through my mobile device dont always register, my apologies as I thought I had responded already.

      Yes, I’d drop Sale for Reed.

  16. John C. says:
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    jansen/rodney for phillips/morrison? have saves to spare, 6×6 league (holds, BB instead of whip ….. BB as extra category on offense)

    i’d be getting the offense

    • Albert Lang

      albert says:
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      @John C., I’d always take the offense and your league is made for LoMo. I will say you’re giving up 50+ saves or so. If you can absorb that or are willing to play the carousel, jump on this

  17. Matt says:
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    Have 5 RP spots in holds/saves league

    have

    clippard
    jansen
    janssen
    d hernandez
    marshall
    cishek
    betancourt

    since i have 2 holds guys, okay to drop cishek instead of janssen. Concern is cishek will be elite holds guys but need saves

    • Albert Lang

      albert says:
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      @Matt, I think its a toss up who gets more saves ROTW. In that case, ill take the likely better pitcher in Cishek who probably has a better chance to get 3+ saves

  18. Traded a Fister for a BJ says:
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    How do you like Tim Stauffer? He’s coming off the DL as a solid two start option next week, @WAS and vs LAA.

    3.40 ERA, 130 K’s, 1.24 WHIP asking too much ROS?

    • @Traded a Fister for a BJ, I’m always weary of guys coming off the DL in their first starts.

      My ROTW projections for Stauffer arent as kind as yours: 3.80 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, I have him at 105 K’s at most (6.25 K/9 with maybe 150 IPs).

  19. mike says:
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    G Floyd or Mcdonald to start today?
    Help!

    • @mike, I’ll take Floyd

  20. zoot says:
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    Hey,

    I was just offered Marcum and Jansen for Sale and Dempster… thoughts?

    We start 2 RP

    Points league..

    Thanks

    • Albert Lang

      albert says:
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      @zoot, yes, take that deal!

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